Knee Pain With Exercise (SURPRISING CAUSE and HOW TO FIX IT!)
Sore Knee? Skip This Exercise
Knee osteoarthritis (OA), a degeneration of the cartilage that covers and cushions the bones in the joint, is no longer just a sign of aging. While baby boomers are at prime risk, more and more 30- and 40-somethings are finding that years of aerobics and athletic regimens have resulted in arthritic knees and are in need of knee strengthening exercises. In fact, more than half of the estimated 21 million Americans affected are under 65.
Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, OA is the most common. It's a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage. When cartilage breaks down—as it does in people with OA—bone may rub on bone, causing pain, swelling, and restricted range of motion.
Besides knee strengthening exercises, there are a number of things one can do to ease the pain and improve mobility and flexibility. These include: losing weight, wearing sensible shoes, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), trying alternative healing modalities such as yoga or acupuncture, and "feeding your knees" with glucosamine and chondroitin.
The former, a natural substance found in cartilage, has been found to prevent cartilage damage as well as cushion joints. Chondroitin enhances the effect of glucosamine. But don't expect to see immediate results; it can take up to two months to see any change.
Many times strengthening the muscles around the knee has been a prescription for arthritic knees. But a recent study suggests that exercises designed to do this may actually cause harm to some. Researchers at Northwestern University followed 237 people with knee osteoarthritis—the baby boomer brand of arthritis often brought on by obesity or past injury—for 18 months. Having strong quads and loose or misaligned knees at the outset of the study foreshadowed joint-space-narrowing—a telltale sign of disease progression—at the end of the study. In those with normal knee joints, strong quads did not have this effect.
Although the study did not look at strength training exercises specifically, the findings are strong enough to suggest that some people with knee osteoarthritis may need to alter their workouts.
"If a leg is misaligned, as in knock-knees or bowlegs, the knee's joint surfaces pull unevenly," explains physical therapist Lynn Millar, PhD, author ofAction Plan for Arthritis.
Here's what to do—and what not to do.
Video: Exercises to avoid for people with knee pain - Onlymyhealth.com
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