Here at My Knee Doc we are firm believers in the old adage that “prevention is better than cure”.
Whilst we can’t always turn back the hands of time and undo the consequences of a life lived to the full, there is now a large body of evidence confirming that exercise can and does help many people manage their knee problems.
We know that people who’ve suffered knee injuries such as ACL tears or cartilage tears can regain a good level of function and even return to high level sports with the right physiotherapy and exercise programs.
There is also growing evidence that the symptoms of knee arthritis and knee pain can be significantly improved by exercise, helping many people avoid major surgery.
Even for our patients who have had surgery the benefits of regular exercise is massive in helping speed up their recovery and get them back doing the things they enjoy.
We understand that it can be difficult to start exercising when your knee is painful and we understand that people can be worried that they are “doing more damage” to their joints. That’s why we believe that getting the right diagnosis early will help many people get the right advice and treatment and potentially avoid the need for surgery.
With this in mind here are 6 top tips from the My Knee Doc clinic founder and specialist knee surgeon Gareth Stables.
- Start small – you don’t have to do much to keep your joints moving and healthy. You are not trying to build muscle bulk or run a marathon A gentle walk, some stretching exercises or a short bout on a cycling machine is better than nothing Too many people get daunted and so don’t get started.
- Consistency – little and often is much better than doing a big session once in a blue moon It takes 30 days to create a habit!
- Accountability – make a bet with yourself and give yourself a reward if you are successful. Better still make a bet with someone else – a friend or family member and if they can exercise with you, so much the better It is much more difficult to put your sessions off if you feel that you are going to let someone else down. This is why personal trainers are so successful.
- Gamify eg Fitbit. This is why Fitbit and Peloton is successful, compete with others and earn rewards
- Do something you enjoy – if you don’t like running, don’t run It may be cycling or yoga – try different things Remember this is for the long haul (you don’t get fat eating one doughnut and you don’t lose weight by eating one salad – any meaningful change takes time), if you are going to continue with this, you have to enjoy it (or at least enjoy the thought of it, you may not enjoy it so much to start with!) Recommended resource - Here’s a great book I read - The Slight Edge - by Jeff Olsen. It connects the principle of compound interest to those everyday decisions like doing some exercise or eating that doughnut!)
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Be aware of what you are eating and don’t feel that doing exercise justifies taking unhealthy snacks.
How can we help?
Here at the My Knee Doc clinic, we aim to put you front and centre of what we do. We have a great team who will listen to you, help you with your knee problem and guide you through your whole treatment journey. We aim to give you the best possible care from the first time we speak to you, perhaps on your 10 minute call, through your initial assessment in the clinic, to your treatment and your follow-up. We won’t just discharge you once your treatment is complete. We have a complete aftercare package which means you always have access to our team of specialists.