Osteoarthritis of the knee is a degenerative disease.
Do you suffer from excruciating knee pain? If so, you are not alone. Knee pain is a very common complaint for people of all ages. Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common disease in people over 65 years of age. Female patients with osteoarthritis of the knee make up 25.4% of cases of osteoarthritis, and men with this disease account for 17.6% of cases.
What happens with osteoarthritis of the knee joint?
Osteoarthritis affects older people whose joints have lost cartilage for many years of use. Cartilage is a soft substance around the joints to prevent bones from rubbing. Cartilage is a shock absorber. And the joint fluid lubricates the joint, facilitating the movement of bones. When the cartilage wears out, the bones begin to break down. The most common symptoms are feeling stiff, especially in the morning or after inactivity, swelling around the joints and pain. The deterioration of the cartilage affects the shape and composition of the joint so much that it no longer works normally.
Further, the patient decreases the amount of synovial fluid. The cartilage breaks down into particles that can float in the joint fluid, causing pain. As a result, chemicals called cytokines (proteins that cause inflammation) are released. This causes even more damage, pain, swelling. Osteophytes are formed at the ends of the bones, which cause damage to the surrounding tissues and cause pain. Movements become painful and difficult. There may be difficulties with walking, climbing and descending the stairs.
What to do to help yourself?
The knees are one of the most important complex compounds in the body. The knees are made up of ligaments, tendons and bones. They are very susceptible to injury and damage. But if you take measures to strengthen and support the knees, you can prevent pain. Many patients with osteoarthritis of the knee believe that because of the pain, they can not perform ordinary daily activities: get out of bed, go up and down the stairs, sit behind the wheel of a car. Going to work, they are not able to do work during the working day, especially when it is associated with a long stay on their feet or the need to sit for a long time.
In addition to traditional treatment, the patient himself can do a lot for his health. To help yourself, you need to change your lifestyle.
Need to get rid of extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. This is the best thing you can do for your sick knees. Each additional kg creates an additional load on the joints and worsens their condition. If you already have sore knees, you need to do exercises that will help you regain the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint to enhance the function of the knee joint and reduce pain. Because in fact, do not hurt your knees. Hurt the muscles surrounding the knee joint.
It is necessary to engage in physical therapy. To be strong and remain flexible, you can do some sports activities that your doctor will allow. It is very important. Because weak muscles poorly support damaged joints and can cause knee injuries. It is necessary to strengthen the quadriceps muscle and hamstrings that support the legs in the knees.
The best kind of sports in the arthrosis of the knee is swimming and aqua aerobics. It is very effective in osteoarthritis of the knee. Water training can include aerobic exercises that enhance endurance and flexibility. Exercises in water are performed in warm water 34-36 ° C.
Why are exercises in water better than other exercises?
Water has been used for therapeutic purposes for decades.
- Hydrotherapy helps relax muscles and ease pain.
- Hydrotherapy is particularly useful for osteoarthritis of the knee, as water allows you to bend and stretch the knee with less resistance.
- Warm water helps relax muscles, and cool water will relieve pain.
- The human body has the property of buoyancy in water. Being waist-deep in water, a person feels only about 50% of the weight. Being in the water on the chest, you can subtract another 25% of body weight. Being in the water, the human body weighs 50-90% less than on land. For patients with osteoarthritis of the knees, this is very important, since the load on the joints is reduced.
- Exercises in water allow the patient with arthrosis to strengthen the muscles.
- Exercises that are painful on land are much less painful in water for people with arthrosis.
How effective are water exercises for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee?
On October 17, 2007, a report of the international medical community was published in the Cochrane Electronic Library. Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joint participated in the studies for 3 months. In the course of the study, patients performed water exercises at various intervals. Other patients performed ground exercises. The third group of patients did not perform the exercises.
Researchers concluded that in people with arthrosis of the knee joint, after regular water exercises, the pain may decrease by more than one point on a scale from 0 to 20, and the joint function by 3 points on a scale from 0 to 68. In patients who have practiced water exercises, improved joint function and quality of life, positive changes at the level of pain.
The researchers found that water exercises have a beneficial effect on the condition of the knees during arthrosis only during long, regular water exercises. In the long run, exercise in water can actually reduce pain, strengthen the muscles that surround the joints. Water exercises are especially well suited for those patients who have difficulty moving because of severe arthrosis.
Sports doctors recommend athletes to use water for rehabilitation after injuries.
What exercises can you do in the pool?
I. Walking on water.
- you can walk in shallow or deeper parts of the pool.
- You can go forward, to the side, as well as forward your back in the pool to tone up various muscles.
Ii. Exercises in the water.
Before you start doing any exercises in the water, you should definitely discuss such exercises with your doctor. This is to ensure that your benefits outweigh the risks (for example, overload damaged joints). You need to ask the doctor what water exercises are right for you and to what extent, so as not to overdo it and not harm yourself, aggravating the pain.
All water exercises support the muscles of the legs, knees and increase its flexibility. Exercises in water provide a natural resistance to the muscles of the legs, so it is easier to perform them than on the ground.
There is a very large category of people who were not helped by any treatment, but only by replacement of the joint. So, it is mandatory for such patients as a rehabilitation after knee joint endoprosthesis replacement a visit to the pool is recommended. All the techniques described below are relevant for those who have undergone surgery.
Most water training consists of exercises that are performed in an upright position.
- Swing your feet. Sitting at the edge of the pool, lower your foot in the water and swing your foot.
- Bend the knee. Hold onto the edge of the pool, standing with your legs fully submerged in water. Slowly lift the leg, bending the knee at an angle of 45 °. Then you need to return to a standing position. Do this exercise for both knees for up to 30 minutes each day.
- March in the water. People with osteoarthritis of the knee lose strength in the quadriceps muscle and in the popliteal muscles. To keep these muscles strong it is helpful to march in the water, raising your knees high for a long time.
- Swim breaststroke. Swimming breaststroke helps the legs build muscle strength. It is very useful for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Swing your foot. Immerse your body in water to your waist or higher. Put one hand on the edge of the pool for support and swing your foot like a swing. Do the same with the opposite foot. Hold and keep your foot in front of you for at least five seconds.
- Lift your legs to the side. Raising the leg to the side helps maintain a range of leg movements and cope with pain. Hold onto the edge of the pool to increase balance. Lift one leg to the side and slowly lower. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. Try to perform 5 reps each foot.
- Do squats in the water. Stand with your back to the pool wall. Do squats in the water, bending the legs at the knees. Return to the starting position. Start doing 5 squats. Then you can do more without hurting your knees.
- Make circles with your foot in the water. Keep your knee in the water as straight as possible. Make small and large circles with your foot. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
- Raise your straight leg. Perform the exercise, standing in the belt in the water. Sit down as if you are sitting on a chair. Your hips will be parallel to the bottom of the pool. Your knees should be at the level of your ankles. Press your back against the pool wall. Make sure your back stays still during this exercise. Put your hands at your sides, touching the palms of the wall. Raise your foot to a height of 30 cm. Hold it in this position. Make it the other foot. You need to straighten your legs as much as possible. Inhale when doing this exercise.
- Hamstring stretch. Perform, standing to the waist in the water. Stand with your back to the pool wall. Tighten the muscles of the thigh and buttocks. Hands pull to the sides. The palms touch the pool wall. Pull the leg in front of you as far as possible. Straighten the injured knee until you feel your hamstrings stretched. Hold the stretch for five seconds. Return your leg while standing. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
- Walk in the water around the perimeter of the pool. Perform, standing to the waist in the water. Stay on one side of the pool. Make sure that both of your legs touch the bottom of the pool completely. Take a walk around the perimeter of the pool. Begin to perform this exercise slowly, gradually increasing the pace. Deep water walking is more intense than in shallow water. Start with a walk in the shallows and continue on your way to the deep end of the pool. Raise your knees high while walking around the pool perimeter. It adds intensity and burns calories. Start with a slight climb. Then achieve a high level of knee lift and super high. Work your knees intensively for most of your workout.
- Stand with your back to the pool wall. Water should be at waist or chest level. Lift and strain your toes and hold them in this position for 5 seconds. Relax. Start doing 10 repetitions. When your aching knees are able to cope with this, increase to 20 repetitions per session.
Iii. The pool often has a gym.
Simulator for a patient with arthritis of the knees
Is it possible to use the simulator for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee? Yes you can. But not any simulator is suitable. Do not use a simulator such as a treadmill. It is unacceptable to use such a simulator that creates a shock load on the joint. Prohibited power simulators. You can use a bicycle ergometer. But before you go to the simulator, you need to remember the following rules:
- Before the start of training on the simulator, you need to do a warm-up: warm up the muscles, perform articular gymnastics.
- You can not squat with weights when working with a simulator.
- You can not use painkillers before training on the simulator, because otherwise, using the simulator, you will not feel pain and risk injury to the joint.
- The load on the simulator should be symmetrical, that is, on both joints. Otherwise the joint will be overloaded.
In case of arthrosis of the knee joint, exercises in water and swimming improve the condition of the joint: range of movements, flexibility, relieve joint pain and stiffness. You can use a simulator approved by your doctor. This will slow the development of osteoarthritis of the knees. Properly chosen simulator contributes to the effective treatment of the disease and the rehabilitation of the patient.