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April 27, 2015
Yoga Before or After Knee Surgery
Knee surgery, whether for torn ligaments, fractured kneecaps or knee replacement is a procedure that takes months to recuperate from under the best of circumstances. One of the best ways to help with the recuperation process before and after surgery is through the use of yoga. Yoga has many benefits for its users who are either facing surgery or those who are recovering.
For those who are facing surgery, the practice of yoga can do much to help strengthen the knee and surrounding area. Ways that yoga training can help both before and after surgery can include:
1. Added strength in the quadriceps
2. Strengthening all muscles surrounding the knee
3. Increasing blood flow to the knee
After knee surgery it's important to remember to take it slowly when returning to yoga. Rehabilitation from knee surgery takes from 2-6 months and sometimes longer depending upon how badly the knee was damaged. Eventually the pain and swelling will subside, and when this happens one can return to yoga. The biggest challenge here is wanting to go right back to doing things as they were pre-surgery. If any swelling or soreness returns after a session, the knee should be iced and rested. During yoga training the most important thing to remember is to not stretch or bend the leg too far, for this could lead to further ligament damage.
While performing yoga after knee surgery, precautions can be taken to ensure no further injuries happen and to ease back into a routine. First, the person's feet should be steady on the floor and in the correct position. If not, this will put added stress on the knees. Knees should also be lined up with their ankles, especially when doing any type of knee bends or lunges. If some poses require locking the knees or hyper-extending knees, these should be avoided until complete healing has taken place. Finally, one's hips should be fully opened so that the knees will not have to be under any unnecessary strain during any standing poses.
Yoga is designed to be an exercise for both body and mind, and requires much patience to be done properly. A person practicing yoga both before and after knee surgery should remember to listen to their body, the guidance of a certified yoga teacher and their doctor. By doing so, the knee will be able to fully heal before returning to the complete regimen of asanas.
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