Knee pain is a chronic condition that plagues a large part of the population. At some point in nearly everyone’s life, they will experience some form of knee pain. Where knee pain comes from and how to cure it is contingent on many factors. However, regardless of cause, exercise may very well be the best type of medicine when it comes to managing chronically aching knees.
According to the chairman of rehabilitation medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Willibald Nagler, MD, he says, “Strengthening the muscles around the joint protects your knee from injury by decreasing stress on the knee and thus reducing pain.”
The Importance of Technique
Yes, exercise is an excellent way to help chronic suffers relieve knee pain, but only if good form and proper technique are both used. When implementing exercise into the daily routine in an effort to reduce knee pain, be sure that you never bend either of your legs so far that your knees go past your toes. This is very poor form and puts a great deal of pressure underneath the kneecap.
Not using proper form or good technique while exercising will ultimately do more harm than good when it comes to your knees. This is not only applicable to the exercises that we will discuss here, but also to stretching or partaking in any type of aerobic activity, even yoga.
Exercises to Help Reduce Knee Pain
Implement the following exercise routines into your weekly regime at a rate of about 2 to 3 times each week, or until you feel your knees start to strengthen. Once you have noticed the pain in your knees reducing and the strength increasing, you may then increase the number of reps and days in which you practice each exercise.
- Stair steps – Begin by placing your hand on the wall or rail of a staircase for balance and place your left foot on the first step. Slowly and carefully step up with your first foot so that you are on only your left foot, leaving your right foot dangling in the air. Hold this position for two seconds before you step down on the right foot, taking care that there is now no pressure left on the left foot. Repeat this method 6 times per leg. Be sure to take breaks if you feel the need and keep a towel and water nearby.
- Up and downs – Begin by sitting on a firm chair that has no arms, positioning your feet so they are flat on the ground in front of you and leave your arms either dangling at your sides or crossed in front of you (whichever helps you to feel more balanced). Now, slowly rise up to a standing positon, taking care to use deliberate, controlled movements, until you have fully stood up and reached your full height. Stand here for a few seconds before slowly sitting back down (still using controlled and deliberate movements). Repeat for approximately 1 minute. If this exercise is difficult you can place a cushioned pillow on the chair for added height.
- Leg flexes – Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. For support, place your hands behind you on the floor. Starting with your right leg, slowly and gently bend your knee, sliding the heel across the floor, inward, towards your body. You should notice a mild stretch across your inner thigh muscle. Once your heel reaches your butt, hold this position for 5 seconds, before sliding the leg forward back to its original position. Do this 10 times for each leg.
- Hip extensions – Lying on your stomach, either on an exercise mat or a cushiony carpet, place your hands under your chin (for support). Look down toward the floor and take care to keep your legs and back straight. Then in a slow and controlled motion, lift your right leg 3-4 inches off of the floor. Once lifted, hold in position for a few seconds, before slowly releasing. Do 5 times, switch legs and repeat with the other.
- Knee rolls – Begin by lying on your back, either on an exercise mat or a cushy carpet. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat, directly on the floor. Take care to keep your arms by your side and your eyes up toward the ceiling. In a slow and controlled motion, lower both of your knees to your right, taking care to keep the knees held together. Once you feel a mild stretch along your thigh muscles as well as lower back, stop and hold the stretch for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds, slowly life your knees back to their original position. Repeat, only on the left side, hold and return to center. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side.
- Leg lifts – Lying on your right side, either on an exercise mat or a cushy carpet, and using your right hand to support your head and your left to steady your body, straighten legs and slowly life your top leg into the air. Go as far as you can comfortably, hold for a second or two, and slowly return to original position. Repeat 10 times per leg.
Visit Epic Healthcare for Guidance and Maintenance in Dealing with Your Knee Pain
Do not put off starting these exercises. The sooner you begin to strengthen the muscle around your knees, the sooner you will feel relief from your chronic pain.