It doesn’t matter if you’re 30, 40, or 60 years old. Lots of people suffer from knee pain or problems after suffering an injury or just from standard wear and tear. It might seem like a very simple joint, but according to joint specialists it’s one of the most complex.
Your knees support your entire body weight when you’re standing, and they also allow you to bend and extend your legs.
Knees are made up of a fascinating complex of bone, muscle, ligament, cartilage, and discs, but the slightest problem such as an impact, inflammation, or overuse can cause immediate pain that limits your ability to carry out your daily activities.
What can you do? Aside from seeking medical treatment, are there any exercises that will improve the flexibility and strength of your knees?
Can you go for a bike ride? Can you go out dancing without having to take a pain killer before you do the activities you enjoy? We’ll give you all the answers to your questions in today’s article.
Physical activities for people with knee pain
Experts in sports medicine have found that knee problems are often associated with the kind of lifestyle you lead, whether you have certain disorders like arthritis or osteoporosis, your level of physical activity, and sometimes even gender.
For example, women have a greater chance of losing bone density over time, meaning that their knees and other joints tend to be more negatively affected than men.
Your knees are precision machines that are exposed to the passage of time – they need to be properly cared for every day. How? Through a healthy diet and getting moderate physical exercise without straining them too much.
Read also: Why you’re having back pain
What activities are the best for people who suffer from knee pain?
- Swimming, particularly the backstroke.
- The elliptical machine (but careful, always at a moderate level. Riding a stationary bike might not be the best alternative to the elliptical, but sports medicine professionals say that as long as your seat is set high enough to keep the pressure off your knees, it’s fine).
- Can you go jogging or hiking if you have knee pain? In these cases, experts say that “You don’t have to run in order to stay in shape. The best thing to do is ensure you’re in good shape before you decide to go for a jog or a long hike.”
- That means that if your knees are already sore, don’t unnecessarily strain them and run the risk of developing more knee pain, injury, or problems.
- If you’re the kind of person who is used to walking or jogging every day, just try not to go until you’re exhausted, and slow down the pace a little.
- You should always choose a smooth and even terrain for your activities so you have good traction and proper alignment between your knees and hips.
- Try to avoid walking around in the countryside or in parks without trails, even urban areas where there aren’t any sidewalks – anywhere you might find terrain that hurts your knees. It might not be very exciting, but your safest bet is to use a treadmill at a low speed.
Some simple exercises you can practice at home to strengthen your knees
You need to start thinking of your knees as your body’s “shocks,” joints that function best with smooth and precise movements, and without sudden impacts.
Pain occurs when your shocks become weak. To strengthen your knees you should practice some simple exercises at home that will keep you up and moving around. Ready to find out what they are? Pay attention!
1. Wall squats
- Place your back against the wall with an exercise ball in the hollow of your back.
- Put your hands behind your head.
- Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle and hold this pose for 10 seconds. Rest and repeat five more times.
- In the same position, you should also lean forward to touch your toes. Return to the starting position and repeat five times. It’s simple!
2. Soft lunges
- Here’s another easy one. Stand up and extend one leg out in front of you into a lunge. Bend your knee, but always with your hip aligned with it so it’s a smooth movement that doesn’t cause you pain.
- Alternate legs and repeat this exercise five more times.
3. Ankle raises
- In sporting goods stores you can find different weights you can attach to your ankle. What are these for? To tighten the knee joint and make it more flexible.
- To do this, sit in a chair and place a weight on one ankle. Raise your foot slowly. Do this for five minutes before switching to the other leg.
You should try to devote between 40 minutes to an hour to these strengthening exercises, which are easy to do at home.
The most important thing, however, is that you avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle, because this will only cause your knees to lose their flexibility and weaken the joints even more.
Are you ready to start today?