Movements for Knee Pain

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Dealing with knee pain can be debilitating and affect your daily activities. However, there are various movements and exercises that can help alleviate knee pain and strengthen the surrounding muscles to prevent future issues.

Like all joints, your knees are part of your skeletal system. Your knees also contain cartilage, muscles, ligaments and nerves. Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia (shin bone). If you’re dealing with symptoms of pain that won’t subside or a joint that locks up, don’t ignore them.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching is essential for improving flexibility and reducing stiffness in the knee joint. Here are some effective stretching exercises:

And while the U.S. population is getting older and more overweight, rates of knee pain are increasing independent of these two important factors. There’s no denying that we need to take better care of our knees. If you can’t achieve terminal knee extension, every step you take puts more wear and tear on the cartilage. Over time, the passive tissues in the knee will show signs of premature degeneration. The primary extensor of the knee joint is quadriceps femoris, assisted by the tensor fasciae latae. Quadriceps femoris of four muscle bellies; rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius, all innervated by the femoral nerve.

If you’ve got sore knees, exercise might seem like the hardest thing you can do — but it’s also one of the best. Position yourself on the ground as if you were going to do a push-up. You can modify the move to rest on your forearms (bent) instead of your hands, or plank from your knees instead of having your full body extended and supporting your lower body by your toes. A person should feel this exercise in their thigh and buttocks and aim to do 3 sets of 20 reps, 4 or 5 days per week. Depending on the cause of your problem, he or she may refer you to a doctor specializing in joint diseases (rheumatologist), joint surgery (orthopedic surgeon) or sports medicine.

    Do it without weights first to nail down the movement pattern. If it’s uncomfortable on your knees, you may be pushing through your feet too much. Try moving your feet a little closer or further from your butt to fix this.

    Factors that contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation include excessive energy intake, nutrient deficiency, obesity and abnormal metabolites [5]. Chronic low-grade inflammation, in turn, promotes local inflammation, which increases pain and effusion in the joint [4]. Together, local and chronic low-grade inflammation correlate with clinical symptoms of OA, accelerate the progression of the disease and might even influence its onset [4, 5].

    Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns. As this exercise gets easier, you can add a 5-pound ankle weight and gradually work up to a heavier weight as you build strength in your legs. You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg and up to the base of your glutes. If you flex your foot, you may feel the stretch in your calves. This study is publicly funded by the Gesellschaft für Forschungsförderung Niederösterreich m.b.H, Austria (Life Science Call 2020, LSC20-017).

    Because we use them for so many activities, knees are one of the most injured joints. Everyone has the occasional ache or pain, but don’t ignore symptoms in your knees. They’ll help you understand what’s going on inside your knee joint and will find treatments that keep your knees healthy, strong and working like they should. A comprehensive exercise program should combine cardiovascular endurance plus flexibility and strength exercises, Orlandi says. There are many good exercises to strengthen the knee joints and surrounding leg, hip and buttocks muscles, she says.

  • Quad Stretch: Stand on one leg and bring the heel of your other foot towards your buttocks, holding onto a chair or wall for balance.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the floor with one leg extended and the other bent, reach towards your toes on the extended leg.
  • Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall, extend one leg back while keeping the other bent, lean forward to stretch the calf muscle.

Strengthening Exercises

Building strength in the muscles around the knee can help provide support and stability. Some strengthening exercises include:

  1. Leg Raises: Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight, lift the straight leg off the ground and hold for a few seconds.
  2. Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, lower into a squat position as if sitting back into a chair, then return to standing.
  3. Lunges: Step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are at a 90-degree angle, then return to the starting position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions regarding movements for knee pain:

  • How often should I do these exercises? It is recommended to perform these exercises 3-4 times a week for optimal results.
  • Should I consult a doctor before starting these movements? If you have severe knee pain or a history of knee injuries, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise regimen.

By incorporating these movements for knee pain into your daily routine, you can improve mobility, reduce discomfort, and enhance overall knee health.

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