The Impact of Exercise on Knee Pain

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Many people find it beneficial to first do the Straight Leg Raises and then roll over to perform the Prone Leg Raises. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Knee pain is a common issue that many people face, especially as they age or engage in physical activities. While exercise is crucial for overall health and well-being, it can sometimes exacerbate knee pain if not done correctly. It\’s important to find a balance between staying active and protecting your knees from further damage.

How many exercises you do in each session is your choice. But keep in mind that rushing through exercises can be counterproductive.

“Many people come to physical therapy with the idea that they either have weak muscles or stiffness, when they oftentimes actually need to work on both,” says Dr. Vaughn. If there’s one part of your body that needs more love as you age, it’s your knees. That’s why incorporating knee-strengthening exercises is so important as you get older. These exercises strengthen the quads (which straighten the knee), the hamstrings (which help bend the knee), and the glutes and hips (which help stabilize the knee). They also help with balance by helping to stabilize the knee and improve important functional activities like walking over uneven surfaces. All the moves above can be modified so you can achieve the gradual progression that builds the knee’s tolerance to stress without aggravating pain.

With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down to a comfortable distance, keeping your body weight on your heels. Use only your legs — do not use arms to pull up and lower yourself down. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint. The ACL connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia).

Understanding the Causes of Knee Pain

High-impact exercises can further injure painful knees. Avoid jarring exercises such as running, jumping, and kickboxing. Also avoid doing exercises such as lunges and deep squats that put a lot of stress on your knees. These can worsen pain and, if not done correctly, cause injury.

Once you’re confident about it, try adding weights. Try pointing your toes a bit more out/in, or placing your feet a bit closer/further from each other. Keep the combination that feels best on your knee. To increase difficulty, cross your arms on your chest and close your eyes – this will test your stability.

But it can worsen certain types of bursitis, so skip this one if you have that injury. If your hips drop a bit down as you straighten your leg, this movement is too advanced for you at the moment. So, start by just raising the left or right foot off the floor. This exercise strengthens the back of your lower legs, which includes your calf muscles. I hope that you find all the above stretching exercises beneficial for your knee rehabilitation. If you have knee osteoarthritis (knee OA) consider one of these knee braces.

There are several reasons why exercise may contribute to knee pain. One common cause is overuse, such as running long distances or doing high-impact activities without proper rest. Another reason could be poor form or technique during exercises, leading to added stress on the knee joint. Additionally, underlying conditions like arthritis or previous injuries can also play a role in knee pain.

Tips for Exercising Safely with Knee Pain

If you\’re experiencing knee pain during or after exercise, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate discomfort and prevent further injury. First and foremost, listen to your body and don\’t push through severe pain. Consider low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling, which are gentler on the joints. Strengthening the muscles around the knee, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, can also provide support and stability.

Incorporating stretching and flexibility exercises into your routine can help improve range of motion and reduce stiffness in the knee joint. Additionally, wearing supportive footwear and using proper equipment can make a difference in minimizing knee pain during exercise. If your knee pain persists or worsens, it\’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.