Whether you are recovering from a knee injury or just passionate about staying young and healthy, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to keep your knees strong and flexible. The knee is the largest joint in the body and is the most likely to be damaged from excess shock during impact or from osteodegenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis (OA). The destruction of the knee joint over time from repeated wear and tear or the onset of OA is characterized by physical changes that include articular cartilage erosion, loss of synovial fluid, inflammation, muscle weakness and bone hypertrophy. This physiological damage can be partially reversed with proper conditioning and toning of the muscles supporting the joint and stimulation of cellular regenerative processes.
Research has demonstrated that weight loss, diet and exercise can have a positive effect on individuals suffering from OA or knee injuries. One study in particular, observed a 24% increase in joint function with significant improvement in mobility in patients who combined exercise with dietary changes. Recent evidence comparing the results of electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment of the affected knee joint combined with classical physiotherapy exercises or with an integrative yogic approach, points to the efficacy of yoga as a viable therapeutic method.
Adding yoga postures to your exercise regimen can help reduce knee pain, fortify supporting muscles and improve joint mobility. Five key poses performed daily can strengthen quadriceps and hamstrings, relieve physical joint stress, improve flexibility and increase blood flow to keep knees in great shape. View the list with photos and step by step directions on how to perform the yoga poses.
Use this series of yogic exercises daily to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee, improve flexibility and enhance proper skeletal alignment. For more poses that help repair the knee, visit www.yogajournal.com.