Knee arthritis is due to degeneration of cartilage and results in pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling. In the US alone, millions of people get treatment for knee pain due to arthritis. I’m going to show you a good treatment technique for knee arthritis. This is self-distraction technique to relieve the stress on the joint, open up the joint space, improve knee mobility and helps relieve pain.
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Tools used in this video:
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and herbalist. So I’m going to show you a self-traction technique today for arthritic knees. So if you have arthritis of the knee or degenerative changes in the joint and you have pain associated with activities like walking, standing, going up and down stairs, especially load-bearing activities where when you put pressure on that knee it hurts and there are some degenerative changes of the cartilage causing pain, this technique is helpful, and it’s a self-traction technique where you relieve the compression that’s taking place on that joint. So as you distract or open up that joint space, it can relieve the pain or irritation in that joint. So it’s pretty easy to do and you can do it yourself.
I’m going to use this heavy-duty resistance band, and there are different grades you can use with the amount of force that you require. And for those of you who are able to get down on the floor, because I’m going to show this lying on the floor, you can do it on the floor, but you can also do it lying on your bed or couch as long as you have something you can tie the band to, a surface that’s stable.
You need a couple of things actually that makes it a better technique. This is just a regular foam roller. So what we’re going to do is I’m going to use this. I’m going to loop it around. Make sure you test it before you…make sure it’s nice and stable; it’s not going anywhere. And we use this to isolate the knee a bit more.
Now, let’s say I’m trying to target my right knee. Just to kind of show you what I’m talking about, basically what we’re trying to do is near the joint line, your tibia, the bottom bone, your femur, the top bone. If you have arthritic changes between that joint, we’re essentially trying to distract or open up that joint space. So I’m pulling the bottom bone away from the top bone. This is what I’m trying to do. So it opens up that joint space, stretching out that joint capsule a bit too. So that’s what I’m aiming to do. You can do it with your hands, too, but this makes it a little bit easier if you can hang out in that position a longer period.
Now, I’m going to target my right knee. So when you loop the band around, so I loop it this way and then I’m going to cross it; as I cross it, so now it’s not going to slide off my foot. I use the foam roller so I can isolate the knee so I’m not getting as much pulling coming from the hip or further up in the chain when the band pulls me in that direction. I use my other leg to slide myself back. So the further I go back, the more pull I’m getting.
Now, I can lay down in that position. You can see that there is a slight bit of bend in my knee and I’m getting a fair amount of pull in that direction away from me, and I can again use my other leg, my elbows to slide myself back, and I can hang out right here. And I would recommend hanging out initially for about 30 seconds to about a minute or so just to test it out and see how it feels. And you don’t have to lay down. You could be even up in this position so you can go further and further, get more traction at that joint. As you get comfortable, you find like, “Hey, that feels really good. It relieves a lot of pain and tension or irritation in that joint,” you can hang out for longer periods doing that distraction of that joint. And once you get comfortable, you can increase the amount of force or the amount of pull you’re applying on that knee. So as I said, initially, you go maybe about 50% or so as you’re testing out things, but over the course of days and a couple of weeks you can see how much force feels good or the amount of time you can hang out in that position that gives you the optimal results.So don’t crank on it initially. Work up to it.
So when you get done with your treatment for that session, just slowly roll yourself back so that you ease yourself out of that position. So hang out there for about a minute or so once you get done with the traction, and then you slowly get your foot out of there and you get up and move on. So you don’t let it go as it’s being held in traction. Don’t just let go of the band when you get up. So ease out of that position always.
So, quite an effective technique. Try it out and tell me what you found from that technique. Did it help? Did it not help?
There is lots of info on this site for treating knee injuries. Don’t forget to check our program for faster recovery from knee injuries.
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