Knee pain is something that is a very common complaint that many people have. Having pains in the knee is a frustrating thing to have as it can affect your activities of daily living, along with affecting ones walking. When someone’s walking is affected this puts a person at an increased risk of falls, which presents its own set of problems. 18 million people each year seek input from their doctor due to knee pain. Knee pain can be caused by overuse, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, meniscus tears, and/or sprained knee ligaments. Thankfully, there are several ways knee pain can easily be treated including stretching and strengthening exercises which can be done on your own.
Knee pain that is the result of an injury, surgery or arthritis can benefit from stretching and strengthening exercises which may help to ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion. Exercising is beneficial to the knee to strengthen the muscles that support the knee joint. While on the flip side, not moving the knee can cause it to stiffen, which in the end can result in actually increasing pain. It is always important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are appropriate and safe for you.
Performing lower body stretching exercises can help to improve the range of motion and flexibility in the knee joint. This will make it easier to move your knee. Prior to stretching, it is important to spend at least five to ten minutes warming up. Warming up exercises include low impact activities such as cycling on a stationary bike, walking, or using an elliptical.
- Heel and calf stretch
- Stand facing a wall
- Place your hands on the wall and move one foot back as far as you can comfortably. Toes on both feet should be facing forward, heels flat, with a slight bend in your knees
- Lean into the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your back leg.
- Change legs and repeat
- Quadriceps stretch
- Stand next to a wall or use a chair for support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
- Bend one knee so your foot goes up toward your glutes
- Grab your ankle and gently pull it toward your glutes as far as you can comfortably
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Return to the starting position and change legs
You can reduce stress on your knee joint by regularly working the muscles around your knee. In order to strengthen your knee, you should focus working on your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hip muscles.
- Half squats
- Get into a standing squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips or out in front of your for balance
- Looking straight ahead, slowly squat down about 10 inches. This is the halfway point to a full squat
- Pause for a few seconds, then stand up by pushing through your heels
- Calf raises
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position yourself next to a wall or hold on to the back of a chair for support
- Lift both your heels off the ground so that you’re standing on the balls of your feet
- Slowly lower your heels to the starting position. Control is important with this exercise for strengthening your calf muscles
Once you have built up the strength in your knees, then you should consider adding in low impact exercises to your normal routine. Low impact exercises are better for your body as it puts less stress on your joints than high impact exercises such as running and jumping. Some examples of low impact exercises include yoga, elliptical machine, swimming, stationary cycling, water aerobics, and/or walking.
Being able to use a stationary bike is something that would be actually very beneficial. The reason for this is that you are able to be stationary and complete work while exercising, so you are essentially multitasking. Life these days has so much going on all at once, and multitasking is something that is imperative. At FlexiSpot, they offer an all-in-one desk bike which is a part standing desk and part exercise bike. This helps you to stay active during otherwise sedentary activities such as checking e-mails or watching television. You are able to either bicycle or stand. Bicycling is a great low impact exercise for your knees, but also having the ability to stand you are able to do stretching and strengthening at the same time. The bicycle also has eight resistance levels so that you are able to challenge yourself at different levels. The desk is adjustable to the appropriate height that you need this to be able to accomplish what you are looking to do. The device is also on four wheels so that it allows for easy moving to different locations.
In conclusion, there are many different things that you can do for the common complaint of knee pain which can be done at your own leisure. It is important to stay active even when in pain, though at times it may be difficult to do because on the flip side not staying active can just increase pain or delay the improvements that need to be had.