Osteoarthritis & Your Knees



How to tell if your knees are going


You might have the VO2 max of Chris Froome and possibly even the power-to-weight ratio of Leigh Halfpenny, but if the most important hinges in your body are creaking, you’re going nowhere fast. Made up of four major ligaments, three bones, two types of cartilage and a lot of tendons, your knees are complex. “They’re remarkable in that they are able to bend and rotate while generating huge amounts of force,” says physiotherapist Mark Thomas. It’s that force that can be the issue – according toThe Journal of Sports Medicine, around a third of all sporting injuries are related to the knees.

Whether you’re one of those wincing as you climb out of bed each morning, or you just noticed a slight twinge last time you played squash, this three-step self test will help. Use these guidelines to give your knees a simple daily assessment, then find out how to rehab them at home. Iron out any issues early and they won’t become a clichéd excuse not to excel in your training.

Test one: From the ground up

Knees ache after running? Your feet could be to blame. Occasional pain can be a symptom of wearing the wrong trainers. Fix it now to avoid serious issues later.

Do this

When you next step out the shower, look at your wet footprints on the floor. The shape will tell you a lot about your arch and foot strike.

A classic footprint

If the forefoot and heel are connected by a solid, broad band, you’re pretty normal. Don’t just grab any old thing off the shelf though: choose a neutral shoe without motion control.

A flat footprint

If your print looks like the whole sole of a foot, it usually indicates that you ‘over pronate’ when you run – rolling your foot inwards and torquing your knee. You need motion-control shoes with a high level of stability.

A high footprint

A very narrow band or no band at all between the forefoot and the heel means you roll outwards, or ‘supinate’ with each strike. This will put painful lateral pressure on the knee joint. You want a cushioned shoe with plenty of flexibility. Now move on to test two.


Test two: A matter of balance

Next, you’re going to check the muscles and tendons around the joint that keep you upright. Use our rehab exercises to build up strength.

Do this

Balance on one leg, barefoot. Are you waving your arms around? Is your ankle as jumpy as Tulisa’s lawyer on a big night out? If so, then the muscles around your knee aren’t reacting fast enough to support the joint. This puts you at risk of injury when you sprint or suddenly stop (ie when you play any sport). Don’t move on to test three until you are solid on all three of the rehab exercises here.

One-leg hold

Stand on one leg and try to keep your body upright and still. Hold on to the back of a chair to make small corrections to your balance rather than putting your other foot down. Alternate from one leg to the other each time you stumble. Once you can balance for at least 30sec – without wobbling or using the chair for balance – grab a pillow and progress to the next exercise.

Hold with added instability

Now that your knees are comfortable and controlled on flat ground, you can make things tougher. Adding instability works the joint harder for quick strength gains in your tendons. Stand on one leg with your foot on a pillow. When you can do that for 30sec on each leg, fold the pillow to double the instability.

Blind balance

This time, lose the pillow but close your eyes. A lot of balance is visual – if you see yourself falling one way or the other, you’re able to correct your posture. Performing this test blind forces the nerve endings in your joints to improve their reaction speed. Stand next to a wall this time, so you can catch yourself if needed and balance on one leg. Aim to keep yourself stable for 30sec. Once you can do this, move on to the final phase of your DIY physiotherapy.


Test three: Stable gains

The way your knee bends is vital to stability. Take our test, then fix imbalances with these three drills.

Do this

Stand on one leg in front of a mirror and bend your knee. It should move forward. If it flares out or inward, your risk of joint damage is increased.

Static hop

Balancing on one leg again, hop about 1cm off the floor. Absorb the landing like Louis Smith after a dismount and don’t hop again until you’ve regained your balance. Do 3-5 sets of 10 reps on each leg.

Square hop

Now add some changes of direction. Hop clockwise around an imaginary 2in x 2in square. Do 5 clockwise, then 5 anticlockwise. If it all feels a little too easy, try making the square a bit bigger.

Figure-eight hop

Start on the bottom-left corner of your square. Hop to the top right, over the top left, across to the bottom right and back to the start. Do 3 full rotations, then rest. Repeat another 3 times.







Video: Exercises to Strengthen Glutes and Protect Knees (2018) square

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Date: 10.12.2018, 11:25 / Views: 41275