The Best Knee Exercises for Healthy Joints

Senior Woman on Stairs Stretching Knee

Always start slowly with any exercise routine to warm up and prevent injury. Listen to your body and don’t push past your limits. Remember, your strength and flexibility will increase over time!

The Forward Bend

Woman doing forward bend knee exercise

You don’t have to be a total yogi to get a good stretch from the forward bend. This knee exercise will stretch your leg muscles, especially targeting your hamstrings. Tight or weak hamstrings are limited in the protection they give your knees, so it’s important to work them out.

Standing on your mat, start with your hands on your hips. Bend forward from your hip joints as you exhale, lengthening your upper body as you reach toward the mat. Reach your fingers towards the floor and touch the floor with your fingers or your palms. You can also reach around or behind your ankles. If you can’t keep your knees from bending while reaching toward the floor or if you can’t reach that far, you can modify the stretch and reach toward a chair to support you while you stretch downward. Relax your shoulders and neck, letting your head hang freely. Remember to breathe as you deepen the stretch. To come out of the pose, bring your hands up to your hips, push your tailbone down, and breathe in as you bring your upper body back up.

Standing Quad Stretch

Woman outside doing quad stretch

The standing quad stretch is a great way to strengthen your knees and improve your balance. If balance poses give you trouble, you can do this stretch by holding on to a chair or placing a hand on the wall.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your weight on your left foot and lift your right foot tucking the knee behind. Grip your ankle or foot and pull your shin toward your glutes, pointing your knee toward the floor. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then switch to the right foot.

Standing Side Leg Raise

Woman doing side leg lift with chair

The standing side leg raise exercise plays an important part in achieving optimum knee health. This knee strengthening exercise is a great way to help improve your balance, tone your thighs and make your knees more resilient at the same time.

Stand freely or use a chair to support your balance. Shift your weight to your left foot and bring your right leg up to the side very slowly. Lift your right leg as far as you can, making sure to keep your leg straight. As you raise your leg, you should feel a nice stretch on the inner thigh. Keep the leg up for at least ten seconds, and then slowly bring it down to the mat then switch sides.

Floor Leg Lifts

Woman doing floor leg raises

The Leg Raise exercise is a gentle way to help strengthen the muscles in the thigh and hamstrings and strengthen the knees. This stretch will also engage your core, helping to strengthen your abdominal muscles and lower back.

Lie down on your back. Put your hands on the mat beside your glutes. Keep your body straight and your toes pointed up. Don’t bend your knees or lift your lower back off the mat. Inhale and raise your legs off the mat slowly and smoothly. Raise your legs as high as you can while keeping them straight. Try to get your legs at about a 30-degree angle and hold the posture. Exhale, keep your back on the mat, and bring your legs to the mat.

By committing to these simple knee exercises even just 2-3 times a week, you will be well on your way to increasing strength and flexibility for healthier joints! Before beginning any exercise regimen, consult with your physician to determine if these exercise recommendations are right for you. 

If you are experiencing knee pain, or if you have been told that you may have to have knee replacement surgery, contact us to see if our non-surgical procedure that stops knee pain fast with minimal recovery time and no hospital stay may be right for you. Just fill out the form below and a team member will get back to you as soon as possible.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Getting a Second Opinion on Joint Replacement Surgery

Woman having knee looked at by orthopedic surgeon

Written by Robert Dean, M.D.

As a doctor, I’ve spent many years helping patients figure out what treatment options are best for their individual conditions. Once I have identified the underlying medical problem, I always lay out all treatment options – and if having surgery is one of these options, I would do everything in my power to be sure that they would see the most qualified surgeons in that field. Whether the patient is facing heart surgery, gallbladder surgery, or joint replacement surgery, it is always prudent and appropriate for a person to seek a second opinion. While surgery may be the best solution for a patient, it is invasive and will likely require a hospital stay and an extended recovery period.  That’s why it’s important for patients to empower themselves to make the best decision for their long-term health and wellness. In this article, I will share my recommendations for individuals seeking treatment options for knee, hip, shoulder, or other joint pain who have been told that surgery may be the best option.

Ask the Right Questions

Most laypeople do not realize that every surgeon is different in terms of years of experience and surgical training, approaches, and techniques applied to the type of surgery being performed. When it comes to total joint replacement surgery, there are orthopedic surgeons that have been trained to perform different types of total joint replacements in which they cut out the ends of the bone, creating a post or base to adhere the implant to in order to help stop joint pain. So, before a patient commits to total joint  replacement surgery, here are the questions to ask:

  • How many of these procedures has the surgeon performed?
  • Is this something they specialize in or do they just do one or two replacements per month?
  • Which implants do they use?
  • What are the complication and infection rate at the hospital where the procedure will be performed?

Understanding Surgical Implants

Regarding the final question about implants, it’s important to know that there are dozens – yes, dozens – of different knee, hip, and shoulder implants from different companies. These implants are all slightly different and one may be better for you versus another. Every human body is unique, so having the option of one particular style or design of implant versus another may be critical to your success as far as function and pain relief.

X ray of hip implant

You probably don’t know that orthopedic surgeons typically adhere to one or two brands or variations. The surgical technique can be slightly specific to that implant, and the surgeon may not be exploring options for learning how to use other types of implants. That’s why it’s so important that you ask the questions and get all of the information you need.

It is also important to know that sometimes patients believe they are having joint replacement surgery done with a specific implant. When patients are rolled into the operating room, they are often anxious and out of sorts and tend to glance over the surgical consent form without confirming that the implants being used are in fact what they have been told would be used. I have a specific example of a patient who thought she was having a hip replacement and the make and model of the implants she was to have was made of titanium. After her surgery, she had a lot of post-procedure difficulties with pain, swelling, and inflammation and it appeared that she was having a reaction to the actual implant. Approximately 3 months later, she found out that the implant used was a generic implant made of nickel, not titanium, and she had very specifically listed on her allergy sheet that she was allergic to nickel. Sadly, she had to have the implant removed in a second surgery and the appropriate implant. And, unfortunately, revisions of surgeries are typically longer to heal and don’t have the best outcomes.

This topic was covered in-depth on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and I highly recommend that anyone considering joint replacement surgery watches the clip in full.

Understanding Hospital Stays & Recovery Time

Almost all joint replacement surgeries are performed in hospitals because the hospital needs to supply the particular implant that the surgeon chooses. What does this mean for the patient? It means that you will have to go under anesthesia and then there will be wound healing and weeks or months of post-surgical physical rehabilitation.

Seeking a Second Opinion

Now that you understand the right questions to ask if you are told that you need total joint replacement surgery and know what to expect from your hospital stay and post-procedure recovery, let’s explore the process of getting a second opinion.

The only way to determine which surgeon is the best match for you based on experience and skill, as well as which implant is best, is to have at least two if not three consultations with different orthopedic surgeons. Remember, joint replacement surgery is an invasive process that requires a hospital stay and a long recovery process, so you need to be informed and empowered to make the absolute best decision for yourself.

Contact Me for a Second Opinion

So the moral of the story is “buyer beware” – because 1) you want a surgeon who has the right skill and experience, 2) you want to know which implants the surgeon is trained to use and why they choose that particular company and brand, and 3) you want to make sure the hospital that is going to host the surgery is one that has a low infection rate and provides the appropriate implant devices  – so that you get what you’re paying for and the pain relief that you need.

I started AROmotion to help more patients experiencing joint pain get fast relief without surgery. We have treated more than 1,200 patients with an extremely high success rate because we have a thorough screening process to determine who is a candidate. If you are seeking a second opinion on joint replacement surgery, I can help by assessing your situation to determine if you are a candidate for the AROmotion procedure. Just fill out the form below and someone on my team will contact you to schedule a free virtual consultation.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Dr. Dean’s Self-Care Tips

Hands making a heart over sunset

Written by Robert Dean, M.D.

Like so many of us, I’ve been having to change my life in many ways due to the quarantine and the ongoing isolation from COVID-19. During times like this, the most important question to ask is this: How do we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually/emotionally when faced with so much stress and uncertainty?  The answer is through self-care, and in this article,  I am going to share some of my favorite tips to help you make it part of your daily routine.

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

I found that for the first week or two of quarantine it was actually kind of novel being home sorting out our remote work situation. But then I realized I couldn’t go to the gym!  And some of the other outdoor activities that I was taking for granted were also no longer an option. I went online to order light weights, exercise bands, and a good yoga mat to start working out regularly at home. But, of course, everything was out of stock! Eventually, I got what I needed and settled into a routine. (BTW…good Internet is a critical component of anything we do these days!)

Fast forward to today, and while restrictions have lifted slightly, we know we aren’t going back to what used to be the normal way of life anytime soon. Now that we are settling into the “new normal”, it’s important to focus on maintaining balance when it comes to our health and wellness through self-care.

Start With the Basics: Exercise, Diet, & Sleep

In today’s 24/7 “always-on” world, it’s easy to put self-care at the bottom of our priority list. But, right now we are in a unique situation in that we are spending more time at home with fewer distractions than before. This means we have a unique  opportunity to carve out more time to focus  on the basics of physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual wellbeing.

Woman doing yoga outside at sunset

You can start by simply taking 20 to 30 minutes out of our day to stretch and do some core exercises. Personally, I find that adding yoga or Tai Chi to your routine is a good place to begin. During these exercises, you can integrate meditation to help clear the mind to reduce stress and create focus. There are thousands of inspirational writings online and even learn different techniques of yoga, Tai chi, and basic stretching and strengthening exercises. The Internet is a wonderful resource!

Couple cooking healthy dinner together at home

And, don’t forget to pay attention to your diet! Spending more time at home can cause us to spend more time at the refrigerator and to confuse boredom and/or stress with hunger. As always, stick to a healthy and balanced diet that favors whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. You can even make meal preparation a family affair by carving out time each day to cook together so everyone feels like they are pitching in. Of course, it’s OK to indulge every once in a while, but again – when it comes to diet it’s all about balance. If you are looking for healthy eating ideas, follow AROmotion on Facebook and Instagram for weekly tips on healthy foods that are also great for your joints.

Happy senior couple going to sleep

Finally, getting a good and restful night’s sleep is vital when it comes to self-care. Most adults need a sold 7-8 hours of shut eye each night, but this can be challenging when we are experiencing stress and non-stop changes to our daily routine. The best way to combat this is to create and stick to a bedtime routine that consists of the following:

  • Commit to shutting down at the same time each night. Put your smartphone somewhere where it’s out of immediate reach. Then, work on shutting down the noise in your mind by participating in a relaxation ritual such as a warm bath, gentle nighttime yoga, or even simple cup of decaf herbal tea.
  • Create a comfortable and peaceful bedroom environment. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation, which includes a comfortable and supportive bed, décor that helps inspire relaxation, and minimal distractions like television.
  • Give yourself the time you need to fall asleep and stay asleep for 7-8 hours. When it comes to falling asleep, everyone is a bit different. Some lucky ones fall asleep the moment their heads hit the pillow while others take longer to unwind their minds and prepare for sleep. So, if you know that it typically takes you an hour to fall asleep, you should set a bedtime 8-9 hours before your alarm goes off.

Next: Learn Something New

Now that most of us are not driving to and from the office, visiting restaurants, or doing other things that take up our personal time, we have more time to invest in learning something new that can help inspire happiness. Initially, it may feel “selfish”, however, it is critical that we take care of ourselves to be better and healthier not just for us but also for the people we love. So, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw, or learn how to play the ukulele, or how to grow an herb garden – really any craft or hobby! This unique time of quarantine gives us the opportunity to indulge in some of these “selfish” therapies that we’ve always wanted to try.

Taking care of “you” has never been so simplified from a lifestyle perspective. We have far fewer distractions from life outside of the house and we have more personal time! We’re not forced to get dressed and drive somewhere which allows us an extra 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there so we can actively work on taking care of ourselves. Now is the time to nurture our body, our mind, and our soul. Let’s take the lemons we were dealt with COVID-19 and make some lemonade! I hope that during this time we all learn to love ourselves a little better and after we get back to life after COVID-19…I hope that these new practices stay part of our new normal!

If you are experiencing joint pain and have been told to either treat the pain with over-the-counter medications or that you may need joint replacement surgery, contact us today for a free consultation. One of our board-certified physicians will talk with you and determine if you are a candidate for our minimally-invasive procedure that stops joint pain and gets you in and out of our office the same day, with minimal recovery time. Simply fill out the form below to request your free consultation with us today.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.