Have you ever felt a nasty twinge in your knee? The feeling of an old injury flaring up or something new entirely?
With age, the cartilage in our joints begins to wear down, leading to knee pain. If you’re a daily walker, a professional athlete, or just someone dealing with the natural aging process, knee pain can stop your exercise routine.
Whether you’re dealing with knee arthritis, a bursitis knee, tendonitis, or any other kind of knee injury, specific stretching and strengthening exercises can help ease knee pain.
Many people believe that the best treatment for arthritis in the knee is to stop all physical activity. In reality, the opposite is true. Exercise can improve function and help reduce pain in people with knee arthritis.
Spinning is one such low-impact exercise. When you lift your knee to pedal the bike, your weight is supported by the bike seat, taking pressure off your joints. You can invest in high-quality shoes with proper fitting to reduce the risk of further injury.
In a supportive environment like water, continuous knee movement, slow and controlled, can help ease all types of knee pain. The water’s resistance helps strengthen the muscles around your knee joint, improving stability and function.
Many fitness experts refer to swimming as a perfect aerobic exercise. Your joints and muscles are worked without putting any undue stress on them.
Heel and Calf Stretch:
An excellent exercise for your knees is a simple heel and calf stretch.
This movement helps lengthen the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles, which can help relieve knee pain caused by conditions like tendinitis.
To do this stretch:
- Face the wall and place your hands on it
- Step a foot back, as much as you comfortably can.
- Keep your feet flat, toes facing forward, and start bending your knees slightly
- Switch between legs and repeat
Another great stretch for your knees is a hamstring stretch. Hamstring muscles are located at the back of your thigh. They can often contribute to pain behind the knee, especially if they’re tight.
This stretch targets the muscles and tendons of the rear of your knee. You should feel this in your calf and up to the base of your glutes.
- Use a yoga mat for cushioning if necessary.
- Lie down on the mat on your back and straighten your legs.
- Lift one leg, place your hand behind your thigh, and gently pull the knee toward your chest. It should not cause pain.
- Hold the position for thirty seconds.
- Change legs and repeat.
You may assist reduce strain on your knee joint by strengthening the muscles surrounding it, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The half squat is a great way to target your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings without putting strain on your knees.
Follow these steps for a nice, low-impact half squat:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart; weight shifted to your heels.
- Keeping your core engaged, bend both knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Pause for a moment before slowly pushing back up to the starting position.
- Make sure not to let your knees extend past your toes as you lower down, and don’t let your low back round.
Several other stretching and strengthening exercises can help to decrease knee pain.
If you’re not sure how to perform an exercise correctly, or if you have any other concerns, contact us at Quality Recovery, serving Nashville.
You can also check out the GOAT Knee Brace available on our website to help with knee pain.