It can be easy to take the advice “If it hurts, don’t do it” to the wrong extreme, especially when it comes to nursing tender joints. Many people think that the best tip for healing is rest followed by more rest, but as it turns out, keeping the body in motion and pacing your improvement with proper form are actually excellent knee pain treatments. Have your nagging knees settled you into the sofa? The following exercises for knee pain relief can help you ease into action.
Exercises for knee pain relief and mobility
One of the best things you can do for knee pain relief is to maintain mobility, which can be hard when even simple activities cause pain. “Your joints thrive on movement,” says Dr. James Rippe, a cardiologist and joint specialist. “Always try to remember that some activity is better than no activity.” A trained Physical Therapist can work with you to modify your daily activities so you can keep moving, and knee pain treatments that include Passive Range of Motion exercises can increase your flexibility and promote healing by reducing inflammation. At home, try the Hamstring Stretch:
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Loop a towel or strap around your right foot and lift one foot toward the ceiling, keeping as much bend in the knee as is needed.
- Gently pull your extended leg toward your chest without moving into pain, and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Cue those quads
The quadriceps are a group of muscles on the front of the thigh, that work together to extend the lower leg and to provide stability in the knee joint. It’s important to include exercises that strengthen these, as they also absorb some of the impact of our daily activities. “Strengthening the muscles around the joint protects you from injury by decreasing stress on the knee,” says Willibald Nagler, MD, chairman of rehabilitation medicine at the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Try the Partial Squat to find knee pain relief:
- Stand about a foot from the front of a chair with feet hip width apart and toes pointing forward.
- After pulling the navel in toward the spine, leaning forward at the hips, slowly lowering your seat halfway down toward the chair, keeping your knees behind your toes. Slowly stand upright and repeat up to 10 times.
Stabilize your sides
Other great exercises for knee pain relief are the ones that help build the muscles that stabilize the knee joint, focusing on those along the sides of the hips and the glutes. Try the Side-Lying Leg Lift:
- Lie on your side, with your legs stacked and straight out from the hips. Use your bottom arm to support your head, and place your top hand on the floor in front of your abdomen for stability.
- Keeping your feet flexed and your body straight, slowly raise your top leg to about shoulder height, and slowly lower back down. Complete about 10 repetitions, then repeat on the other side.
Ready to reclaim your active lifestyle?
At Atlanta Medical, we successfully treat all types of acute or chronic pain by offering safe, minimally invasive, clinically proven medical treatments and therapies. Our specialists have a passion for educating our patients and are committed to practicing responsible pain management that brings relief to those who are suffering. Contact us today to learn about how we can help!