Monday, August 26, 2019

Knee Replacements: Prepare For and Recover From – How POLES Help

From Consumer Reports onHealth newsletter (excerpted):   Knee replacements are on the rise.  The rate among adults 45 to 64 more than doubled between 1997 and 2009…and the numbers will probably keep climbing.   …predict that 6.5 million adults will be diagnosed over the next decade with knee osteoarthritis, the main reason for the surgery.

  • Use POLES!  Stay strong and active. 
  • Avoid using a cane which puts you into a seriously uneven gait and can cause compensation injury.  Use a cane if you need to, but using poles provides a much more natural, fluid gait.
  • You might find you can delay surgery; I’ve known people who have avoided the “let’s put you under the KNIFE ” diagnosis by using poles and getting significantly stronger and more mobile.
  • Prepare!  Learn optimal use ahead of time.  You’ll notice an unweighting of the challenged knee joint because your upper body is helping in a healthy way.
  • Recovery after surgery:  Transition from a walker to your POLES (which you’ve learned how to use), not a cane.  Why clump around when you can use both arms and your whole torso?
  • Recover faster – because you’re stronger to begin with.
  • Get  fantastic exercise in your back and arms – this presumes you’ve learned optimal use.

There are so many other benefits, including:

  • Achieve, Maintain, even Regain Mobility! – Help prevent injury & falls.
  • Exercising the back muscles (bi-laterally)  helps the spine stay strong, healthy & YOUNG – Yippee!
  • Handle uneven terrain with more CONFIDENCE.  What once was a non-event (like driveways or curbs) can become insurmountable obstacles.

I worked with Jeanne, a writer who at 79, could not step off a curb.  Within a year she was hiking again.   We met twice a week for many years and she was able to RE-OPEN doors she thought had shut forever.  She loved her poles and loved getting outside walking around Foothills Park in Palo Alto, CA.

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