I believe many people have had such an experience. When they walk normally, they occasionally feel that their knees are soft and sour. Without any external force, they seem to fall down. This is what we often say in life as “soft legs” and “soft knees”. This is because with the growth of age, the various functions of the body will change more or less, including muscle strength, bone structure and so on. It is easy to degenerate, and sometimes the knee joint has adverse flexion and extension.
Quadriceps femoris, the main strength source of knee joint, if it has atrophy or tendon knot, it will lead to muscle strength decline of thigh, which is the precursor of knee joint degeneration and the early symptom of many knee joint diseases. Long term sedentary, lack of exercise, will lead to muscle atrophy, muscle stiffness contracture, bad posture leads to the appearance of tendons, these will make the stability of the knee joint greatly reduced, in a state of instability, will gradually develop into ligament, meniscus, joint damage, and finally lead to knee osteoarthritis.
Whether it is the treatment of knee disease, or prevention, increasing leg strength is the top priority. If you don’t want to go out for exercise or have limited time, start with the following exercises.
Squatting against the wall
The feet should be the same width as the shoulders. The shoulders, back, waist and buttocks should be close to the wall. The knees should be bent to keep the legs perpendicular to the ground. Generally squat until the legs feel sour, squat position shallow, time can be slightly longer, squat position deep, time can be slightly shorter. Due to the different abilities of individuals, the time can not be regulated uniformly. Generally, it can last 30 seconds to 2 minutes, or even longer.
Note: keep your calves perpendicular to the ground and your knees facing your toes. The lower the squatting position is, the more difficult the movement is, and the better the effect of leg exercise is. It is suggested to exercise step by step from high to low.
Adduction and extension
Sit in a chair, put an empty mineral water bottle between your legs, and clamp your legs inward as far as possible. After reaching the limit, fight for 10 seconds. Then put your hands on the outside of your thighs, abduct your legs and adduct your hands. Fight for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times.
Note: resistance is limited by slight muscle shaking.
Fighting for strength
Sit, cross your heels, extend your lower legs forward, press your upper legs down, fight with each other for 10 seconds, and repeat 20 times alternately.
Note: apply force slowly until the limit.
It should be noted that if the leg is soft frequently, such as every day, or the knee is painful, or it is inconvenient to go upstairs or downstairs, there may be other organic lesions, so we need to see a doctor in time, so as not to delay the diagnosis and treatment opportunity and make the disease worse.
(author: Liu Yang, Department of massage and physiotherapy, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of traditional Chinese Medicine)
What causes knee osteoarthritis?
Age is the most common cause of knee osteoarthritis. Almost everyone will eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis. However, some factors increase the risk of early arthritis.
The ability of cartilage healing will gradually weaken with age.
Weight increases the pressure on the joints, especially the knees. Every 1 kg of weight will add an extra 3 to 4 kg to the knee.
These include genetic mutations that make a person more susceptible to knee osteoarthritis, or genetic abnormalities in the shape of the bone around the knee joint.
Women over 55 years old are more likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis than men.
5. Repetitive stress injury
Usually, people engaged in special occupations need a lot of exercise, which brings great pressure to joints, such as kneeling, squatting or lifting heavy objects (more than 25 kg). Because of the continuous pressure on joints, people engaged in these occupations are more likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis.
Football, tennis, or long-distance running may have a higher risk of arthritis, which means athletes need to take precautions to avoid injury. It should be noted that regular and appropriate exercise can strengthen the joints and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. In fact, weakened muscles around the knee can cause osteoarthritis.
7. Other diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis, which can easily lead to osteoarthritis. Some metabolic disorders, such as iron overload or excessive growth hormone, also have a high risk of osteoarthritis.
(author: Weini Zhang Hong, Department of Rheumatology, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of traditional Chinese Medicine)