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Reduce & Heal Your Knee Pain

While this article was created in response to a question from writer Rick Skwiot about how yoga might help him heal his painful knee, many of the principles and practices will apply to the healing of other joints and conditions as well.

1 > First: STOP whatever activity is aggravating the joint and causing the pain.

One of the most difficult challenges I face when doing therapy with tennis players to heal a bad back, twisted knee, or tennis elbow is to get the person to stop playing long enough for the painful joint to heal.

If you are young and have not had a painful knee for very long, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a temporary condition, which will heal fairly rapidly, if given a rest from more aggravation along with proper Yoga Therapy.

If you are an older player with a long-term chronic condition, and your doctor has told you that your knee is damaged to the point of no return, there is no cartilage left, and the knee is in bone-on-bone condition, complete cessation of tennis may be necessary to stop an on-going destruction in order to allow the joint to return to a healthy, pain free condition.

If you find a lot of resistance in yourself to stop playing tennis, then you need to ask yourself why you want to continue an activity that is not just creating pain and preventing healing, but which may end in future crippling.

Perhaps it may help you to deal with this better if you treat this as an addiction.

You may find yourself saying, “But exercise is healthy. I need to exercise, don’t? I really enjoy playing tennis.”

How can any exercise be healthy when it is damaging your body?

THINK!

From a yoga perspective Any activity that you continue to do that is damaging to your body or mind can be considered an addiction.

Instead of wondering about other people’s addictions, Yoga Science teaches us to deal with our own.

2 > Elevate the legs up a wall to improve circulation and reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.

This variation of the Hatha Yoga Shoulderstand Asana (posture) will reduce pain and promote healing. While the Shoulderstand offers more benefits, the ability to hold your legs up a wall much longer than you can or should in the Shoulderstand will somewhat make up for this. The longer you stay in this position and the more frequently you practice the faster the results. You will get many other benefits. Inverted poses like this improve circulation of both blood and lymph, strengthen your immune system, prevent and reverse varicose veins including hemorrhoids, help to reduce enlarged prostate, and much more.

The student I mentioned in an earlier post who ended up with a serious infection as a result of “simple knee surgery” used this practice to reduce swelling in his knee and to get off crutches.

When we started therapy, his swollen knee was huge. I had him spend time at the beginning and at the end of our first session with his legs up the wall. I suggested that he should practice this at home to speed up his healing, since this would help him reduce the swelling in his knee.

He asked, “How long or how often should I do this.”

I said, “The more the better. You can stay in this position for hours without any ill effects.”

The next day he said that his knee felt so much better. When I asked him if he spent time with his legs up a wall, he said he had spent a total of 4 hours with his legs up the wall. Swelling had reduced considerably and pain had diminished.

Surprised, I asked how was able to spend so many hours with his legs up the wall.

He said, “I found that I could put my laptop on my stomach and I got a lot of work done in that position.”

He arrived for the third session without crutches and continued to heal his knee rapidly.

Obviously, this student had a lot of commitment to self-healing. But what important activities in your life don’t require commitment? The same drive that helped this man become a successful businessman, also helped him heal his knee.

3 > Practice Deep Relaxation

Wondering where you will get the time to practice all of these techniques? You can practice Deep Relaxation while you have your legs up the wall.

To the extent that you can relax, you will not feel pain, and healing progresses.

If you have the equipment and know how, you can record a relaxation technique in your own voice to play when you want to practice relaxation. If you do not have the ability to record your own relaxation CD, you might consider getting my Deep Relaxation & Breathing CD.

For those of you who have no knee or leg problems but who want to practice relaxation, you will still receive extra benefit if you practice with your legs elevated up a wall.

4 > Practice visualization and affirmations.

This also can be practiced while your legs are up the wall after you have gotten deeply relaxed.

See how you are saving more time as you do these practices at the same time?

When you are more relaxed, the critical conscious mind is not as active and it is much easier to penetrate the subconscious mind. Then the subconscious mind will come back to influence the conscious mind in a very positive way.

The best times to practice Affirmations and Visualizations are

  • when you have relaxed yourself,
  • near the end of a meditation session,
  • just as you awaken in the morning, and
  • just before you drift off to sleep at night.

There is an old metaphysical saying,

Quit seeing what you don’t want and start seeing what you do want.

Visualize your knee healthy and perfect.

See the knee joint opening up, the space between the bones increasing.

Visualize yourself pain free and happily walking, dancing, playing.

Recognize a great healing energy within you.

Visualize yourself removing any blocks to that healing energy.

See yourself getting in tune with that energy, cooperating with it, and enjoying the healing.

Practice affirmations like

Day by day, in every way, I getting better and better

I am happy, I am healthy, I am strong

To really understand the Techniques and Power of Affirmations get this  Great Healing Book by Paramahansa Yogananda called Scientific Healing Affirmations: Theory and Practice of Concentration. This little booklet is the most complete comment on healing that I know of.

5 > Use your knee joint in ways that increase activity and movement without aggravating the condition.

If walking causes you pain, greatly limit. Be careful not to move suddenly or with a jerk, which will aggravate the knee joint. This is why healing often does not come when indulging in sports or activities which require sudden, twisting, or forceful movements.

Substitute activities which are not weight bearing, and which do not aggravate the joint, like swimming and the Non-Standing Yoga Asanas. There are so many Hatha Yoga Asanas that you could do enough non-weight-bearing-on-the-knee poses to fill several hours of practice.

At the beginning of my EASY YOGA for Home, Office, & Studio DVD, I take you through some very simple, easy-on-the-knees, passive techniques while you are sitting in a chair. These simple exercises  are designed to improve range of motion and circulation without stressing your joint or aggravating the condition.

See the free Knee Healing Video post.

Be Creative

Discover movements that will give motion to your knee without causing pain. The more you move your knee joint without pain, the faster the healing.

If you find that putting weight on your knee is not painful, then you may find that you can easily do the Triangle and other Standing Yoga Asanas (postures).

6 > Practice This Technique to Open the Knee Joint

  1. Get down on the floor on hands and knees. If your knee is sensitive to weight in this position, put extra padding under the knee.
  2. Take your hands and body forward so that the back of your knee opens up. Point your toes back.
  3. Place a pillow or rolled towel behind your knee joint. The tighter or more painful your knee feels, the larger the pillow needed.
  4. Sit back on the cushion, which now works as a wedge to open up the knee joint. If your ankles are very tight and uncomfortable, place a pillow under the ankles.
  5. As always, move slowly into position and stop before you feel pain.
  6. Stay in this position as long as it feels good to you.

My HEAL YOUR BACK NOW! DVD will take you to another deeper level of relaxation and teach you how to move to lessen pain and accelerate healing, and how to develop the proper attitude for doing the regular Hatha Yoga Asanas.

7 > Adopt an Anti-inflammatory Diet

I have recommended a healthy, low fat, vegetarian diet in a previous post. This is not a vegan diet because it includes milk, cheese,  and eggs as recommended by Paramahansa Yogananda, and other highly advanced yogis. Yogananda also recommends up to one tablespoonful of Olive Oil a day to keep the joints well lubricated.

Since dairy and eggs are contrary to the advice of many popular doctors who say that no animal foods should be consumed, you might want to study this some and then make up your own mind. (See the post, Peter Berquist on Raw, Low-Fat Vegan Diet, on this site.)

In any case the Yoga Diet, like the Anti-inflammatory Diet, is a plant-based diet consisting of mostly fresh, whole, raw fruits and vegetables with the addition of small amounts of nuts, seeds and whole grains.

This means NO refined, processed, packaged, canned, old, chemically preserved, colored, or altered foods.

No alcohol, meat, caffeine, cola/carbonated/soft drinks, drugs, or strongly salted or spiced foods. And

NO OVEREATiNG.

Understand we are not talking about whether or not you are a good or bad person based upon your eating habits. These are just guidelines to help you reduce inflammation and improve your health.

Now there is evidence from research at Ohio State University in an article published in Science Daily, “Yoga Reduces Cytokine Levels Known to Promote Inflammation, Study Shows”, that Yoga reduces inflammation.

8 > Use Fasting and Detox to Reduce Pain and Increase Flexibility

I have explained the value of Fasting and Detox in my article Improving Your Eliminations Will Improve Your Nutrition.

If this interests you, you might also like to try a yogic cleansing technique given in my article How Lemons and Limes Keep Your Healthy

You can fast on water or fruit juice. You can also take one fruit, such as watermelon, and just eat that for one day. Watermelon will flush the kidneys and remove toxins.

I have always enjoyed how much more flexibility I had and how much easier the Hatha Yoga Asanas were for me when I have been on a fast.

Remember, the Yoga Asanas work scientifically to remove toxins by compression, extension, and inversion.

9 > Reduce Excess Weight

Obviously, if you put excess weight on a sore joint, it will feel worse, and if you reduce the weight on a painful joint, it should feel better. In fact, this is so obvious that you might wonder why it was not listed first.

Or you might be saying to me right now, “I wish it was that easy. Of all the advice you have just given this would probably be the most difficult for me to do. I have been trying to get my weight down for several years now with no success. Now that I have a bad knee and can’t even walk, much less run, how am I going to lose weight?’

Here is the good news:

If you do everything else that is listed above, you don’t have to worry about how to lose weight, your weight will normalize naturally.

10 > Keep Connected to This Website

You can use this site as a resource to help you to heal yourself.

Many of the points that you will be working with to heal your knee will be further explained in other articles. Even the healing of a condition that you are not dealing with can be beneficial because there are principles that apply to all healing.

In the stories of others who have healed themselves you will find inspiration and guidance for your own healing.

Then, hopefully, one day you will share the story of your own healing to help others to heal themselves.

Namaste’………….Norman

Related Post: Why You May Not Need Knee Surgery

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Please feel free to ask questions and make comments below, which will require you to sign in with your name and email address in order to prevent spam comments. Your email will not be posted on this blog nor will it ever be sold or otherwise distributed without your permission. I dislike spam as much as you do…Norm

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{ 24 comments… add one }

  • jean May 18, 2010, 7:43 pm

    Dear Norman,
    This is such a good article, and yes that would apply to the hip joint also. I want to keep it and read again-Thanks, Jean

  • Norm May 18, 2010, 9:35 pm

    Jean, You are welcome. I am glad that you see how this will apply to your hip joint condition. Keep up your yoga practice and you will get results.

  • sam moore---utopia, tx. May 24, 2010, 4:03 pm

    A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, I RETURNED TO SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO AFTER A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT IN TEXAS SIX WEEKS BEFORE. I WAS STILL IN CONSIDERABLE PAIN AND THE KNEE WAS SWOLLEN, MAKING ANY ACTIVITY DIFFICULT. I IMMEDIATELY RESUMED GOING TO NORM’S CLASS WHERE HE ENCOURAGED ME TO NOT PUSH ANY ASANAS, AND DO WHAT I FELT COMFORTABLE WITH.

    THE FIRST FEW SESSIONS I DID MOSTLY THE POSITION WITH THE MY FEET PROPPED UP THE WALL, AND CONCENTRATED ON BREATHING. AMAZINGLY, AFTER THE VERY FIRST SESSION I FELT CONSIDERABLY BETTER, REDUCTION OF PAIN AND SWELLING.

    WITHIN 10 DAYS, I WAS ALMOST COMPLETELY PAIN FREE AND ALL SWELLING GONE. IN ADDITION, I REGAINED MY STRENGTH AND VITALITY LOST FROM POST SURGERY.

    MY THANKS TO MASTER NORM, WHO, I MUST ADMIT, FOUND IT NECESSARY AT TIMES TO CAJOLE ME WHEN I GOT LAZY..
    SAM MOORE

  • Norm May 24, 2010, 7:15 pm

    Sam, thanks a lot for your comment, which I hope will help to inspire someone else to put his or her legs up a wall to reduce swelling and pain.

    After your results with yoga, you became one of the early golf pros to introduce yoga to your students and golf teams. I thought this was so great since I always wondered how most people, as stiff as they are, can manage the strong torque of a full golf swing. It is a wonder that there are not more injuries in golf and other sports as a result of such limited flexibility.

    And now, as you have passed the mid-seventy years old mark, you have managed to take an eight girl high school team from the tiny town of Utopia, Texas all the way to place in the state finals.

    Congratulations, Amigo, and thank you for your support,
    Norm

  • sudha August 5, 2010, 4:33 am

    Hear i Norm,

    Iam sunitha,Iam 23 year old.An year ago my bike fell on my knee and my knee got swollen.i used many medicines but there is no use.doctor told that there is effusion around the knee which is making my knee stiff and swollen..Please advice me on this,,what am i supposed to do..Im not able to walk properly.Its bothering me a lot.Will I be able to walk properly ever in my life..

    Please help.

  • Norm August 9, 2010, 11:27 am

    Sudha – I think that you will be able to improve the condition of your knee by following the advice in this topic, especially points 1 and 2:

    1 > First: STOP whatever activity is aggravating the joint and causing the pain.

    2 > Elevate the legs up a wall to improve circulation and reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.

    Then you can begin to practice the other points listed. Whether you will get a complete healing of the knee will depend upon the condition of the knee, but more importantly on you.

    Why don’t you make complete healing your goal and then make a commitment to spending a lot of time with these healing techniques.

    I wish you the best,
    Norm

  • Zeana August 17, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Hello Norm,

    I would like to try your method very much, but am having trouble actually getting on the floor as my left knee is swollen, and in overusing the right one, it too is getting so sore. It has been Dx as a meniscal injury which my Dr hopes will heal, but the swelling is driving me nuts. Any suggestions are very welcome. :)

    Thank you.
    Zeana

  • Norm August 18, 2010, 8:50 am

    Hi Zeana, Welcome to my blog.

    The best thing for you to do is to follow all of he instructions in this article, as well as my answers to other questions here.

    If you can get enough padding to get on the floor on your knees to do the exercise number 6 without pain and aggravation, fine. If you cannot get into the knees-on-the-floor position without pain, then just do the other exercises that do not cause pain. Do the ones that you can without pain, and eventually you will be able to do all of them.

    This is the Way of Yoga: Just do what you can, and eventually you will be able to do it all.

    For you it would be especially important to elevate your legs (#2 technique) frequently and for longer periods so that gravity will help to reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain. Notice the success of the man who spent hours in this position and quickly reduced swelling in his knee. If he can do this, so can you.

    Also, your diet is very important in reducing inflammation, swelling and pain. Follow the advice given in numbers 7, 8, and 9.

    Please let me know if I can help you further with this or any other questions you might have,
    Norm

  • Danielle March 10, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Dear Norm,
    on Nov.5 I had a bilateral knee replacement. 4 months into my recovery my knees have a feeling like they are being strangles
    and they are very stiff. Yet I have flexation of 26 degrees on both legs. Even though I can bend my legs and I go up and down stairs
    several times a day , as the bathroom is upstairs , I continue
    to have pain and a grainy feeling along side of my knee cap.
    I have been told my physical therapy that it is not scar tissue
    but inflammation , and fluid. My knees become very stiff in the night while I sleep and when I wake I am compelled to stretch
    them straight and I seem to have no control over this action.
    I have been told to only do 10 leg lifts raising the leg on to the height of the other bended knee. I was suppose to do this 3 times a day. another doctor told me to just walk , so I walked
    2 hours a day , this made my knees really hurt and the swelling
    in my knees remain.
    I currently supplement my diet with Super B complex , calcium
    E&C magnesium and 5000 units of D3
    I drink alot of 100% juices a varied mix and eat lots of veggies
    and oatmeal in many forms.
    I have been doing this now for 3 months and I still have this
    strangling , tight , stiff feeling in my knees. Your advice
    would be greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely
    Danielle

  • Norm March 13, 2011, 3:41 pm

    Danielle
    I will be very happy to help you. First, be sure that you do your best to follow the advice on my article, Reduce & Heal Your Knee Pain.

    Under 1 > First: STOP whatever activity is aggravating the joint and causing the pain, Obviously walking two hours a day and causing more pain and swelling isn’t the answer for you. There are many things that you can do with yoga postures that will not aggravate your knees.

    Have you been practicing 2 > Elevate the legs up a wall to improve circulation and reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. ??? This will really help you and you should do it several times a day for longer periods.

    Are the juices that you are drinking fresh squeezed? Or are they from cans or bottles? Fresh juices are way more valuable for you.

    You should do 7 > Adopt an Anti-inflammatory Diet.

    Start with this and I will give you more later. In fact, as I mentioned in an email announcing the post, How Alida Overcame the Pain & Spinal Misalignment of Scoliosis, Because I have been getting a great deal of site traffic from people suffering with a lot of joint pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling, I am considering writing a series of articles on self-healing of these conditions.

    I might move your comments to a new post and go from there.

    In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions and make more comments. Also, it will help if you answer the questions I have just made here.

    Blessings,
    Norm

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011
    I received this email from Danielle yesterday in response to my previous questions to her above and I am putting it here because it will be of value to others with knee problems and pain.

    Dear Norm,

    I started doing the feet up the wall pose a few days ago , I can see that the puffiness around my knees have gone down.

    I have stopped the walking all together. and I am icing my knees for 20 min every other hour , after I ice, I put my feet up the wall , after I get down I put my legs on a shiatsu massager for 15 min. then I take a nap.

    The juice I have available to me is out of bottles and are 100% juice. I do not have a juicer and no funds to buy one at this time as I have not worked for several months.

    I do eat alot of fresh fruit. This week I will buy a pineapple and a papaya .

    I do not know anything about yoga, so I dont know the poses. Is there I site where I can see them ?

    Thank you for writing to me, I appreciate your help and I will do what ever you suggest to me
    Sincerely
    Danielle

    Danielle – I am happy to hear that you have gotten some reduction in knee swelling by doing the legs-up-the-wall position.

    How long are you staying with your legs up the wall? How often are you doing it? The longer and the more often, the sooner you will reduce swelling and pain. Please notice that in 2 > Elevate the legs up a wall to improve circulation and reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain, in my article, Reduce & Heal Your Knee Pain, I talked about the student who stayed in that position for four hours and healed his knee in a very short time.

    You will not get the as much value out of bottled juice as you will from fresh juice. However, you don’t need to buy a juicer. You can just eat fresh fruit and you will even get more benefit because you are eating the whole fruit.

    Yoga Poses – For right now just do what you can with my free videos, Improve Your Circulation Video, Knee Healing Video, and the others.

    Learn to practice these in a way that does not cause pain, and in a way that feels good.

    Be very gentle in your practice.

    Let me know how you are progressing and I will give you more guidance.

    Namaste’, ……..Norm

  • Mark Du Bois April 24, 2011, 3:50 am

    Norm,
    I just read the article and comments regarding Danielle’s knee problems. It’s nice to hear of others successes using the techniques you provide to students.
    I have been experiencing some knee problems myself recently.
    I was an athlete in school and a golf professional during the late 60’s to the early 70’s, so I used to get plenty of exercise and in general, was in excellent health.
    Due to some back problems, I began practicing hatha yoga under your supervision in the mid 80’s. I attribute my somewhat irregular practice of hatha yoga for continuing good health through the 80’s and 90’s. I began playing golf again in the early 2000’s and always walked when I played. This was excellent exercise and I supplemented it with the occasional practice of hatha yoga.
    In 2005 for financial reasons, I quit playing golf again and
    for the last few years, I have made a good part of my income from eBay and thus, I have been spending a lot of hours sitting at the computer… and getting very little exercise. I am now what some call a “fidgeter”…because the only exercise I seem to get is “fidgeting” while sitting at the computer!
    I know this is detrimental to my health and as I get older (I’m now 64) I am beginning to see the results of about five years of sitting all day (and often deep into the night) without much exercise except shuffling to the other side of my office to photograph an item to list on eBay! Not the healthiest lifestyle!
    This brings me to the main point of this comment. I have been experiencing similar pain in my knees to what Danielle describes in her comments.
    I notice this primarily in my left knee because I seem to have developed the habit of crossing my left ankle over my right ankle while sitting at the computer. This allows my left knee to “dangle” to the left thus putting sideways pressure on the left knee as it sort of twists to the left. I don’t notice pain until I move my legs (often after a very long period of time) and realize that the movement causes intense pain on both sides of my left knee due to stiffness. And as a side note, I had rheumatic fever as a child and was diagnosed with “fibromyalgia” in my 40’s by an orthopedic surgeon, so I am not a stranger to inflammation.
    Finally, the knee pain became too much for me to ignore ( I have a high tolerance for pain) and I realized that I needed to start getting some exercise, eating healthier and doing some hatha yoga again.
    After just a few sessions of hatha, my knee pain went away almost entirely…and lately, even when I make the mistake of allowing myself to fall back into the habit of crossing my legs while” computering” my life away, there is no pain! Then, several weeks ago, out of nowhere, your email came with the knee stretching and strengthening exercises! Since then, I have been doing them sporadically and they have increased my flexibility. Plus, I no longer wake up with intense pain in my knees at night.
    In short, I recommend to anyone with knee problems to try some hatha yoga, especially the forward bending positions which stretch the muscles and ligaments on the sides and back of the legs.
    I hope students who read this blog will take every advantage of the very simple techniques you demonstrate on the knee video. To the novice, they may appear so simple that one might think they couldn’t possibly produce any positive results. To the contrary, if practiced with concentration they can work wonders! They are truly priceless!
    I have been to my share of orthopedic doctors and surgeons in my life and what I have found is that they generally prefer to treat the symptoms with pills and the scalpel. Occasionally I have found one or two who suggested stretching exercises…and I have even heard them say, “just do it while you’re watching TV”!…but mindlessly stretching while watching TV is one thing, and hatha yoga is yet another, because when practicing hatha yoga one actively uses the mind to concentrate the energy on the particular body part. With your body calm and your mind calm and concentrated, you send life giving energy to the injured or weak cells. That’s when the real healing and strengthening take place. The human body is an amazing machine and it can do miraculous things, including healing almost any infirmity…but it works best when we actively engage our mind and energy into the process.
    My sincere hope is that many others in need of healing are directed here. And once here, I hope many open the door to the mind using the keys which you provide to all through this wonderful blogsite. Those who take advantage of your decades of experience in healthful living through hatha yoga and holistic, natural living will be ever so grateful. I know I am!
    Thank you so much Norm for all you have done for me and for all you continue to do to help others!
    Namasté
    Mark Du Bois

  • Norm April 24, 2011, 10:24 pm

    Mark-
    Thank you very much. I am sure that your comments will help others.
    In fact, I think I will move your article onto a separate post, where it will get more exposure.

  • Issac January 31, 2013, 8:54 pm

    I got to an accident last month on Dec 7th & my knee snapped a couple times & I fell down & the next 6 weeks, I can walk again but my knee isn’t back straight so how do I get my knee back straight again?

  • Ruth February 1, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Dear Norm,

    I have read your whole article and comments. One month ago I fell down the stairs and had a severe left femur fracture that needed a surgery. Even though now I can walk with one single crutch (I’m 39 and very slim, even skinny), my knee soars a lot due to inflammation.
    I tried raising my legs last night as you recommended, but the joint between the femur and the hip doesn’t fell that well some hours after.
    I also do some swimming, I already swam before 2 days a week and I really enjoy it, but the inflammation is always there. I know it’s only been a month, I’ve tried to eat in a very healthy way, but any other suggestions that can help that upper part of my leg and knee at the same time.
    Thank you very much.
    Saludos,
    Ruth

  • Norm February 2, 2013, 1:00 pm

    Hi Issac,
    Without seeing your knee and leg it is difficult for me to know exactly what your problem is.

    When you say that your “knee isn’t back straight,” do you mean your leg does not straighten, or do you mean that the knee is turned in or out, or the knee cap is to the side or up or down?

    These may help you:
    Easy Seated Stretches for Back, Hips, Hamstrings VIDEO

    Self-Healing Leg Pain, Inflammation, Stiffness & Swelling Also, read the “Comments.”

    Knees, Hips, Ankles, Toes: Improve Circulation & Range of Motion VIDEO

    Knee Healing Video

    You would probably get some benefits from the yoga poses Seated Forward Bend and Alternate Leg Stretch. Unfortunately, I do not have these poses on video yet. I may post these videos in about a month.

    Issac, I hope that this helps. Please let me know if you have questions that I can help you with.
    Best wishes,
    Norm

  • Norm February 2, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Dear Ruth,

    Aside from the trauma of the femur fracture, you probably have inflammation from the surgery and any screws, rods, or plates that were used to repair the fracture. Your body will need time to adjust.

    However, the more things that you do to reduce the inflammation, the faster the healing.

    The legs-up-the-wall pose will is one of the best techniques you can practice to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain as has been explained in this article and the included links to other posts. Also, see what I wrote to Issac in the comment above yours.

    If you experience any discomfort while practicing the legs-up-the-wall pose, make adjustments. Sometimes it helps to have your hips closer or further from the wall. After being in the pose for a while, you might like to bend the knees to relax pressure on the lower back or hips. You may like to move your toes and make circles with your ankles. You may find that for you right now it is better to do the pose more frequently for shorter periods.

    However you do it the legs-up-the-wall pose has worked very well to reduce swelling and inflammation for those who do it frequently and for longer periods.

    Here is the part of reducing inflammation that most people resist: Eliminate those foods that aggravate inflammation: While all of this is listed in 7 > Adopt an Anti-inflammatory Diet above, I repeat it here for emphasis.

    NO Caffeine in coffee, black tea, chocolate. Alcohol. Sugar. White flour, rice, and bread. Meat. Most packaged, canned, or bottle foods and drinks. Carbonated beverages.

    I wish you great success,
    Norman

  • Ruth February 2, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Dear Norm,
    Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions, I will certainly follow them. I’ve also been watching some of your videos, and will start doing the exercises that I feel I can do now.
    I also tried swimming in a more gentle way, and I think it was better.
    Will definately have to quit my cups of black tea…Roiboos instead.
    Read you are in San Miguel, I am from Mexico City but live in Madrid. I was in San Miguel a couple of years ago for the first time, can you belive that!
    Best wishes to you too.
    Gracias,
    Ruth

  • Norm February 2, 2013, 5:42 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    I am glad you discovered “swimming in a more gentle way, and I think it was better.”

    A man with stenosis as severe hip and back pain owned a pool but had given up swimming because it hurt too much. I showed him how to swim more gently in one session and he was easily able to enjoy swimming from then on.

    Your attitude sounds good and that can make all the difference in healing. If you ever feel like it is too difficult, or you want some inspiration, check out:
    Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation! – VIDEO

    How Carol Healed Herself of a 20 Year Affliction with Fibromyalgia

    So you know San Miguel. I have been living and teaching yoga here for more than 30 years. And I like San Miguel more each year. I hope that you will visit again.

    Please let me know if I can serve you more. If you are so inclined, I will be happy to hear how your progress goes.
    Namasté,
    Norm

  • Ruth February 6, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Hi Norm,

    Thank you for your suggestions concerning swimming, we tend to think that just for being “swimming” it is always good and will help the body, but now I’ve realized it’s not always like that.

    I’ve tried some different potures with the feet on the wall, as you recommended, and I think it’s helping. Just one thing: I’m doing it now laying on my bed, but I suppose it’s will be better to do it on the floor? I just need to get a mat, beacuse we have a wooden floor which is slippery.
    Today I’ve had one of the best days since I fell, almost no pain at all! I know this can change, but it surely gave me a break.

    As for San Miguel, I’m wishing to go back and get to see more, it seems to me like a place that has the best things of many different worlds. One of my sisters lives in Querétaro so I’m sure we’ll go back any time.

    Thanks again for your help and comments.
    Saludos,
    Ruth

  • Norm February 9, 2013, 5:42 pm

    Ruth,

    As long as your bed does not sag, it would be okay to do the legs-up-the-wall pose while lying in your bed.

    Often the simpler we keep our practice, the fewer requirements we have in order to practice, the more apt we are to do it.

    You may also want to put a cushion or some folded blankets under your hips in order to raise them. This will do an even better job of bringing the venous blood back from the legs to relieve swelling. At the same time you will improve circulation to the lungs, heart, and brain. As always you can experiment with this to find out what feels the best and what seems to work the best for.

    Thank you for your comment: “Today I’ve had one of the best days since I fell, almost no pain at all!” I am sure that this comment will inspire and encourage others to heal themselves.

    Thank you very much for your feedback,
    Namasté,
    Norm

  • rashi August 3, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Iam 35 years old suffering from osteoarhritis of the knee due to benign joint laxity. The pain and disomfort is increasing by the dwy inspite of taking medicines. Kindly advice.

  • Norm August 4, 2013, 8:42 pm

    Dear Rashi,

    All the advice on this page should help you. This includes the “Comments” after the article and all the links to videos and other articles.

    This should help you to reduce pain, improve circulation, and promote healing.

    More help can be found in the posts in these two areas:
    Knee Healing and Pain Reduction

    I wish you success,
    Namasté,
    Norman

  • Kathleen Flagg August 21, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I’m 7 months post complete knee replacement of my left knee. I have found a gentle to moderate yoga class 2 weeks ago and I enjoy it. However I’m concerned as to what I should avoid. Many poses are kneeling which I am afraid of, as I do not want to damage my prothesis. This is causing me stress which is exactly what I don’t want, it defeats the purpose of Yoga. So my question is what poses should I avoid in your opinio? Thanks, Kathleen

  • Norm September 8, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Dear Kathleen,

    Did your doctor say that you should not kneel on your knee in order not to damage it? If not, then that should not worry you. It is good to be gentle and cautious, but fear can retard your progress, as you indicate.

    Probably the most risk for your prosthesis would be from twisting or torquing the knee. Most people with knee replacements that I see are more bothered by pain and swelling in the knee.

    One lady about four months post knee replacement was having difficulty kneeling because of pain, swelling, and inflammation. She was even more bothered because her doctor and nurse told her that was to be expected and it would probably be between six and nine more months before she would be pain and symptom free.

    I didn’t agree. I told her that with daily yoga classes and some one-on-one therapy she would probably be free of all symptoms within two weeks.

    I told her to use extra padding for kneeling positions but to not kneel at all if she felt any pain. She spent a lot of time in the legs-up-the-wall position which reduced swelling and inflammation.

    She followed the guidelines on this post. In about a week and a half she was pain free. Two months later she wrote that she was doing fine. A year later she returned here and joined the yoga class. Her only limitation was that her knee prosthesis did not allow her to bend the knee fully, so she could not sit back on her heels.

    Sorry to take so long getting back to you. I wish you success,
    Norm

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