Dear Active Austinite,
Before you dive in, I want you to assure you: Knee pain is the 2nd most common cause of chronic pain, but it is also very treatable. (Yes, even if you have arthritis.)
Unfortunately, too many people believe their knee pain is permanent and for go simple strategies that could dramatically improve their condition like those we’ll share with you today.
This tips could be a game-changer for you!
Start implementing 7 physical therapy Exercises for Knee Pain that is annoying enough to slow you down.
- Strengthen your Legs and Core;
- Increase your Flexibility;
- Improve your Balance;
- Start a walking program;
- Hire a Physical Therapist;
- Develop a Weight Loss Plan (if your BMI is higher than 25);
- Know the Misconceptions;
See all detailed explanation for each one below and +Useful exercises!
1. Strengthen your Legs and Core
- This may surprise you: You can’t fix your knee pain by only treating the knee joint.
- What’s going on above the knee (at the hip joint) and below the knee (at the ankle joint) are often big contributors to damage being done to the knee.
- An effective physical therapist will be able to do a full movement analysis to identify your individual patterns of tightness, weakness, and misalignment at the hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Try exercises below.
Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain
Ex. 1 – BRIDGE
Start lying on your back, knees bent, feet hip-width apart, with your ankles directly under your knees. Take a deep breath. Exhale and roll your tailbone up off the floor, squeezing your bottom. Keep your knees straight. Hold for 3 seconds and lower back down. Repeat 15x.
Ex. 2 – CLAMSHELL
Start lying on your side, hips bent slightly, knees bent to 90 degrees. Press your feet together and lift your top knee up towards the ceiling (hinging like a clam opens). Make sure to keep your hips stacked and avoid rolling backwards. Hold your knee at the top for 3 seconds, then lower slowly. Repeat 15x per side.
2. Increase your Flexibility
- Muscles around a painful joint often spasm as a self-protection strategy (even if an ineffective one!). For this reason, gently increasing the flexibility of the muscles around your knee is important to prevent a significant loss of motion.
- Try the exercises below. Remember, you should feel a gentle stretch but no increase in pain. If it’s painful, stop and consult your physical therapist.
Stretching Exercises for Knee Pain
Ex. 1 – HAMSTRING STRETCH
Start lying on your back. Straighten your right leg down to the floor, and bend your left knee so your foot is flat on the floor. Loop the strap around the right foot. Lift your right leg off the floor, bringing your toes toward your head until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Keep a slight bend in the right knee. Hold for 5 deep breaths and lower back down slowly. Repeat 3 times per side.
Ex. 2 – HIP FLEXOR RELEASE
Stand in front of a sturdy chair or table. Step up with your right leg, keeping your left foot on the floor. Bend into the right knee, pushing the hips forward, and reach both hands overhead until you feel a stretch through the front of the left hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per side.
3. Improve your Balance
- You can’t have good balance without strong hips and ankles (remember how we talked about those joints supporting the knee?). Improving your balance can be a challenge, however, in doing so increases the pain in your knee. Work with your physical therapist to find exercises that strengthen your legs without aggravating your knee pain. A few examples are below.
Balance Exercises for Knee Pain
Ex. 1 – SINGLE LEG SQUAT
Start standing tall. Shift your weight onto your right leg, picking your left foot up off of the ground. Keeping your weight in the right heel, reach your arms in front of you as you bend the right knee, lowering your left knee towards the ground. Push through your heel to rise back up. Repeat 10x per side.
Ex. 2 – SINGLE LEG BALANCE & REACH
Start standing tall, balancing on your right foot. Reach your arms overhead and lean forward as far as you can, keeping your left foot kicked behind you. Without putting your left foot down, kick it out in front of you while leaning back and reaching your arms behind you. Alternate reaching forward and backward 10 times. Switch legs and repeat.
Learn more Strategies by clicking below