Exercises That Can Help Alleviate Pain and Strengthen the Knee

It’s Time To Relieve Your Knee Pain 

Of all of the joints in your body, your knees take some of the most impact. There are common culprits of knee pain, like running, jumping, and twisting, as well as injury, chronic conditions, and even walking. Between daily wear and tear and any sports or exercising, it is common for people of all ages to experience knee pain to some extent. However, when knee pain begins compromising your ability to do what you love and enjoy life pain-free, it is essential to get the care and treatment you need. When people experience knee pain, many opt for rest only to be greeted by the same pain upon returning to their normal activities. It turns out that engaging in more exercise can actually be most beneficial, so long as you’re performing the right ones. Read on to learn about some common exercises that can help relieve knee pain, not worsen it.

Exercise One: Bridge

Place a mat or towel on the floor, and lie down on your back. Bend your knees to a 45 degree angle while keeping your feet firmly on the floor. Allow your arms to lay beside you and keep them relaxed. Keeping your weight through your heels, pull your abdominal muscles inward and raise your hips. Your body should form a flat surface from your knees to your shoulders, with your arms providing balance. Ensure your gluteus muscles stay fully engaged, and hold for 15 seconds. Slowly lower your body back to the floor, and repeat. This exercise helps increase hip stability and overall core strength.

Exercise Two: Leg Lifts

Assume the same position as the Bridge exercise, with your back against the floor and arms relaxed beside you. Take one leg and bend it to a 45 degree angle, and keep the other straight against the floor. Slowly lift the extended leg into the air until your thigh is parallel with your bent leg’s thigh. Then, slowly lower back to the floor. Be mindful to not engage your arms for more than balance, and to avoid dropping your leg to the floor too quickly. Every movement should be controlled and slow. This exercise helps build strength and stability in the muscles around the knee. 

Exercise Three: Quadricep Stretch

Much knee pain can actually come from the muscles of your thighs and hips. When muscles above the knee are too weak or too tight, your knee works harder to keep your body aligned during exercise. During a quadricep stretch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You may need to stand near a wall or sturdy chair in order to keep your balance. Bend one knee behind you, and grab your ankle with the arm of the same side. Gently pull your ankle towards your glutes until you feel a stretch, and then hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs, and then repeat for a total of 3 sets on each side. By loosening your hip flexors and hamstrings, your leg flexibility increases, decreasing stress on the knee.

Exercise Four: Step Exercises

For this exercise, you’ll need an exercise platform that reaches up to 6″ off the ground. If you don’t own one, find a sturdy stool. Stand to the side of the platform. Take the leg nearest the platform and place it firmly on the surface of the stool, leaving your far leg off of it in a “hanging” position. The midline of your body should fall in line with the edge of the stool. Bring the hanging leg out in front of you ever so slightly, and place your hands on your hips for balance. Slowly bend the leg on the platform, lowering the hanging leg until it taps the ground. Don’t allow your body weight to transfer to the floor during the tap. Repeat this exercise on both legs to build strength and balance in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and more. Because this exercise is often very difficult for most, choose whatever set and repetition numbers work best for your body.

Contact the Trusted Orthopedic Doctors at Sports & Spine 

These exercises are great for mitigating knee pain and building strength, but sometimes, at-home exercises aren’t enough. The professionals of Sports & Spine put healing first, and we offer a range of knee treatments that are both nonoperative and operative for patients of all ages. We’re dedicated to getting our patients back to doing what they love as quickly as possible, all while implementing healing that lasts. If you’re experiencing knee problems that hinder your daily life, contact Sports & Spine Orthopaedics today for proper diagnosis and an individualized recovery plan.

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