It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional athlete, someone who enjoys a good walk on the weekend, or an office enthusiast who rarely engages in any form of physical activity. Knee pain is a condition that can affect merely anyone on the planet, regardless of age, profession, and other factors. Knee pain is not just a sign of age and there are a diversity of elements that often lead to knee pain but they may be a lot more different than you’ve imagined.
Being the biggest joints in the human body, the knees are actively used on a daily basis for walking, running, climbing, jumping, and all other activities. Considering this, they’re naturally exposed to injuries and pain. There are different types of medical treatments and interventions that are designed to eliminate knee pain for good. However, you can also rely on knee braces or physical exercise to help speed up the recovery process and return to normal daily activities. After all, a painful knee is likely to prevent you from doing a lot of the things that you love like enjoying nature during a long walk, mounting climbing, or jogging to release some stress after work.
In this article, we’ve prepared a list of different exercises you can try at home to ease knee pain and eventually remove it as a factor.
Exercises to reduce knee pain
A lot of people feel doubts about exercising when suffering from knee pain. For starters, in the beginning, it will definitely not be an easy task. You’ll have to mentally prepare to feel discomfort but if you’re performing the right exercises the right way, you will certainly start feeling the results in no time.
Before giving you instructions on how to perform some of the top exercises that can reduce knee pain, it’s worth noting that the origin of the pain is important to consider. For example, if your knee pain is a result of injury, surgery, or arthritis, it’s recommended to indulge in gentle strengthening activities that will also help with flexibility development. Moving the knee is a lot better than keeping it still as stillness could lead to stiffening, making the pain worse when you move.
A casual stretch can also help build up the muscles that are responsible for supporting the knee joint. With stronger muscles, your knee won’t have to take in as much stress, allowing the knee joint to more freely. Of course, the choice of stretching or exercise for knee pain reduction is vital for the end result. It’s advisable to speak to a professional who can guide you and provide expert advice on whether the chosen exercise is suitable for your situation.
Stretching exercises that can help with knee pain
There are a few types of stretching exercises that could be successful in eliminating knee pain. These include:
- Heel & calf stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
Heel & calf stretch
The main objective of this type of stretch is the target the lower muscles in the leg, putting priority on the calf muscles.
- Face a wall.
- Press your hands against the wall and make sure your toes are facing forward, your heels are flat, and your knees are slightly bent. Move one foot as far back as you can before it becomes uncomfortable.
- Get into a stretch position and hold. The pressure should be felt on the back leg.
- Repeat the same with the other leg.
This exercise focuses on the muscles in the back of your thigh or the hamstrings.
- Lie down on a mat and ensure your legs are straightened.
- Lift the left leg off the floor.
- Use your hands and position them behind your thigh, below the knee, and pull the knee towards your chest.
- Repeat with the right leg.
Don’t push yourself and listen to your body. If you feel that the stretch is too much, release some pressure off the leg and hold in the position that feels comfortable.
The quadriceps stretch aims to work on the muscles at the front of your thighs. By practising this regularly, you’ll notice more flexibility in your hip flexors and quadricep muscles.
- Use a table or chair for support or alternatively stand next to a wall so you can touch it and rely on it for balance.
- Lift one leg up bent at the knee.
- Reach for your ankle and slowly pull it in the direction of your glutes and hold.
- Release the leg and repeat with the other leg.
In order to see results, it’s best to strive to practice these exercises once every day of the week. However, you can limit them to 4 days per week. Flexibility and knee pain reduction come with consistency.
Although stretching is a great way to remove some of the knee pain, strengthening the knee muscles will also contribute to your recovery. Some of the most efficient strengthening exercises include:
- Hamstring curls on a weight bench
- Chair dips
- Half squat
- Calf raisers
Hamstring curls on a weight bench
If you’ve ever done a standing hamstring curl, this exercise is simply a variation of it. To do this exercise you’ll need access to a weight bench.
- Lie your face on the bench and keep your knees close together.
- Use the handles for stability.
- Position the feet below the weight and make sure it’s over the heels.
- Bend both knees gradually and use your legs to lift the weight. Continue doing this until the knees from a 90-degree angle.
- Repeat between 10 and 15 times.
This strengthening exercise will build stamina in your hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteal muscles, and quadriceps.
- Place two chairs on both sides of the body, making sure that the back of the chairs is next to your arms.
- Put one hand on each chair and use them for balance.
- Start bending the legs at the knee and make sure the knees don’t go beyond the toes.
- Extend one leg out in front of the body while the other leg remains stable on the floor for balance and support.
- Bring the extended leg down slowly and hold it several inches from the ground for a few seconds.
- Lower completely to the floor.
- Repeat with the other leg.
This exercise is perfect for those looking to keep the body active and yet reduce knee pain or at least not stress the knee with too much pressure. Half squats are great at working the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings all at once.
- Stand up with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
- Position your hands on your hips or keep them in front of you.
- Squat down around 10 inches while looking straight ahead.
- Hold for several seconds and stand up again using your heels to push through.
- Repeat this 10 times.
Another amazing calf muscle exercise, the calf raisers are suitable for people who experience knee pain.
- Again, stand up with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
- Find a nice spot next to a wall or use a chair for balance.
- Lift your heels off the ground until you reach the position where you’re standing on the balls of your feet.
- Gradually release and lower your heels back to the ground.
- Make sure you stay in control throughout the whole exercise.
- Repeat 10 times for 2 or 3 sets.
Don’t give up and let knee pain win
These are only a few examples of the stretching and strength-building exercises that you can do to get rid of knee pain and strengthen your body. However, don’t be fooled that it will be easy. If you’ve suffered injury or you have a condition that has been with you for a while, when you first start, you may feel discouraged. Chances are that you’ll feel pain when doing the slightest stretching and strength-building won’t even be an option.
If you’ve spoken to a medical expert and you’ve confirmed that the physical exercises that you’ve chosen are appropriate for you, remember that you’re starting this journey with the aim of returning to normal life and tackling knee pain. With persistence and repetition, the exercises will become easier and at some point, you will no longer feel any pain when performing them.
We hope that you’ll find the suggested physical activities for treating knee pain useful and helpful. You can also support your knees by selecting one of our reliable and result-proven knee braces. They will help you keep your knees stable and protected when working out, exercising or stretching.