Knee pain affects millions of people in the United States a year. Unfortunately, there is a myriad of things that can cause knee pain: arthritis, trauma, improper footwear, and overcompensations due to other ailing joints.
One thing is for certain: Knee pain can cause a downward spiral of issues if you don’t keep the muscles around the knee joint strong and mobile. Most often muscles will atrophy or lose flexibility causing the mechanics in the knee as well as joint above and below it to be adversely effected.
It Is Essential To Stay Mobile
The simplest way to avoid severe knee pain is to stay moving. For example, if you “tweak” your knee in some way that feels like an injury, you are better off keeping it gently mobile than staying sedentary. Low impact exercise like water aerobics, yoga, bike riding, or walking would be great examples to help appropriately heal the “tweak”.
When you have a knee injury, the goal is to not let scar tissue develop during the healing process. Also, by promoting blood flow to the area with low impact exercise you will have a much faster recovery time with significantly less pain.
Exercise Tips For Healthy Knees
When it comes to knee pain, keep your workouts very basic and non-strenuous; you don’t want to risk causing more pain. Single joint exercises are good to do when you are first coming back into a regular routine but you will need to start incorporating functional, multi-joint closed chain exercises too.
To prevent overcompensations in movements, it is essential tomaintain a full lower body flexibility program. The following movements for these muscles can all be done on the TRUE Stretch:
- Hip Flexor
- Trunk rotation
- Tensor Fascia Latae
To help preserve tone and function in the muscles around the knee, the following movements are recommended:
- Supine straight leg raise
- Side-lying straight leg raise
- Prone leg raise
- Heel/Calf raise)
- Elliptical or Stationary/recumbent bike
Avoid exercises like deep squats, lunges, step-ups and high impact activities such as plyometric or running, knee extension machine.
Above all, listen to your body. If a movement or exercise hurts, don’t do it! You will be saving yourself not only a lot of pain, but possible injury.