Get Your Hip and Knee Joints Moving Again with These 5 At-Home Exercises

Are your hips and knees feeling stiff, achy, or even painful? Noticing more discomfort in your joints when standing up and moving around? If so, you’re not alone.

This quarantine has taken a toll on many people’s bodies, as it has become much more difficult to maintain the same levels of physical activity at home. However, getting exercise is still very important – especially for your hips and knees!

Your hips and knees were made to move, and when we sit around without exercising them, they can lock up, become tight, and result in discomfort. You may be wondering how you can get the same workouts in your lower extremities without gym equipment – well, we’ve got you covered! Follow the exercises below for both relief and prevention for hip and knee pains – and, as always, if you have any questions about these exercises, don’t hesitate to call or message us.

5 exercises to stretch and strengthen the lower extremities

  • Hip Circles Hips bothering you while stuck at home? Try some Hip Circles! This easy-to-do exercise is exactly what it sounds like – simply lie on your side, raise your top leg and rotate your hip in a circular motion. Then, switch to the opposite direction. Begin by doing 3 reps of 10 with both legs – your hips will be feeling better in no time!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/354635534/ed456c310a 

  • Straight Leg Raise. When stuck at home, sedentary tendencies can cause the knees and hips to lock up, resulting in pain. Get those joints moving again with a Straight Leg Raise. Simply lay flat on the ground and lift your legs until they are straight in the air at a 90 degree angle with the rest of your body. Repeat 3 reps of 10 for both legs. Bonus – this also works your abs!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/253319361/385e6397da 

  • Hip External Rotation Stretch. This is a great stretch for targeting both your hip and knee joints. Begin by sitting on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you. Then, bend one knee across the opposite leg and push down on said knee with your hand – you should feel this stretch in both your hips and knees! Repeat these directions on both sides to get a full stretch.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/396686977/03443a1dcc

  • Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch. If you are looking for a deep stretch, this is the one for you. Kneel on a mat or soft surface. Make sure you’re positioned so your right knee is straight up and the bottom of your right foot is flat on the floor. Extend your left leg behind you so the top of your left foot is flat on the floor. Begin to shift your weight forward and stop when you begin to feel the stretch in your hip. Hold for 30-45 seconds, then switch legs.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/313249747/fc2b99416b 

  • Standing Hip Flex. This one will surely get your blood pumping! Begin by standing up straight and then lift your right knee up in a 90 degree angle in front of you. Then, rotate your leg sideways while keeping that same position by shifting your hip muscles. Hold this position and then slowly rotate your hips back to the front and place your foot back down, flat on the ground. Repeat these same instructions with your left knee, completing 3 reps of 10 on each side. 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/398211318/e408af2c5c

Questions?

Looking for more assistance with these exercises? No problem! If you have any questions about how to perform these exercises or add more into your daily routine, call or message Therafit at any time. We are here to help you remain active, safe, and healthy at home!

Get Back to Comfort with These Back Exercises – All of Which You Can Do at Home!

Are you feeling back pain after being quarantined to your home? You may be wondering, “Why is this? I’ve barely left the couch!” Well, therein lies the issue.

The sedentary lifestyle that I’m sure many people have experienced since being quarantined to their homes can actually lead to more aches, pains, and discomfort than one may think – especially in the back.

Your body, quite simply, was made to move! With gyms and exercise classes closing down for the time being, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get your daily physical activity while sitting at home. Luckily, there are several easy exercises you can do on your own to relieve your back pain and get moving! 

Always exercise and stretch within your comfort zone. Never push into pain and if you are unsure of doing any of the exercises below, simply consult your physical therapist first.

6 exercises to stretch those back muscles:

  • Lumbar Rotation Stretch in Lying. Back giving you troubles? Try a Lumbar Rotation Stretch in Lying. Lying sideways with your top knee bent and bottom knee straight, gently rotate your torso so your head is facing the opposite direction of your legs. Hold the stretch and then switch sides. This will stretch out your back and get you feeling comfortable once again!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/333092920/1dbb30daae

  • Bird Dog (Leg Slide). With major businesses shutting down, we know how disappointing it is to not be able to attend the weekly yoga classes you enjoy so much. Fortunately, you can bring the same yoga stretches to your own home. Begin on the floor with your knees bent beneath you and your hands flat in front of you, so your back is flat toward the ceiling. Stretch your left arm out in front of you and your right leg out behind you, so your toes are pointing down at the ground. Hold this stretch and then repeat on the opposite side, with your right arm and your left leg. The Bird Dog (Leg Slide) exercise is great at targeting the back muscles to give you that relieving stretch you’re looking for! 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/371130374/85ad5de4ee

  • Hip Bias Lunges (Back Heel Down). Who doesn’t love a good lunge? This is a great exercise to get you moving. As a bonus, it not only targets your back but also focuses on your knee muscles. Begin standing in a slight lunge position with one leg slightly bent out in front of you and the other leg straight behind you. Lean your torso forward so it is almost in a 90 degree angle with the floor (this will cause your back leg to bend, as well). Hold this stretch and continue reps on the side you are on, then switch sides repeating the same steps.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/391227766/dc90917bdc 

  • Standing Hip Abduction 45 Degree Angle Back Arom. This exercise may have a lengthy name, but we promise it’s not that difficult! For this exercise, you will need a chair or something else to steady yourself. Stand with your left hand on the back of the chair and place your right hand on your hip. Keeping your back straight and face forward, slowly kick your back leg out behind you until you feel the stretch in your back. Continue a few reps and then switch sides, placing your left hand on your hip and kicking your left leg out behind you. Make sure to always keep the opposite hand on the chair to steady yourself. 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/285854056/0165cea4f4

  • Standing Shoulder Flex/Hip Extension With Back Arch (Wall). Another exercise that has a lengthy name but is very easy to do! For this exercise, you will begin standing with your hands outstretched directly in front of you on a wall. In a fluid “swinging” motion, extend your right arm and left leg behind you so your back is arched, then bring them both toward the wall. Continue doing this in fluid motions. After a few reps, repeat this exercise on the other side of your body, with your left arm and right leg.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/394420569/71808708d0

  • Neural Mobility SLR (Outward Turn). Looking for a great way to stretch your back, legs, and glutes at the same time? This exercise is for you! Begin by laying down on your back with both arms clasped around your right hamstring. Raise that leg in the air, keeping the left one bent with your feet flat on the ground. Flex your right foot that is in the air so that the bottom of your foot is flat facing the ceiling, then point that foot so that your toes are straight up toward the ceiling. Then, slowly bring that leg back down to a bent position between your hands. Continue for a few reps and then switch legs, repeating the same steps.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/370059225/1087fe3a40

Questions?

If you have any questions about any of these exercises or if you are looking for more ways to relieve back pain during the quarantine, call or message Therafit at any time. We want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while also staying active at home!

5 Quick Tips for Less Pain and More Energy

Millions of individuals live with varying degrees of pain while also experiencing limited amounts of energy. There are several quick and effective ways you can increase your energy levels while reducing pain. Incorporating physical therapy into your regular routine is one way to limit pain. Call Therafit Physical Therapy for more information regarding the use of physical therapy for pain relief.

1. Change Your Diet

What you eat can have an enormous impact on how much pain you experience and the amount of energy you have throughout the day. There are several foods that can help reduce pain and inflammation while also raising energy levels.

  • Cherries – Eating cherries is a delicious way to increase antioxidant levels, which can reduce inflammation and inhibit pain.
  • Ginger – The ginger plant, which is often used as a spice, can help reduce migraine pain, muscle achiness and nausea.
  • Salmon – This wonder food provides omega-3 fatty acids that aid in reducing neck, back and joint pain.
  • Hot Peppers – Even a half-teaspoon of powdered pepper each day may help reduce arthritis pain.

2. Check Your Mattress

You spend approximately one-third of your time sleeping. This means the quality of your mattress can affect how you feel during your waking hours. While it used to be believed that a firm mattress was usually better for those suffering from most types of pain, you’re now recommended to choose a mattress according to your sleep style.

  • Firm Mattress – Those who sleep on their back may feel better with a medium to firm mattress.
  • Soft Mattress – Side sleepers generally will want to try a softer mattress.
  • Memory Foam – Individuals who tend to toss and turn and sleep in a variety of positions should try a memory foam mattress.

3. Boost Natural Endorphins

Exercise can release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the body that can naturally reduce pain. It may seem more difficult to exercise while experiencing achy joints and muscles, but even a moderate amount of physical activity can help you feel better long after your workout is over. Other ways to naturally release endorphins include listening to your favorite music, eating chocolate and smelling the soothing scent of lavender.

4. Reduce Stress

Stress can contribute to both emotional anxiety as well as physical pain. You need to have several quick stress-busters in your bag of tricks to reduce anxiety whenever it pops up. A warm bath is a quick way to instantly soothe aching muscles and joints while calming your nerves. Even simple breathing techniques can limit pain and energize your body. Take two or three deep breaths, and then slowly release them. Always make sure to breathe through your nose to get the most benefits.

5. Visit a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy can do wonders for addressing pain and limited energy. A trained physical therapist can offer several types of methods to not only provide pain relief for symptoms but to treat the source of your pain. Some of the specific treatments a therapist might use include the following:

  • Heat or Cold Therapy – Heat can warm tendons and muscles so they move easier. Ice can reduce inflammation.
  • Massage Therapy – A physical therapist can massage and manipulate specific joints and muscles to reduce pain.
  • Aquatic Therapy – Water can stimulate nerves and provide resistance for exercise and strength training.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound produces sound waves that can assist in blocking pain signals to the brain.

Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing while providing an energy boost. Contact our Fayetteville or Hazel Green office today to find out how physical therapy can be part of helping you enjoy a pain-free life!

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