How to Get Rid of Knee Pain
Knees are one of the most important joints in our body because they allow us to walk, but they’re also the most vulnerable to injury. In this article we will tell you how to get rid of knee pain with some simple exercises.
Why does knee pain occur?
A great percentage of the population suffers from knee pain. It doesn’t matter if you’re active or sedentary, if you’re at a healthy weight or obese… this joint is one of the easiest to damage or injure due to our daily habits and activities. Among the main causes of knee pain or knee problems we will find:
- Doing very intense physical activity (‘overuse’ injuries)
- Being overweight (the knees have to support your excess weight)
- Using inappropriate shoes (if your feet aren’t moving properly and comfortably, your knees will suffer the impact as you walk or exercise)
- Having certain habits, such as standing up too quickly
- Suffering from osteoarthritis
Tips and exercises to reduce knee pain
Knees are a very complex joint and they are constantly being ‘punished’ by the legs. It’s fundamental to strengthen the muscles around your knees (quads, calves and hamstrings), so that they can endure all of the tension and weight.
Sedentary people or those who don’t exercise very often, must start. Walking, swimming or riding a bike, at least twice a week will really help. Water aerobics and yoga can also be useful exercises for people with knee problems.
Of course, the first thing someone does when knee pain appears, is to not move it too much. However, this is not what you should do. Your joints need to move. Some exercises that can help you to move your knee, without hurting it further, are:
1. Raising your legs
Lie down on your back, either on your bed or a mat, and raise both of your legs. Try to stretch them out as much as possible. Slowly move them up and down, and be careful not to bend them. Repeat 10 times.
Once you’ve mastered this exercise, add some weights to it. You can use anything you have at home, such as a heavy bag or if you’re at the gym, you may use ankle weights. You’ll strengthen your knees and legs at the same time!
2. Flex your knees
Lie down on your couch, bed or mat with your legs straight and your arms by your side. Flex your left knee and with the toes of your right foot, ‘point’ to the ceiling.
Slowly raise your right leg and try to keep it straight. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then take a break. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs.
You may do this exercise with a resistance band in order to strengthen the joint.
3. Quad extensions
This exercise is perfect for knee pain, whether you suffer from it or you want to prevent it. Sit down with your back straight and the soles of your feet completely touching the floor. Raise your right leg without extending it entirely so that you don’t ‘overload’ the joints.
Hold this position for a few seconds and then put your leg back down. Do 15 repetitions and switch legs. Do three sets on each side.
4. Hamstring stretches
For this exercise you’ll need to lie on your stomach, with straight legs and your arms by your side. Turn your head to one side so that you’re in a comfortable position. Then proceed to lift your right leg, keeping it as straight as possible. The point here is that, your knee should lift up from the ground without arching your back. Repeat 10 times and switch legs.
5. Towel exercise
This is a very effective exercise to strengthen the knees. Start off by lying down on your back with your legs straight. Place a folded towel under your right knee, and bend your left knee.
The ankle is the protagonist in this movement: slightly lift it up from the floor, with your toes pointing up. Hold for a few seconds and then come back down. Repeat 10 times and then, of course, switch sides.
Knee pain can be treated, but it’s always good to prevent it for the future. For that, we recommend you do warm up and stretching exercises, buy shoes that best adapt to your lifestyle, and follow a workout schedule every week, even with low intensity exercises.