Resistance Bands: Use Them For Better Joint Health

Hi my favorite readers! Resistance bands are cheap, convenient, and beneficial for getting or maintaining knee functioning. I still use them, seven years post-tkr. They are an easy way to get a workout no matter where you are. Just put one or two in a purse, backpack, luggage piece, or other item to have access whenever needed.

I was introduced to these workout marvels during my tkr recuperation process, as you likely were. If you are not familiar with these exercise tools, read further to learn why you need to add these marvels to your fitness routine. As usual, always consult with your medical care provider before starting any new exercise regime.

Side note: While going through physical therapy, I noticed different colored bands tied around the parallel bars. It turns out that these bands were known as resistance bands. They were in bright colors and I stated I wanted a red one. “This isn’t a fashion show, Marie,” is what I heard. The physical therapist then went on to tell me that different colors signify different strengths. Who knew? Not me..

rubber bands

* One exercise involves putting the band around your knee area. Wrap the band around a sturdy table leg or stationary bar. Tie the two band ends together. When done properly, the band will form a circle, with your knee in one side and the stationary item in the other.The band may start bunching together around the knee. Just flatten it out. Pull your leg out sideways. Start out slowly and gradually increase repetitions.

* Another variation involved working your glutes (or butt) and hamstrings. Instead of moving your leg out sideways, move it towards the backside of your body. Keep your knee as straight as possible. Slowly return to the original position. Rest for a few seconds. Repeat. Do the same with your opposite (“good”) leg, if desired.

* Here is a seated exercise that has always worked well for me. Try it!:
Sit on a firm chair with both legs firmly on the ground. Put both ankles inside the band circle. Separate your legs and hold for five seconds. Slowly return to the original position. Rest for a few seconds. Repeat this maneuver five times, or whatever is recommended by your medical care professional. When done correctly, you will feel the tension in your outer knee and leg area.

* For the arms: I have found them useful, also, in arm exercises. Simply place your hands inside the band circle. Pull your hands apart until a good stretch is felt. Hold for five or six seconds. Slowly return to the original position. Relax for 15 seconds. Repeat 10 times. And, the bands don’t have a chance to bunch up like they do in the knee exercises.

Here is a link to the American Council on Exercise (ACE Fitness) site that contains a wealth of information about using resistance bands for an efficient workout:

ACE Fitness Rubber Band Workout

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She is currently 61 years of age, height-weight proportionate, engaged in a healthy lifestyle, and is proud to be medication free. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Happy Labor Day 2013!

Hi my favorite readers. Today is the first Monday in September. This means that it is set aside as Labor Day in the United States. Dating back to 1894, the year Congress passed an act that legally made this a holiday.

The holiday is intended to give workers a chance to relax. The day of celebration was originally developed by the labor movement. The day was set aside as a tribute to specifically show appreciation for the dedication, economic, and social accomplishments the American workforce has made toward the government’s overall success.

Accordingly to this year’s industry statistics, an estimated 45% of the population will be working. (Just thought I’d throw that in.)

Enjoy and be safe!

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Colds & A TKR

I recently received a good question from one of my readers that I thought others may like to hear my experience about. The question involved whether having an upper respiratory virus can affect your tkr.

It was about six months after my tkr. Usually, I didn’t get many colds. Due to my immune system being compromised, though, I came down with symptoms resembling a severe cold or upper respiratory ailment. I found out, after the fact, that I was sharing a food container with someone who was incubating a cold. Could have kicked the guy when I found that out. My BAD cold lasted for two weeks. After the first three days, I called the doctor since it was so unusual. Plus, as tkr recipients, we all know the importance of not getting an infection.

When my symptoms didn’t clear in three to four days, I contacted the doctor. Having a cold, period, was unusual…let alone one lasting so long. I spoke with the nurse and was told that if the symptoms still existed in two weeks, see the doctor. Otherwise, rarely does a cold lead to an infection.

That was my situation…yours may be different. Personally, I would recommend contacting your doctor at the first sign of concern.

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Another Benefit of Isometrics After a TKR

A couple of posts earlier, I mentioned how isometrics involving the buttocks was a suggested exercise prior to undergoing a total knee replacement. It helps strengthen the muscles to aid you during your tkr recuperation process. It goes without saying that we need all the help we can get. 😕

Anyways, I have come up with an additional reason to do this exercise. I “discovered” it when experiencing my pain due to nerve damage. Here’s how it goes….

When my nerve is kicking out the pain, I do my buttock isometric exercise. Why? It turns out to be a great counter irritant. 🙂 That means that it eases the nerve pain due to emphasizing the feeling of tightening my butt muscles. It’s cool….

As another example of a counter irritant, I’ll use the popular remedy known as Ben Gay. Ben Gay is known as a counter irritant since it causes the skin to tingle so tremendously that one forgets about the joint pain (the symptom they are trying to ease). Instead of the joint pain being an irritant, as usual, the skin tingling takes precedence. 🙂 Due to this, one thinks that the joint pain is gone. I hope I’m explaining this well.

Anyways, I am pleased to know that my all-natural approach to smacking my nerve pain can be done by using my butt muscles (or, “glutes” as fitness folks like to say).

I’ll stop patting my back now, it’s hurting.

Hope this helps someone else going through the same irritation of having nerve damage pain while recuperating from a total knee replacement.

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Regret a Total Knee Replacement?

Hi my favorite readers! I have been asked by a few people lately if I ever regret having a total knee replacement.  They see how slow I am going up and down stairs, how difficult it is for me to get up from low seating positions, how swollen my knee still is, and how I look in pain sometimes.

My answer is plain and simple: NO!!!

The fact that I can walk now without pain is in and of itself enough for me to be happy. Plus, I don’t carry crutches around with me while fearing my knee will lock up at any time.

Total knee replacement surgery is well worth the difficulties that going through the long, lengthy recuperation process entails.

Besides, I can proudly state that I am now a partially bionic woman. :)  Plus, I have something in common with Bobby Orr (whom I had a high school crush on).  🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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