Knee Pain and Stiffness–Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Painful, Stiff Knees

Have you been wondering why your knees hurt?  Do you think it’s just “old age” or “arthritis”?

Well, maybe.  But quite probably not.

Some things are hard on knees.  And when knees aren’t happy they complain.  It’s not just pain or stiffness–it’s an actual complaint!  They are yelling at you:  “Hey!  Help me!  I’m not happy!”

Here are some of the most common things that are hard on knees.

*  Twisting is hard on knees.  So are abrupt stops.  This sounds a lot like basketball and football as I have observed it.  However, a basketball player could still keep throwing the ball.  Stretching and throwing overhead are really good for the upper body and heart.

*  Running is hard on knees because of the pounding.  That’s why walking helps–it uses all of the leg muscles without the jarring movements that usually accompany running.

*  If your vehicle seat is high, that’s very Continue reading “Knee Pain and Stiffness–Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Painful, Stiff Knees”

Share

How To Get Rid Of Tight Hamstrings

Hamstring muscles tight?  Want to know how to get rid of the tightness?  Well, this will probably come as a surprise to you.

Your hamstrings aren’t the problem.

Almost always, the problem is that your quadricep muscles in the front of your thigh are too tight.  They are stronger than your hamstrings.

Your ‘tight hamstrings’ are just a symptom.

The muscles in the front of your body are generally about 30% stronger than the muscles in the back.  It’s easy for the bulky front muscles to over-power the back muscles.  That explains lots of back and neck pain, too.

The reason the muscles in the back of your thigh feel tight is Continue reading “How To Get Rid Of Tight Hamstrings”

Share

Get Strong Legs on Your Stairs – How to Use Your Legs Walking on Stairs

Maybe you have knee pain, and maybe you don’t.  Maybe your legs feel weak or maybe they feel “out of balance” or “too tight.”

Your legs were designed to be used in certain ways.  But, lots of times, for all kinds of reasons, we “forget” how we used to climb stairs.  Sometimes, we just “clomp” along, with flat feet.  We “pull” ourselves up, using the handrail.

Sometimes we make our poor knees do all of the work.  Uh oh, not good.

If you learn how to use your legs as they were designed to be used, they will become stronger and feel better.

By the way, if you cannot do this because you have too much knee pain, here are a few tips just for you.

1)  Walk down the stairs backward, while you hold the hand rail.  This uses different leg muscles and might make going down stairs much easier for you.

(2)  Begin a walking program.  Walking properly will strengthen your legs.  Check this article about walking for knee pain.

(3)  Keep reading, because simply knowing the proper way to use your legs and feet might help you immensely!

All you need for getting stronger legs by climbing stairs is…a staircase!  And, your willingness to try.

Here is the technique.

Place one foot on a stair, but don’t pull yourself up with handrail, and don’t lift your body with your knees, and don’t let your feet be flat boards.  There, we got all the “don’ts” out of the way.

Here are the DO’s.

(1)  Do use your feet to raise your body.

(2)  When your foot is on a step, raise your heel.

(3)  Feel your calf muscles work.

Now, only your toe is supporting you on the stair.

If you have to use the handrail or wall for support that’s okay.  But, no pulling yourself on allowed.

(4)  Take a step to the next stair and repeat.  Use your calf muscles and feet to lift yourself up the stairs.

When you use your calves and feet, as they were designed to be used, there is much less stress on your knees.  You will have less leg and knee pain.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

“Because You Deserve to Feel Better!”

Share

Considering Walking for Knee Pain Relief? Walking Will Help Your Knee Pain

I was starting to have “crabby” knees, and decided I had to do something about it.

I remembered working with a man who had severe damage to both knees.  He told me he could walk without pain, even on stairs, as long as he kept the muscles around his knees strong.  He did this with machine weight training.

I thought about him, and decided maybe I could strengthen my legs by walking.

So I began my “serious” walking program, and I have noticed lots of benefits already.  Several are benefits that I wasn’t quite expecting and am very pleased with.

I would have said before that I “walked,” but really, it was more like strolling, stopping to smell the flowers on the way.

So I decided I had better get serious.

I started walking as fast as I could while still able to breathe and talk.  In time, I could walk even farther and faster, with fewer breaks.

I already knew how to let my arms swing from my shoulders (thumbs forward, like shaking hands) and to hold my chest high.  I knew how to “roll” my foot from heel to toe.

So, off I went.

When I started just three weeks ago I had several reasons for walking.

  • I’m going on a hiking trip and wanted to be able to easily keep up.
  • I wanted to strengthen my heart with aerobic activity, but I hate bouncing around.
  • My doctor asks me, “What are you doing for aerobic exercise?”  I always tell her I do massage all day long, but she doesn’t buy it.
  • I wanted to drop a few pounds.

But, most importantly,

  • I wanted my knees to have less discomfort.  I noticed they were starting to be painful and creaky when moving to a standing position from a seat.
  • One day I realized my knees weren’t quite “working right” when I wanted to get up from the floor.  I wanted to; they didn’t.  I didn’t like that, either.

Here are the benefits I have already received from my walking program.

Share

Legs Feeling Weak Or Achey? How Balancing Can Help Your Legs Get Stronger

If your legs feel weak, or achey, here’s a solution for you.

We were built for movement and when we don’t move enough – when we spend too much time in a chair or car – our leg muscles get out of balance and lose strength.  Balance and strength occur when we use our legs. When we use our legs, and they are strong, we feel stable instead of weak.

When your legs are out of balance – some muscles are weaker than others – then you get aches and pains in your legs.  When your muscles are out of balance, they pull on the bones in a different way than they are supposed to.  This causes arthritis.

Some savvy doctors recommend that their older patients take tai chi classes.  Tai chi (pronounced ti-chee) is done standing, and the people who practice it develop strong legs and good balance.

Here’s a simple strengthening movement that you can do at home or anywhere.

Stand near a piece of furniture, like the back of a chair.  Stand close enough so that you can use the chair back as a support for one hand, if you need it.  (And you will probably need it until your balance improves.)

Lift one foot off the ground, and tuck it behind your other calf.

Let go of the chair and try to balance on the foot that is still on the floor.

Keep your hand very close to the chair back in case you need to support yourself.

While you are balancing on one foot, you are using all of the muscles in that foot and leg.  You will notice that the pressure in your foot moves from Continue reading “Legs Feeling Weak Or Achey? How Balancing Can Help Your Legs Get Stronger”

Share

Hip Pain – Can It Be Helped With Strengthening Or Is It Arthritis?

If a doctor looked at an x-ray of any one of us, he or she would say, “Oh, you have arthritis.”
When the doctor can see bony changes in an x-ray, the assumption is that’s the reason for our hip pain as well as any other complaints we have.

Well, maybe.  Maybe not.

We all have changes in our bones and joints that show up on x-rays.  Do we all have pain?

No.

But when a doctor can see something that could be the cause of pain, they usually figure that it is the cause.

“Oh, you just have arthritis.  You will have to live with it.”

Well, maybe.  Maybe not.

Large powerful muscles pass over our hip joint.  These muscles allow us to move our leg.  The hip joint occurs where our thigh bones connect to our pelvic bones.

Those large muscles can get overstretched from crossed-leg positions, overstressed from pressure like sleeping on our sides or car seats pressing on them, or tight from overuse or overstretch.

Your plan is to get back into balance and out of pain.

There are four sides to your hip joint.  Front of your leg, back of your leg, inside of your thigh and outer side of your thigh.  The outside of your thigh–your hip joint–is likely where you feel your pain.

Here’s the plan of attack. Continue reading “Hip Pain – Can It Be Helped With Strengthening Or Is It Arthritis?”

Share

Simple Strengthening Tip #4 – Shin Muscles

Shins?  Why on earth would you need to have strong shins muscles?  Here’s why.

1.  Strong shin muscles create balance between your strong calves and the front of your lower leg.

2.  They help prevent charley-horses, or cramps, in your calves.

3.   They help create balanced posture.  A balanced body has less pain.

4.   And, I can’t say for sure, but it might even help prevent shin splints (a painful condition from overuse.)

It is so easy to get strong shin muscles.

Sit, stand or lay down.  Lift your toes up.  Lift them closer to the front of your knee.

Imagine you are trying Continue reading “Simple Strengthening Tip #4 – Shin Muscles”

Share