Knee Pain? It Could be Your Hips…

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So often when we experience muscle pain or soreness in our joints, our focus goes directly to the source of the pain as we find ourselves attempting various exercises or rehabilitation strategies for our aching body part. Yoga helps shift that symptomatic focus to a holistic approach for taking care of the body. Knee pain is a common ailment that I am approached with regularly by my students. Recent studies at the University of Pennsylvania have shown yoga to be beneficial for osteoarthritis of the knee and for improving gait in people with knee osteoarthritis. For more information on the research being done at Penn’s Complementary and Alternative Medical center click here.

So, what does this have to do with the hips? A recent study at the Running Injury Clinic has demonstrated that it’s not just flexibility but also strength of the hips that is essential for optimal functioning of the knee and lower leg, especially in women. When people with knee and lower leg pain performed three basic hip strengthening exercises targeted towards strengthening the hip abductors, adductors, and flexors everyday for six weeks a marked improvement in knee and lower leg pain was documented by researchers.

How can you put this research to work for you? Yoga poses such as Pigeon, Double Pigeon, Frog, and Baddha Konasana can help with flexibility of the hip, which can in turn improve the functioning of the knee joint. In addition, poses such as twisting lunges, Goddess, and Warrior I strengthen both hip and knee joints together. Finally, to download the basic strength training program from the Running Injury Clinic in a free .pdf click here. As always, don’t hesitate to ask us at MOYO for more information and personalized assistance!

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