Do you experience knee pain when the weather is about to change?
For years, the knee I injured long ago while playing sports would start to ache before it would rain. Much to my delight, despite all the rain we received in Southern California, this year was different. I had no achiness, even with all the changes to barometric pressure that I often associated with knee pain.
This piqued my curiosity. What had changed?
I had made two clever adjustments to my regular exercise this past year. Consequently, I believe they prevented my weather-related knee pain from recurring!
Firstly, I did Chair Pose twice a day for 2 minutes. This pose strengthens the quadriceps of the front thigh. This, in turn, helps lift the kneecap, thereby making space in the knee joint.
If you’re not used to doing this pose, start by holding for 10 seconds. As it gets easier, slowly increase the time and work up to holding for 2 minutes to build strength. As a result, your legs and your knees will thank you!
Secondly, I began walking around barefoot at home. In the past, I used to wear slippers in the morning and at night to warm my cold feet. Then one day, I slipped. After analyzing why that happened, I came to the conclusion that I needed to feel my toes on the ground in order to improve my balance and sense of stability.
What I didn’t realize until this week is that going barefoot improved arthritic pain by 12% among 75 people with osteoarthritis (Source: Reader’s Digest; Study by the Rush University Medical Center). One of my students had just given me the article on this!
This finding made sense to me. After all, a quarter of our bones are in our feet. They are meant to articulate, flex and extend. But this is hard to accomplish when we’re wearing shoes all the time! As with every other area of the body, movement of the feet is essential to their proper function and form.
Furthermore, walking with bare feet recruits the ankles in important ways for balance and stability. In addition, strong feet and ankles can also better carry the weight of gravity upon our structures, which offloads some of the burden from our knees and hips.
Give it a try!
If rainy weather knees have been persistent in your life’s story, I trust that thoughtfully integrating Chair Pose and time with bare feet will save you some pain next time precipitation is in the forecast.
Wishing you strong, healthy knees,
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Online Workshop: Yoga Therapy for the Knees
If you suffer from knee pain or instability or are trying to delay a knee replacement, Yoga can help! In this Workshop, Justine Shelton, AVI Certified Viniyoga Therapist, C-IAYT, will cover common knee issues and injuries. Justine will also provide specific Yoga poses that can help strengthen your knee joint, reduce pain and bring back mobility. In addition, she will discuss and demonstrate alignment do’s and don’ts in creative and experiential ways. Lastly, she shares a one-hour Yoga Therapy practice for the Knees. Without doubt, Justine is very knowledgeable about this subject because she had many knee injuries and surgeries herself as a result of her time as a Division 1 Collegiate Basketball Player.
CREDITS: Author, Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist
Co-Author, Susana Jones, Certified Yoga Therapist
Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor