Osteoarthritis sufferers can benefit from exercise by strengthening their muscles, improving their balance, and reducing their knee pain. When it comes to getting started with exercise, walking is a low-risk option. An indoor treadmill allows you to walk regardless of the weather without causing your joints to move in an abnormal way.
Treadmill vs. Elliptical Trainer: Which Is Better for Arthritic Knees?
Take your aerobic training indoors when the weather is bad or the pollen count is high. Choosing between the treadmill and the elliptical trainer, two of the most popular cardio devices, can be a challenge. If you have arthritic knees, this is especially true.
It is possible to mimic the motion of walking or running on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer. Treadmills allow you to run or stroll in a stationary position while a belt under you moves. Elliptical trainers have a platform on which you place each foot and move in an oval motion. Both machines have their advantages and disadvantages. The best way to choose is by testing each machine and seeing how your body responds.
In spite of its simplicity, treadmills can be dangerous for persons with joint or balance problems. Strained or injured joints might develop from trying to catch yourself when you lose your balance, explains physical therapist Mary Ann Wilmarth of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Massachusetts.
You may injure yourself if you fall and try to catch yourself while trying to recover. Foot injuries, ankle and wrist strains and sprains as well as twisting of the back or hips can occur when you lose your balance,” she explains. “It’s also possible to injure yourself by twisting as you lose your equilibrium.”
You can keep yourself secure by following the advice in this article.
1.Use a full-sized treadmill with side rails It is recommended that you use a belt at least 22 inches broad by 50 inches long, and the machine should have handrails on both sides for balance.
2. Wear sturdy, low-heeled athletic shoes To avoid ankle rollovers, avoid heels that are more than 1 inch high. Extra support can be found in the highest shoelace hole.
3. Learn the controls Before you go on, familiarise yourself with the controls, particularly the red “fast-stop” button, to ensure that you can stop the machine quickly if necessary.
4. Use the safety key Clip the safety key to your shirt before you start the machine so that it will stop instantly if you fall.
5. Start, then step on While you lower the belt’s speed, hold on to the rail and stand on each side of it as you do so. As soon as you are on the belt, gradually raise the speed.
6. Use a slight incline For the spine, hips, knees, foot, and ankle stress to be reduced by around 2%, a steeper climb is required.
7. Find the right stride Walking gently, not overstretching your lead leg, with your arms free to swing is a good sign that you’re on track.
8. Look straight ahead You can lose your footing and fall if you look down or around too much.
9. Stay centered Make sure you know where you are on the belt and avoid veering off of it.
10. Catch Your Fall
Running on a treadmill might be dangerous if you begin to lose your balance.
- Press the emergency stop button.
- Take hold of the handrails and swerve to one side.
- Take a break and rest for a while.
Why Treadmills Are Better For Knees
However, stepping down more forcefully increases the quantity of energy that must be absorbed. You can harm your knees even if you walk with your heels in contact with the ground initially. Injuries to the knees are more likely since they are located between the ankle and hip joints.
The majority of treadmill runners choose to run on their toes, despite the fact that the habit of injury ultimately depends on one’s running technique. Conveyor belts can cause a tremendous deal of stress on knees when they come into touch with your toes. As a result, every step you take will be cushioned by the knee.
When you’re running in the open air, you have complete control over your pace. Changing the speed at which you travel is as simple as moving your body. Treadmills, on the other hand, have a fixed speed. treadmill settings dictate how fast or slow you can go. Runners who walk with their toes contacting first may experience pain as a result of this.
To begin, people using a treadmill should walk with their middles of their feet touching each other. This will assist distribute the weight of your body while you walk, so that it doesn’t entirely fall on one part of your body.
Using a treadmill can cause knee pain, but it’s not because of the treadmill itself, but because of how it’s being used. Knee pain while exercising on a treadmill is most likely caused by doing anything wrong on the treadmill, such as walking with your toes touching first.
Tips For Healthy Knees
Slowly walking on a treadmill is a good way to test out different walking styles because you can monitor and control each step. When it comes to walking for fitness, nothing beats the classic heel-toe stride. The heel of your foot first touches the platform, and then you lift your foot off the ground with your toe.
In order to keep your knees in good shape, this is a good way to walk. It distributes the stress taken into numerous joints, including the knee, ankle and hip, with the heel-toe approach.. As a result, your walk cycle will be less taxing on your joints.
If you’re going to be running on a treadmill, go slowly. In the event that you have a history of knee difficulties, it is best not to run on the conveyor belt at full speed. Rather than attempting to outrun the clock, take your time and enjoy the journey. In order to avoid knee difficulties, you can discover a stride which works for you and which does not cause discomfort.
Having the wrong running shoes could also be a problem for you. It’s possible that you’re not wearing running shoes designed for long distances. You can try on any shoes you like before you buy them at any sports footwear store.