Nebraska Physical Therapy_3 Steps to Healthy Knees

Nebraska Orthopaedic Newsletter

Live knee pain free Find out 3 easy steps to feel better

INSIDE: 3 Easy Steps To Healthy Knees Improve Sports Performance

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3 Easy Steps To Healthy Knees Nebraska Orthopaedic Newsletter Patient Success Story

“Getting back to independent living following my shoulder surgery would not have been possible without the exceptional therapy services and home exercise program offered by Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.” - Barbara

For many people, knee pain can be a way of life, limiting their ability to climb stairs, squat down to get something off the floor, enjoy long walks, shopping and a host of other daily activities. The knee joint is one of the most complicated joints in the body and has to bear up to 6 times your body weight with running or jumping. This incredible joint has to move over a million times each year and over 80 million times over a lifetime. This is also the reason why things can go wrong, causing injury and pain. Just like taking care of your heart, your joints need attention to maintain a healthy state. Here are easy ways for you to take care of your knees, avoiding arthritis and other joint problems: Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps and adductor muscles each day. By keeping these muscles flexible, the forces on your knee joints can be balanced, allowing your joint to bend, rotate and for your patella (kneecap) to track properly. Keep the muscles around your hips and knees strong. Especially the gluteals and quadriceps muscles. Studies show that those adults, especially over 55 who have stronger gluteals and quadriceps, tend to have less back pain and more ability to do daily activities. Exercise regularly. While this is good for the whole body, the knees especially need exercise to keep their cartilage healthy. The cartilage does not have much blood supply and requires its nutrition from joint fluid. Most of the joint fluid absorbs into the cartilage only through movement and compression of the knee. Therefore, it is important to do weight bearing exercise such as walking, running and other sports. However, if you have arthritis, it is advised to do less impact activities such as biking, elliptical machines, aquatic exercises, etc. Having a regular medical checkup ensures that your joints are working at their peak performance. In addition, any problems will be discovered early, preventing the onset of arthritis and joint injury. If you do have arthritis or have had surgery, then a regular medical check up is especially important. If your attention is on that sore knee, then it is time you called us for a knee joint analysis. Talk to one of our medical professionals today and see how much better life can be with freely moving knees.

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Sports Performance I M P R O V I N G Whether you are a high school athlete or just like to exercise for fun, improving your body’s ability to exercise is a good challenge. While there are many different ways to train for your particular sport, including nutrition, we are going to focus on improving your joint performance and stability. This will allow you to run longer, cut faster, and throw better.

Joint Stability Improve your sports ability through joint stability. When a joint is more stable, muscles can function better. For knees, ankles and hips try balance exercises on uneven surfaces such as foam or a folded towel. Try standing on one leg while doing small knee bends. Joint Flexibility Joints need to be flexible in order to move through their proper range and allow muscles to pull correctly. For many people who are runners, stretching must be done every day to maintain muscle and tissue elasticity. Dynamic stretching is often best, where the stretch is done in a moving fashion, such as in Yoga. This is different than a prolonged stretch.

Joint Strength Incorporate strengthening exercises into your sports routines. This is especially important for runners and weekend warriors. A little strengthening exercise can go a long way to prevent sports injuries and soreness. The stronger your muscles are around your joints, the better ability you have to play and avoid injury. Joint Coordination You have an inherent sense of where your joints are in space (proprioception) and how they are moving in space (kinesthetic sense). This allows your brain to coordinate the muscle movements around your joints. By improving your balance and coordination with specific exercises, you greatly reduce the chance of injury and will enhance your sports performance.

If you would like to enhance your ability to run, play sports and prevent injury, then talk to one of our specialists today.

Staff Spotlight

With busy work schedules, a busy toddler, and a busy life in general with a new baby, family time is something that my wife, McKenzie and I try to cherish when we can. Our family loves to go to the zoo to get some quality time together. Our oldest, Lillian, is much like me and likes to move around…a lot. So exploring the Omaha zoo is a great fit for us. Every time we go to the zoo, Lillian insists we go to the aquarium first. Funny story about the aquarium: when she was about 3 weeks old, on her first trip to the zoo, McKenzie stopped to feed her in the tunnel of the aquarium. Ever since that day, and still yet today, Lillian MUST have a snack in the tunnel of the aquarium. I am not sure how that stuck, but I get the snack ready as soon as we enter the aquarium knowing she will be asking for it as soon as we hit the tunnel. She also loves to go over to the jellyfish tanks and try to “pop” the jellyfish through the glass. We get to hear all of her animal noises as we pass each animal, and there aren’t many things in the zoo that she doesn’t have something to say about. We still aren’t sure why the bear statues near the polar bears are wearing their PJ’s, but she will ask us anyways. According to Lillian, the zoo needs a panda bear and a koala bear to be complete- but I don’t know if she is koala-fied to make those suggestions. Oliver isn’t quite old enough to enjoy the zoo completely, but we are excited to continue to go as a family as they get older and make more memories there together. We are so thankful Omaha has such a great zoo and can’t wait to see what more they add to it.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

INGREDIENTS • 2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats • ½ cup of ground flax seed • 1 tablespoon of black chia seeds • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon • ½ cup of raw honey • ½ cup of peanut butter • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder • ½ cup of dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Add rolled oats, ground flax seed, chia seeds, cinnamon, honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and vanilla protein powder to food processor. 2. Pulse until ingredients are blended (about 7-9 times). 3. Add mixture to a large bowl, add in chocolate chip. Stir to combine. 4. Form energy bite mixture into 1” balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. 5. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2 hours. 6. Serve! Author: Krista @ https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/no-bake-chocolate-peanut-butter-energy-balls/

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