Strengthening Thigh Muscles Empowers Recovery for a Range of Knee Conditions
Your daily activities all have one thing in common: engaging your quadriceps muscles.
What activities are these?
Getting out of your car. Climbing the stairs to your bedroom. Going for a hike. That spin class you love so much. Even situations you may not consider engage these muscles.
Your quadriceps, or quads, are the thigh muscles. They play a vital role in nearly all of your leg movements. This includes your knee function. Having weak quads may not only diminish your knee’s function, but it sometimes also increases the risk of cartilage loss. This is a cause of knee osteoarthritis.
It’s important to keep your quads strong and flexible.
For people with knee pain or arthritis, or those recovering from a knee injury or surgery, strengthening your quads is often difficult.
Want to get back to your active lifestyle?
Continue reading this article to learn about the home exercises you should do to increase your quad and knee strength, as well as a device that is designed to do the work for you when it comes to strengthening muscles and increasing range of motion. This device doesn’t replace the need for physical activity, instead it helps you ease back into a routine.
Why Quad Strength is Important for Your Knees
Your quadriceps play an important role in managing your joint pain. This pain may stem from non-surgical knee conditions (like osteoarthritis), or after knee surgery. Acting as shock absorbers, your quadriceps help reduce the strain on your knee during daily activities.
Quadriceps atrophy (the weakening of your thigh muscles) is one of the most common underlying clinical conditions associated with osteoarthritis. It is also common with post knee surgery rehabilitation.
This thigh muscle weakness is caused by your inability to use your knee regularly for an extended period of time. The resulting loss of muscle tone and mass decreases your strength. It also impacts the normal function of the surrounding joints. Most patients lose over 60% of thigh strength after knee surgery¹ and up to 40% due to osteoarthritis². This often prevents them from getting back to a normal, active life.
How You Can Strengthen Your Knees at Home
The key to protecting your knees from further damage and joint pain is daily exercise and regular strength training. While the legs – specifically thigh muscles and knees – are the focus, they aren’t the only benefactors.
- Choose low-impact aerobic exercises, like biking, swimming, and walking.
- Do lower body strengthening exercises, like leg presses and seat hamstring curls.
- Perform flexibility activities, like hip bridges, body-weight squats, and leg raises.
- Minimize high-risk activities, like repetitive heavy lifting.
- Eliminate working for long periods from a kneeling position from your routine.
For people with knee osteoarthritis or severe knee pain, the above exercises are sometimes difficult. In this case, a home therapy solution with electrical stimulation to activate your muscle tissues may help you speed up recovery.
How Does Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Help People Strengthen Knee Muscles?
Through the use of NMES, electrical stimuli is applied to a group of muscles. This is done for the purpose of muscle rehabilitation and strengthening. NMES uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to cause excitement in the muscle tissue. The device passes mild electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the skin over the targeted muscles. The NMES stimulus is designed to mimic the same type of signal the brain sends to the muscle when exercising.
The device replicates muscle movements for brief periods of time. This is ideal for those that cannot easily move, experience too much pain to exercise normally, or simply have to recover from an injury. No matter the situation, an NMES device works to treat muscle weakness and improve quad strength.
Patients believe e-vive helps increase physical activity.
Find Your Quad Strength Again
The CyMedica Orthopedics e-vive NMES system is the only FDA cleared, app-controlled quadriceps muscle strengthening device delivering comfortable muscle stimulation therapy to treat your knee conditions from home.
The unique e-vive app design allows you to manage your therapy and track your progress in real-time. This app also wirelessly communicates your achievements remotely to a secure provider portal. There,your healthcare provider has access to your data and helps motivate you in-between clinic visits.
- e-vive is an app-based muscle strengthening solution. The design of e-vive helps users be proactive with their osteoarthritis or surgery recovery conveniently at home.
- The device uses advanced NMES therapy to activate and strengthen the thigh muscles
- Research shows that muscle strengthening with NMES significantly reduces joint stiffness and improves function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
e-vive is designed specifically for at-home muscle strengthening to keep you in motion, even when you’re unable to participate in your usual daily activities.
By strengthening your thigh muscles from home, e-vive can help you increase mobility and improve your overall knee function. This means you can get back to doing what you love without delay.
Consistent use of your e-vive device helps prevent further muscle loss and maintain healthy knee joints for life beyond your knee pain.
Empowering Patients Throughout Muscle Strengthening Treatment
CyMedica focuses on delivering advanced muscle stimulation solutions for at-home therapy. Why? The more engaged you are in treatment, the faster you’ll recover and get back to the activities you love. People don’t like being down and out, especially when their injuries or muscle weakness limit them. The NMES device works to strengthen muscles and support joint function. It may take time, but in addition to exercise, this device helps.
The platform is designed to promote progress and encourage users to be proactive in their therapy from the comfort of their own homes. You’ll still get your exercise in, it just looks and feels slightly different than normal.
The partnership between CyMedica and BetterPT offers you direct access to home-based muscle strengthening therapy solutions without the need for a clinic visit. This collaboration aims to further empower at-home muscle strengthening while giving you wider access to treatment. Another bonus? More confidence in your journey toward rebuilding strength.
Tying it All Together: NMES and Strengthening the Quads
Muscle atrophy and weakness is a common occurrence in our aging, active population. For this reason alone, it cannot be overlooked. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) is a proven treatment method for muscle weakness. The CyMedica e-vive NMES System is:
- An app-controlled muscle stimulation therapy option
- A drug-free, non-invasive, FDA cleared device
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Clinically proven to strengthen muscles and support joint function³
You have direct access to this device through the CyMedica & BetterPT partnership. For more information or to see if your physical therapy clinic offers this treatment, use the BetterPT clinic location tool. Don’t want to open your laptop or use your desktop? Download the BetterPT app on your mobile device for access to the same lists.
After choosing a physical therapy clinic near you, schedule an appointment to find out what your options are for improving the health of your thigh muscles and legs. Appointments and consultations are available in person or virtually via the BetterTelehealth platform.
Don’t let knee pain or arthritis keep you down.
No matter where you are or what your knee condition is, there’s an option available for you. Consider using an NMES device like the e-vive in your physical therapy routine starting today!
1. Mizner RL, et al. Early quadriceps strength loss after total knee arthroplasty. The contributions of muscle atrophy and failure of voluntary muscle activation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87(5):1047–1053
2. Alnahdi AH, Zeni JA, Snyder-Mackler L. Muscle impairments in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Sports Health. 2012;4(4):284-92.
3. Klika AK, Yakubek G, Piuzzi N, Calabrese G, Barsoum WK, Higuera CA. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Use after Total Knee Arthroplasty Improves Early Return to Function: A Randomized Trial [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 1]. J Knee Surg. 2020;10.1055/s-0040-1713420. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1713420
4. 1. Vaz, et. Al. (2013), Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) reduces structural and functional losses of quadriceps muscle and improves health status in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J. Orthop. Res., 31: 511-516.