The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body. So, it’s no surprise that most people struggle with pain in this area at least once in their lives. The strain can be of weaker or stronger intensity, acute or chronic. And it can disrupt you so much that it spoils your quality of life-unless you consistently do exercises to help relieve knee pain.
How does knee pain occur?
Knee pain can have many causes. It can originate from the knee joint itself, the surrounding tendons, mucous sacs, or muscles. The ache often occurs when walking, or in some conditions, even at rest. Discomfort at rest is a more severe symptom and almost always requires an examination by a doctor.
Difficult bending of the knee, stiffness, and sometimes swelling of the joint all accompany the pain. In degenerative diseases, cracking occurs during joint movement, which in advanced conditions can be audible. In some cases, the knee is warm, sometimes red. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the articular cartilage. This can have a negative impact not only on the knee but also on the whole body.
Knee pain knows no age
We must note that knee pain should not be associated with ageing. An increasing number of young people complain of joint pain, especially in the knees. Knee discomfort affects both professional athletes and people who exercise a few times a month, limiting mobility and causing a slew of issues.
The knees suffer significant pressure from the whole body, whether we walk, run, or lift. They manage to absorb three times the body weight at every step. That is why the cartilage in the knee wears out – it loses the elasticity of the tissue. This process is especially active after the age of 30.
Ways to relieve knee pain
- Short-term rest: Short-term rest reduces the pain, especially after an injury or other sudden strain. Although it is often easier for patients to keep their legs in a semi-bent position, you should usually avoid this as it can lead to flexion contracture.
- Knee cooling: In acute knee pain, primarily after trauma, knee cooling has a pronounced effect on pain. Whenever there is a slight swelling of the knee, cooling the knee will have a positive impact. It is necessary to avoid prolonged direct application of ice to the affected knee because it can cause burns.
- Wearing stabilizers: Knee stabilizers made of elastic material relieve pain when walking.
- Topical application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Gels containing diclofenac, etofenamate, and other drugs can be applied to the knee. You can use them two to three times a day in a thin layer.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: General advice is to use ibuprofen 400 mg three times a day for acute knee pain. You can continue with this for a maximum of three days, and if the problems persist, you should contact a doctor.
Before taking any medication, make sure you have consulted with your physician. However, an effective method is being consistent with exercises to help relieve knee pain. Sore knees and worn cartilage are not unsolvable problems. You will be on the right path if you build the muscles and strengthen the parts that support the knees.
To help you along, we bring you a few exercise suggestions to relieve knee pain.
Best exercises to help relieve knee pain
To adequately relieve knee pain, you will need to make a healthy habit out of your workout routine. Here are 5 exercises to incorporate:
#1 Single straight leg stretch
Find a corner where you can lie on a mat, stretch your left leg straight. Put a stretching strap on your right foot, lift your right leg, and slowly pull your foot down. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times, pay attention to breathing, and then change the leg. If your spine is not the most stable, you will feel other muscles tighten as well.
#2 Elevated Calf Raise
Stretching the feet and the Achilles tendon is also very useful. Physiotherapists advise that, to strengthen your ankles, tendons, and feet, stand on the front of the foot on a step or curb and slowly lower your heels until you feel a slight tightening. The spine should be straight and the arms on the support. Perform this exercise in three sets of 15-20 repetitions.
#3 Heel to Glute Stretch
Lie on a mat on your stomach, attach the stretching strap to your right foot, and pull your heel toward your glutes with both hands. You will feel a stretch in the hip flexor and quadriceps. Stay in that position for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
#4 Foam Roll
If you feel pain along the outside of the thigh that goes down to the knee, using a foam roller can be a great way to combat it. Lie on your right side and place the roller under your right hip. Swipe your left leg over your right and hold your hands on the ground. Move your body until the roller is just above your right knee, then return. Do a few rotations, and then repeat with the other leg.
#5 Lying Pririformins Stretch
Stretching the muscles that rotate the hips can have a positive effect on the knees. The best way to do this is to lie on your back with your feet on the floor, move your right ankle over your left knee and grab your left thigh with your hands. Slowly and gently pull your left knee toward your chest, hold for a few seconds, then release. After a few repetitions, do the same with the other leg.
Take your time with warming up and stretching because, as you know, prevention is vital. Many stretching exercises aid in recovery and better your body’s mobility. We hope that this article on exercises to help relieve knee pain shows itself useful in your battle for knee health. Good luck.
All content within this article is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.
- knee pain: Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash
- exercises to relieve knee pain: Alora Griffiths on Unsplash