Statistics report that over 100 million Americans suffer chronic knee pain. Be aware, that this isn’t an affliction of the elderly although the majority of victims are those above 40. But, this can affect young people too. A Sedentary lifestyle and lack of activity coupled with poor diets can put you at risk of acquiring such problems.
Chronic knee pain affects both men and women
Chronic knee pain affects both men and women where their trauma is increased with the addition of hip and foot pain. Chronic knee pain and joint pains can be frustrating impacting your quality of life and rendering you immobile at times. This impedes daily work and negatively influences your lifestyle.
What can bring you relief from knee pain besides medication?
But! What you may not know is that besides medication, there is much you can do to reduce your suffering, even doing away with it. Remain committed to these 6 exercises for chronic knee pain and perform them daily. Within a week or two, you will notice the difference.
Can you exercise or not with knee pain
There is no need to worry if exercises could increase your knee pain. Consult with your doctor first and if he says yes it’s ok, then it would be good to strengthen the muscles that give your knee support and flexibility.
Warm up first
The trick is to warm up first by doing some pushups or walking for 2 minutes. Build your exercises gradually over time.
Wall squats can strengthen knees that aren’t 100% functional. Stand with your back against the wall. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Now bend your knees slowly in a squat motion. There is no need to go all the way down. If you feel pain, stand upright and take a breather. If there is no pain, continue with the exercise while keeping your back and pelvis placed firmly against the wall.
Maintain the position for 10 seconds
Hold the lowered position for 10 seconds and then stand up. Repeat at least 5 times and holding the position longer each time. With time, you can increase repetitions to 6-8 times.
You can innovate the wall squat
If you are up to it then while in the squat position you can also elevate your legs alternately while resting against the wall. This is also good for strengthening the knees.
Step ups may strain your knees slightly more than wall squats so it’s best to do it slowly. You need a step bench for this but if you don’t have one, you can use the lowest step of your staircase. Place one foot on the step bench or step. Keep your pelvis level and bend your knee simultaneously lowering your opposite foot on the floor. Try to get your toe to touch the floor and then raise it back up again.
This is a good exercise for those who experience pain the balls of the feet. You can do this using regular stairs by sitting on the bottom step. Place a tennis ball under the heel of each foot. Lean forward with your forearms on your knees to create resistance. Now pump your heel up and down on the tennis balls for at least two minutes. After you finish, walk around and you’ll notice the tension gone from your feet.
According to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this is one of the best exercises for chronic knee pain and foot pain. Face the wall and place your hands on it at shoulder height. Now place one foot in front of the other where the front foot should be at a distance of 30 cm from the wall. Now while keeping the back knee straight, bend your front knee towards the wall.
Hip bridges workout your hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes. Lie flat on your back with legs bent so that your feet are placed flat on the ground. Using the weight of your heels, lift your hips up to be in line with your knees and shoulders. You will soon feel the tautness as your glutes and hamstrings stretch including the tension of the exercise which is good. Never do these in a hurry.
Lying Lateral Leg Raises
This exercise strengthens your iliotibial band that is partly responsible for allowing your leg to move side to side. Lie on the right side and stretch your arm out to balance and stabilize yourself. Lift your left leg up as high as it permits and brings it back down again.
Straight leg raises
For those with problematic knees who may not be able to perform the above exercises, this is like your starter pack that helps your knees get used to the strain of exercising. This puts no strain on the knee. You can do this lying flat on a mat on the floor. When raising your leg, keep the opposite knee bent with the foot flat on the floor. Repeat 10-15 times.
What can make your knee pain worse?
We don’t usually realize such things but common factors can make your knee pain get worse. These are
• Knee injuries
• Overuse in the case of athletes
• Weak muscles from lack of activity
• Bad posture
• Not warming up before exercising
• Incorrect stretches
• Being overweight
• Arthritic conditions with age such as joint inflammation
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