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Three Exercises to Improve Your Balance After a Knee Replacement
Getting your balance back is just one of several key areas that you will want to implement in your total knee replacement exercise protocol.
Static standing balance is when you are doing activities standing still and, dynamic standing balance is when you are doing activities like walking for instance. Both need just a little bit of work to assure you are able to walk safely on all types of surfaces both indoors and outdoors.
Following are three exercises you can do at home on your own at the kitchen sink. I like to use the kitchen sink due to its stability and the fact it will not move or shift on you leaving you exposed to a fall.
1. Heel and Toe Raises: Standing at the kitchen sink with your hands on the outer edge of the sink and your arms at full extension, get up on your tip toes as high as you possibly can and hold that position for a slow count of five. Slowly return to the starting position and go back onto your heels with your toes in the air and hold again for a slow count of five. Do these 15 times. Important here is to keep your back as straight as possible.
2. Single Legged Raise: Standing at the kitchen sink with both hands on the counter, lift one leg at time and hold that for a count of five. Then, repeat that with the opposite leg again hold that position for a slow count of five. Standing on the operated leg by itself will build strength in it as well as develop better balance skills and proprioception in the joint itself. You can do this 15 times also.
3. Partial Mini Squats: Start out by holding onto the sink with both hands lower yourself with both legs to about 45 degrees of knee bend and hold that position for a slow count of five. This will develop strength in the thigh muscles along with getting a stretch in the calve muscles if you heels remain on the floor.
Once you feel comfortable with that, then try it without holding on to the counter. Complete this exercise 15 times.
These exercises are geared more for your static balance which you want to develop before advancing to more skilled activities for the dynamic aspect of balance. There are a multitude of exercises that you can do to get the same results however, these are exercises that all my patients use in the home health setting and, get excellent results. Once you feel comfortable with these then move on to more skilled activities like the modified lunge to work on your dynamic balance skills.
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