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Best exercises following a knee replacement

After you get a new knee joint, you’ll probably be excited to test it out! I don’t blame you. Replacing arthritic or otherwise damaged knees with new metal models has brought wonderful updates to the lives of many New Yorkers. You’ll be excited to know that your new joints can help you get back to the activities you love–and even try some new ones that you were previously unable to attempt. Even better, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that today’s minimally invasive surgery options allow patients to get these activities in as little as a few months!

During the recovery process, you’ll be working with an expert physical therapist to help you build up strength and stability in your new joint. But that’s not enough. You will also be encouraged to work on your strength through independent exercise. Understandably, this might be intimidating. After all, you want to avoid being too rough on your brand-new knee. Prevention magazine just published an interesting feature that highlights ideal exercises for individuals who have recently had a replacement. One of the key factors is that they keep you moving your joint while avoiding overextending it. Here are a few strategies, as well as some tips for implementing them in your life.

Think Stationary

Today there are many options for moving your joints without moving long distances. Elliptical machines and stationary bicycles are perfect examples. These devices keep you in motion with little to no impact on your new joints. You’ll be getting the same cardio that you would with running or jump roping, but you reduce the pressure that’s placed on your knees. These machines are found at most large gyms, and their compact size means you can also fit one in your own space at home. As a bonus, you’ll increase your strength in your hamstrings and quads, allowing your legs to look toned and sleek.

Stretch It Out

Whether you’ve been sitting in your car or at your desk too long or have just had a long day, it’s hard to beat the feeling that a good stretch brings. Certain stretches and pulls can keep your knees from feeling stiff and help prevent scar tissue from developing near your replacement. You can find several helpful techniques online that are aimed at helping increase your mobility and stability in other parts of your body, like your hips, to relieve pressure on your knees. Your physical therapist might also have some helpful examples of stretching you can do at home.

Consider Yoga

Not every pose is going to be a friendly fit for your new joint, but yoga can be a helpful tool for developing core strength and working on your flexibility after a surgery. You should avoid any movements that place extreme pressure on your knees, but several poses focus more on your back, arms, and feet. As you start out, look for an instructor who can tailor the technique to fit your needs. Some studios even offer chair yoga to reduce standing and open this ancient practice up to more individuals.

As you get back into exercise after your joint replacement, it’s important that you consult with your physician or physical therapist before beginning any new routine. Once you find something you love, you’ll be even more excited about your improved joints.

 

Posted in: Knee Replacement

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