Home Exercise and Rehab
Gina John is a Pilates Practitioner and Registered Osteopath who has spent many years offering help and advice, especially to the over 50 age group.
She is founder of The Osprey Clinic in the St. Johns Wood area of London and now specialises in Home Exercise and Rehabilitation Programmes. For further advice on exercising safely, and a selection of exercise films for general fitness and medical conditions, visit the website: www.home-exercise-rehab.com
This month Gina looks at sore knees and tight lower back.
It’s best to avoid bending and compressing your knee and ankle joints excessively, while gardening by kneeling rather than squatting. It is best to kneel down so that your knee joints are held at about a 90 degree angle. Particularly after knee replacement surgery or if you suffer with arthritis in the knees, it is important to avoid bending back the knee further, during any activity.
In order to prevent bruising or irritating the ligaments around the knee, always kneel on a pillow.
Clergyman’s or Parson’s Knee is another bursa inflammation or ‘bursitis’, caused by kneeling, which affects the ‘infra-patellar bursa’. It is an inflammation the bursa located just below the knee cap, between the skin and the tendon of the thigh muscle (patellar tendon) which attaches to the lower leg (tibia).
When bending forwards in the kneeling position while gardening, the muscles at the front of the hips and thighs as well as the muscles which attach behind the knees will have to contract forcefully, to hold this posture. Especially after hip replacement surgery or if you suffer with arthritis in the hips, the front of the joint will become extremely tight in holding this forward bent position.
Hip and Front of Thigh Stretch
Back of leg and knee stretch
When bending forwards to tend to your plants, you will be stretching the deep ligaments and muscles which run along the spine as well as causing other back muscles to contract forcefully.
The following exercises will help to relieve tension in the tight back muscles and should be done after gardening and on waking the next day.
Back Stretch Exercise
If your balance and flexibility is good, you can achieve a deeper stretch for your back and legs with the following exercise:
Roll Down at the Wall Exercise
Please send your questions for future columns, or feedback, by email to Gina John on email@example.com
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