What Stretches Are The Most Joint Friendly For My Knee?
If you are struggling with knee pain, you may be tempted to take it easy. While rest can be a good healer for some kinds of pain, when it comes to issues within your knee joint, some stretches and light exercises can contribute to your recovery and offer better results than resting alone.
Even if you have not yet dealt with a knee injury, these light exercises can be a way to prevent one and should be considered by all who want to improve their joint health.
What Knee Issues Can Be Improved With Exercise?
There are several kinds of knee injuries or issues that can be treated using light exercise and stretches. If you deal with any of these issues, you should seek medical help before attempting to exercise at home.
- Knee Osteoarthritis
This is one of the top causes of disability, and knee exercises can treat this issue by improving mobility and decreasing pain
There are a series of injuries that can impact your knee joint and the areas around this, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
This can cause your knee to become painful and inflamed, which stretches can ease
- Patellar Tendinitis
This is when the thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to the knee joint become irritated and inflamed
- Post Surgery
Knee exercises are often recommended post-surgery and are used in rehabilitation
These are the most common circumstances for when knee exercises will be recommended, but there may be other reasons why you want to work on your joint health.
If you are dealing with any of these issues regarding your knee joint, exercising and stretching can help. Some exercises can be used to treat the current pain and inflammation you are dealing with and strengthen the muscles for better overall health.
Is It Safe To Perform Regular Knee Exercises?
While knee exercises can be a good treatment for some injuries, it is always best to check with your doctor or physical therapist whether certain movements are suitable for you.
It is normal to feel reluctant to exercise when dealing with an injury or pain in your knee, but exercise can be a great step in your recovery. Regular exercise and stretching will strengthen the muscles that support the knee as well as maintain flexibility, which can treat not only current issues but also prevent future damage.
Before doing any kind of stretch or exercise specifically for your knee pain, it is a good idea to do some light cardio for a few minutes. This will warm your body up and get it ready for exercise, which can prevent the pain or damage which may occur when working on a specific muscle group.
Some good warm-up exercises to do before working on your knee include riding a stationary bike for around five minutes or a two-minute brisk walk.
What Types of Exercise Can Help My Knee?
Now that you are aware of the risks and have gotten professional advice, it is time to take a look at some of the exercises that can help with knee pain. These can be done alone, or they may be recommended by your doctor or physical therapist to be done during rehabilitation.
Professionals may recommend the following exercises for knee pain or discomfort:
- Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on one foot with the opposite foot flat in front of you. For this, your thigh should be parallel to the floor.
Once in this position, lean forward and stretch your hip toward the floor. Raise your arm, which is on the same side as your raised knee, to balance.
If you can, you can tighten your butt muscles to further the stretch. This is something you can build up to with repeated practice.
This can be a great exercise for knee pain as it will loosen the hips, keeping the knees and quads from being overworked and experiencing a lot of impact with regular movement.
- Figure Four Stretch
Lie on your back, crossing your left foot over your right quad to create the shape of ‘4’ with your legs.
In this position, bend your right knee and hold the back of your right leg to gently pull it towards your chest. Hold this stretch for a few minutes before switching sides and repeating.
Being in figure four can prevent tightening of the glutes and avoid too much pressure on the knees and quads. This can alleviate current discomfort as well as strengthen these muscles to prevent further impact and damage.
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand on your right foot and put your left foot in front of you with the toes up and heels flat against the floor.
Putting the pressure on your right foot, hinge forward on your hip as your left toes are raised to the ceiling. Bend your right knee when leaning forward and sit back into the stretch.
During this stretch, your leg should be straight with your weight on the edge of your heel as you bend into this position. After a few moments, switch sides and repeat.
This exercise can loosen the hamstring, preventing pressure and impact on the knee. The hamstring can be a contributor to knee pain, so working this muscle can prevent issues.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or other educational medical material.