Knee pain is a degenerative disease of the joints which commonly affects older adults. Severity of knee pain may result in risk factors such as osteoarthritis and disability. Osteoarthritis is a primary reason of pain as it limits the range of motion and loss of joint movement in adults, it commonly affects the knee. Knee pain is characterised by pain, swelling and stiffness.
Getting rid of knee pain through yoga
Yoga is an ancient Indian science and way of life that talks about the origins of diseases. It describes the mechanism of suppressed emotions that filter gradually into the physical body and manifest as diseases. Yoga is advancing as an effective therapeutic tool in physical and psychological disorders. Yoga offers relaxation components that help with the reduction of pain, it improves strength and balance. It is recommended to engage in moderate physical activity as can reduce the risks of arthritis related disability. Yoga is gentle and adaptable to the needs and limitations of the older adults.
Knee pain is mainly caused by the activation of fibres associated by pain in the joint ligaments and capsules and also decreased muscle spasm and decreased muscular stamina. The experience of pain is associated with key processes that include cognitive and behavioral factors. The recognition of the power of yoga in dealing with knee pain has been gaining popularity in recent years because of its integrated approach which helps in dealing with the pain from different levels which include: breathing; behavioural change through emotional engagement with an individual which then induces lifestyle changes; intellectual introspection; meditation and physical practises that help relieve pain at the joint level.
A Growing body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of physical activities involved in yoga in improving muscle mobility, strength, flexibility and coordination in individuals that are affected by knee pain. Yoga is more effective because of creating a meditative body awareness that helps position the body correctly in space at rest and during movement. The other factor that contributes to the effectiveness of yoga in pain management is its stress reducing effect through meditation.
According to a research conducted by Ebnezer and Cheung, yoga helps to get rid of knee pain through different techniques such the ones highlighted below:
Loosening and strengthening practices-
these are repetitive rhythmic stretches and movements. It is a safe practice used to mobilize and strengthen targeted muscles. Exercises are a core aspect for a person with knee pain as they improve strength, physical function and joint tenderness. Yoga has been clinically used as a therapeutic intervention for improving strength, posture, balance and flexibility in older adults. Yoga is effective in getting rid of knee pain as it can be practised at home safely without supervision. Exercises enhance and maintain muscle strength, physical strength and overall health.
is a physical form of yoga that reduces pain and stiffness associated with knee pain. It re-aligns the skeletal structure and strengthens muscles around joints. Yoga helps the knee’s functional status without increasing pain, yoga delays the development of osteoarthritis and boosts the cartilage tissue, through staying active muscles are properly conditioned and weight which burdens the knees is shed off through exercising.
yoga uses supportive props and strictly designed sequences of postures to address an individual specific medical issue. The concept of yoga is that it should not irritate the nervous system. Physical posture strengthens knee joints and has effortless maintenance. Yoga has the potential to be effective in the reduction of knee pain. Physical exercises such as Squatting and lunging can potentially reduce exposure to high knee adduction moments and consequently reduce knee pain by improving the knee extensor strength. The two mechanisms need high activation amplitudes of quadriceps muscle with minimal KAM. Relaxation technique– they help with the reduction of pain and anxiety. Massage, relaxation techniques such as rhythmic respiration, listening to music as is gives a calming effect and increased sense of well-being and cold compresses are most preferred methods of decreasing pain.
this breathing technique is characterised by regulated breathing while the mind directs the flow of breath. It promotes balance through the mastery over the mind
is defined by Patanjali as an effortless flow of a single thought in the mind without distractions. This has shown to provide physiological benefits, the mindful nature of Hatha yoga provides the benefits of relaxation and reduces the activity of stress system that may help decrease pain sensitivity and induce analgesic efforts.
Lectures and counselling–
yogic concepts of health and diseases that help understand the need for lifestyle change, weight management and prevention of early aging by yogic self-management of psychological stress as this would make an impact on the rate of lower limp disability.
This form of yoga mechanism focuses on muscle strength, flexibility and relaxation with a special emphasis on alignment of body structures. The main advantage of iyengar is that it is easy and it can be practised by all because it has props that assist participants to achieve recommended body positioning and it gives a proper sequence of postures which is important for successful yoga intervention.
The External Knee Adduction Moment (KAM)-
This technique deals with load distribution at the knee. Exercise regimes that utilise this mechanism help in reducing knee pain and disease progression by minimising the KAM exposure. Examples of recommended techniques that reduce the KAM exposure include walking barefoot, body centre of mass alignment over the foot bearing the body weight during single leg stances, externally rotating the foot and reducing gait speed.
Researchers’ concluded that yoga and physical therapy yields more positive effects than physical therapy alone. Yoga is one of the least harming sports with proven positive effects in treatment of chronical conditions. Yoga results in improved strength and flexibility which can be beneficial in dealing with some musculoskeletal ailments such as knee pain.