Knee replacements are something that many older adults will deal with at some point during their lives. This is a very common occurrence in older adults that I work with, and something that I often get a lot of questions about. Usually, I get questions about if someone should get a knee replacement, or things they can do after a knee replacement. What is also important to note is what you should do before getting a knee replacement, assuming you are planning on getting one. This thing is something that many of the older adults I work with never got told by their doctors before getting a knee replacement. Let’s take a look at what that is.
What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Knee Replacements
I will say right off the bat, that plenty of doctors are very transparent and give great knowledge to their patients before knee surgeries. Sometimes, however, doctors get busy and do not have enough time to fully talk through everything with their patients. Because of this, your doctor might not have told you this one simple thing. What is that thing? Being strong before your knee replacement will actually help you recover better from your knee replacement. That’s right! It’s a great idea to improve your strength and muscle mass before your knee surgery, allowing your recovery to be quicker. Below, I will go over a few basic exercises that can help you strengthen the muscles around your knees, before you have surgery.
For the exercises, you will need a bench or place you can lay down and do these exercises. If you are looking to purchase a bench like the one used in the video above, feel free to use our Amazon Associate link here. The exercises we will go over to help strengthen your knees before surgery are the following:
- Side Leg Raise
- Calf Raise
- Seated Leg Extensions
- Lying Leg Raise
Let’s see how to do them with some instructions below.
Side Leg Raise
The side leg raise will start with you lying on your side on a bench or bed. You will then, raise one of your legs up towards the sky as far as possible, and slowly back down. Make sure that when you do this, you turn your heel “out,” instead of pointing your toe out. This will shorten how high you can get, but also work the intended muscle we are aiming for in the side of your hip. Make sure to repeat on both legs.
Calf raises will have you standing on your feet, holding on to a wall or object. Next, you will bring your heels up as high as you can, bringing you to the balls of your feet. You will then slowly lower yourself back onto the ground. This exercise works your ankle muscles which helps to stabilize the area around your knee joint.
Bridging will put yourself either on your bed or bench, lying on your back. You will then bring your feet about 2 feet from touching your butt. This will put your knees in a bent position. Next, you will squeeze your butt and raise your hips up to the sky as high as you can. Make sure to keep your back straight and not arched during the exercise.
Seated Leg Extensions
Seated leg extensions involve you sitting in a chair, with your legs down in front of you. Next, you will straighten your leg out, essentially “kicking” in front of you. You will then, slowly lower you leg back onto the ground, and repeat on the other leg.
Lying Leg Raise
The lying leg raise will put you in the same position that you were in for bridging. Next, you will bring one leg into the air as high as possible, keeping your leg straight the entire time. When you reach the highest position you can go, you will then slowly lower the leg, controlling the muscle and action. Make sure to repeat this exercise on both legs.
All of these exercises are intended to strengthen muscles at or around the knee joint. If there is pain present with any of the exercises, stop doing them immediately. If you find relief with any, try to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of the movement. Keep trying these exercises and you will notice a great recovery from your knee surgeries!
#specialneedsfitness #seniorfitness #iamallstrong #healtheducation #lowimpact #lowimpactworkout #underservedpopulations #socialwork #inclusivefitness