Hip, Knee & Leg EBook - US

Step 3: Improve Your Joint Stability (cont.)

How physical therapy helps your joint stability Physical therapists are experts in treating hip and knee problems. They have years of medical training in examining how the body moves. By evaluating your joint movement, muscle strength, coordination and stability, we can pinpoint the root cause of your problem. For example, discovering that you have a weakness around the outer hip muscles, we can thenmake a plan to performspecific hands on therapy and exercises to target that problem area. As a result, your body’s natural movements are restored, alleviating pain and improving your ability to performdaily activities. How to improve your joint stability • Work on simple exercises to increase the strength and stamina of your leg and hip muscles. These include exercises to strengthen your abdominals, hip, pelvic, thigh and calf muscles. A physical therapist can teach you the proper exercises to do for your particular condition. • Practice going up and down on your tip toes while gently holding on for support. This helps to strengthen the calf muscles and works on your balance at the same time. • Keep your knees lined up behind your torso when you bend or squat. This will help to use your proper legmuscles and reduce strain on your knees. • Performexercises that involvemultiple joints at one time. For example, instead of just performing exercises to extend your knee, try step ups, lunges or squats within your comfort range. • Improve your balance. Performing balance exercises increases your ability to engage your knee and hip muscles properly.

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