Long Live Your Knee Program
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What is the “Long Live Your Knee Program”?
The “Long Live Your Knee Program” is a specialised holistic program designed to improve the pain, function and longevity of osteoarthritic knees.
Osteoarthritis leads to a cycle of changes that cause a downward spiral of pain and function. Pain causes muscle inhibition and negatively affects function of the knee that in turn causes more pain, more inhibition and again a decreased functional state. The poorer the knee is functioning the more accelerated the osteoarthritis becomes. The pain leads to an inability to do exercise that promotes muscular strength and activation, and the cycle continues.
The Long Live Your Knee Program has been specifically developed to interrupt this cycle. Through the use of specialised equipment and programs that have been developed over many years working with osteoarthritic knees, the “Long Live Your Knee Program” improves pain and function of the knee, improves patient ability to maintain general health and well being, and helps to preserve the life of the osteoarthritic knee.
3 Key Features of the “Long Live Your Knee Program”
(1) Quadriceps Strength Endurance
The program uses the reformer, the compex (electrical muscle stimulator) and gym based exercises to rebuild strength endurance in the quadriceps and in particular the vastus medialis. A decline in this area is a major contributor to pain and loss of function in the osteoarthritic knee. Through the specific way we set up the exercise regime, we are able to develop the muscle while limiting the irritation of the joint.
(2) Hip Function
Pain and the associated changes in movement mechanics of the lower limb in patients with an osteoarthritic knee result in a loss of normal hip function including decreased hip extension, decreased gluteus maximus activation and poor lateral hip stabiliser control. Returning hip function is key to improving function and pain outcomes of the osteoarthritic knee.
(3) Patello-femoral Joint
In tibiofemoral osteoarthritis patients, patellofemoral pain is a major cause of their functional limitation. We successfully target this area through a range of soft tissue techniques and by improving the quadriceps and hip muscle function.
(1) Pilates Reformer
The Pilates Reformer allows for a range a modified closed kinetic chain exercises that stimulate a training response without irritating the knee as is often the case with traditional closed kinetic chain exercises. The graded spring system provides the opportunity to accurately increase rehabilitation workloads. The reformer is also very effective at improving the awareness of muscular activation and proprioception.
The Compex is an electric muscle stimulator often used in rehabilitation for elite athletes. The important knee stabiliser – vastus medialis – becomes very wasted and weak in osteoarthritic knees. Using the compex during strengthening is very effective in helping the patient regain activation and strength in this muscle and when used in conjunction with the reformer is extremely effective.
(3) Strength Training
The program incorporates traditional strength training exercises only when the patient is capable and ready. We have a fully a equipped gymnasium and these exercises are gradually incorporated through the program with care as to not overload the joint.
(4) Altered Aerobic Exercise
The program educates patients with regard what is the most effective way for them to achieve aerobic fitness while looking after their knee. Any activity that involves impacting the ground like walking and running is more incline to irritate the knee. We promote the exercise bike and the cybex cross trainer as a great way to build and maintain quadriceps, lubricate the knee and build aerobic fitness. We also educate with regard to swimming and water running being incorporated into fitness plans to offload the overall load on the knee.