Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Knee Strengthening Exercises

How to strengthen knees

A lot of people are searching the internet looking for Knee Strengthening Exercises.

Well they’ll have to search a long way because you can’t strengthen your knees, only the muscles around them.

I can tell you one thing though; the exercise that helped restore better function to my knees was the leg extension exercise.

A few years ago, every time I walked up stairs my knees would ’give’ a bit. I’m thinking, ’John, you’re getting old - blame old age.’

I discussed it with Harry, master trainer at my gym and he said it wasn’t age it was a lack of strength and recommended squats, but done with this particular machine.
He specifically recommended the squat machine rather than the seated leg press.

He suggested 3 sets of 12 repetitions, starting off with a lightweight for the first set and then moving higher for the next two sets.

I’m mighty pleased with the results. All fixed, but I have to keep doing them. I go to the gym three times a week.

I recommend you do the same.

I do this exercise with the leg curl, three sets of 10, gradually increasing the weights for each set.

Some people will definitely benefit from calf raises.

Some will benefit from exercises to keep the legs in alignment.

You can get these exercises from - along with exercises for a number of other musculo-skeletal dysfunctions.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and get a regular and systematic routine to strengthen the muscles around your legs.

John Miller

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Is Sciatica And How Is It Treated

Are You Looking for relief from sciatica?

You’re experiencing pain or ‘deadness’ on a part of your leg.

You’ve got and electrical interference problem.

Call an electrician!

You’ve got sciatica.

The cause of your problem is that your sciatic nerve is being trapped.

If the bones of your lower back are out of alignment and a disc has herniated then it may be the case that the disc is pressing on your sciatic nerve and causing the electrical interference.

On the other hand it could be the case that the sciatic nerve is being trapped by some of the muscles it passes through on the way from your spine down to your leg. It’s usually the piraformis muscle that’s the culprit.

If the entrapment of the nerve is occurring somewhere in your lower back you can have an operation to slice off a bit of the disc. It’s a quick surgical fix. You’ll be in pain for a while. It could cost you anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000 depending on where you have it done.

If it’s a last resort the go for it. However you’d want to move heaven and earth to avoid it. That means a regular and systematic flexibility training program designed to get your body back in alignment.

The better solution is to take the exercise option with a view to getting the bones of your lower back into alignment so pressure is taken off the disc and it stops hitting the sciatic nerve.

With exercises it could take days, weeks or months depending on the severity of the problem. Keep in mind though that it didn’t happen over night and you can’t expect someone to wave a magic wand and have it disappear in a couple of minutes.

If the sciatic nerve is being trapped by the piraformis muscle you’ll need to untrap it and the best way to do this is with a set of stretching exercises.

In a good proportion of cases the exercises will do the trick, but don’t bet on it.

You could get relief, but not total relief. However if could relieve the pain by 80% you’d probably be happy with that and just put up the inconvenience of the odd twinge or dull ache now and then.

Exercises for sciatica

There are a number of exercises to relieve sciatica, some aimed at getting your pelvis and the bones above it back in better alignment and others to loosen off the piraformis muscle.

Surgery for sciatica pain

If the sciatica is caused by the entrapment of the sciatic nerve by the piraformis muscle there is the surgical option. For some people it will be as a first resort; believe it or not there are people either too lazy, too busy or too rich to do the exercises. For others it will be the last resort. After doing the exercises religiously for six months they’re still in acute pain.

I recall watching a hip surgery operation on TV a couple of years ago and just before the patient was sewn up the surgeon checked to see whether the sciatic nerve had a clear passage through the sciatic nerve. How thoughtful and at no extra cost!

I’d be optimistic that with the right set of sciatica exercises to relieve pain you should soon be on the way to recovery.

Regards and best wishes for a pain free life.

John Miller

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