knee replacement

My knee has been bothering me for years. What can I do to reduce the pain until I can get it replaced?

 
Exercising PRIOR to your knee replacement is very important because it will strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding your knee; improve your flexibility; and help you recover faster after surgery. In addition, strengthening the muscles can help reduce the daily pain you feel now. If you do not exercise before your surgery, your endurance will not be as strong, and the healing process will likely take longer.

There are several different exercises you can do using a stable chair for support.

  • Knee Bending: You can practice knee bending by sitting in the chair, bending your knee back as far as possible, holding it for 5 seconds, and then return it to the resting position. This will improve range of motion and flexibility.
  • Chair Squats: Standing in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart, slowly lower yourself towards the chair without actually sitting down. Keep your knees over your ankles and your weight in your heels. Straighten your body upright and repeat. If you are unable to do the squats, sitting and standing multiple times will also help build strength in the larger muscle groups like the thighs and glutes.
  • Leg Extensions: Sitting in a stable chair, raise your leg until it is straight and hold the position for five seconds before slowly lowering your leg. Bending and straightening the knee will help build strength directly surrounding the knee, and will increase muscle through the quadriceps.
  • Balancing Drills: Holding onto the back of the chair, stand on your affected leg for 30 seconds while squeezing your gluteal muscles. This exercise will improve balance and help reduce the risk of falls before and after surgery. Do this exercise as many times as you can per day.
  • Straight Leg Raises: Sit with your back against a wall, left leg straight and right leg bent with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly raise your left leg straight up about 12 inches off the floor. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat with your right leg.
  • Half-Knee Extensions: In the same starting position as the straight leg raises, put a ball (about the size of a basketball or smaller) under your left knee so that your leg is bent. Slowly straighten your leg. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat with your right leg.
  • If you are looking for an exercise with less stress on your knees, try walking in a pool. There is reduced joint compression and the resistance of the water builds strength.

 

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Elements Wellness Centers offers programs and amenities geared towards people ages 50 and over to help individuals achieve their best quality of life. Our wellness specialists are trained to work with older adults to assess their strength and balance levels and to help them improve their overall fitness. Elements’ facilities include state-of-the-art fitness equipment, saltwater and therapy pools and more. Elements offers over 200 classes a month between its two locations.

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