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A Simple Routine To Improve Knee Function

For decades, the most common orthopedic surgery performed in developed countries has been knee arthroscopy. This makes sense, as 1 in 4 people 50 and over can expect to experience one or more symptoms of degenerative knee disease.

It's long been known within the medical community that there is little evidence to support the use of arthroscopic knee surgery when osteoarthritis is the clear cause of chronic intermittent knee pain.

During my years of outpatient practice, I regularly explained to patients that in my view, the main benefits of having arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis in the knee, hip, and shoulder regions are a forced period of rest following surgery and the healing response elicited by the trauma of surgery itself.

Following surgery, most people are good about resting, and with this rest comes healing and a reduction in inflammation.

Also following surgery, the body's self-healing mechanisms are hard at work to repair the surgical site, sending extra platelets, white blood cells, and specialized macrophages that release a number of growth factors - fibroblast growth factors, transforming growth factor beta-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor - that promote healing of damaged tissues.

The truth is that any force that the body perceives as being traumatic or invasive will elicit a healing response - this is the underlying physiological principle that explains why deep tissue work and acupuncture can facilitate recovery from injuries.

A violent person may even say with some degree of accuracy that punching a selfish egomaniac in the face is actually helpful to the egomaniac because the trauma of the punch will lead to some healing within. But I digress too far.

The point of all of this is to think twice before having "minimally invasive" surgery for knee, hip, and shoulder pain that stems from gradual wear and tear. Rather than opt for surgery, it's far safer and typically more efficacious to try deep tissue massage, acupuncture, and of course, mobility exercises.

With knee pain in mind, I include above an updated video of a simple routine that I find most can do daily to improve knee function.

Please consider sharing with family and friends who may not be clear on how healing occurs at a cellular level. And definitely with those who have osteoarthritis in the knees.


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