Having a knee problem is something that can really affect your mobility. We need our knees to move forward, pivot and bend. When they aren’t functioning properly, these processes can be painful. Someone with bad knees might end up choosing inactivity over risking further damage to their joints. But there are many causes of knee pain and not everyone experiences it the same.
Your knee problems might cause inflammation, swelling and pain, but the source of these symptoms may vary. If arthritis is the cause of your inflammation, extra fluids might have built up in the knee causing buckling and locking, cracking or popping (2). If you injured your knee previously, the ligaments and muscles surrounding the knee might not have fully recovered and continue to cause swelling and pain.
But if you have knee problems, don’t despair, there are several exercises and stretches you can do to improve your joints’ mobility and reduce pain.
Supine hamstring stretch
First make your spine stable by laying on the floor, preferably in a doorway with your hips in line with the entryway. You can use an alternative surface, just make sure your spine remains unchanged as you stretch your hamstring. Then, keeping your left leg straight out in front of you, place your straight right leg up on the door jam, keeping a small bend in your right knee. To increase resistance in the hamstring, inch your way forward on the floor towards the door, or decrease resistance by moving away. Hold the position for 10 to 15 slow deep breaths, and then switch sides. If you can’t use a doorway, a belt or strap wrapped around the ball of your foot will do the trick just fine.
Standing calf stretch
Your pain might be caused by tight calves causing an inward movement in the knees. To release this tension stand on the edge of a curb or step and place our left foot on the ground, while keeping the ball of your right foot on the step. Let your right heel drop below the step and hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Hip flexor and quad stretch
Lie on your stomach on a bed or the floor, and loop a belt or yoga strap around your right foot, holding either side with each hand. With caution, pull the belt or strap so that your heel moves towards your butt. Hold for 30 seconds when you feel a stretch in your hip flexor and quadriceps. Repeat with the belt or strap around your other foot.
IT band foam roller
Lie on your right side and place a foam roller, just below your right hip. Cross your left leg over and place it on the ground in front of you. Keep your right hand or forearm on the ground, while you move your left foot up to roll down the side of your right thigh, stopping when the foam roller is just above your right knee. Then move your left foot down, coming back to the starting position. Repeat for the other leg.
Figure four glute stretch
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, then cross your right ankle over your left knee and clasp your hands behind your left thigh. Gently pull your left knee toward your chest. Repeat for the other side.
With the help of these five stretches, the ligaments and muscles in your legs can better support your knees, helping to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Furthermore, if you struggle to these workouts because you’re in too much pain or you need some natural pain relief in the meantime, try this acupressure from aculief. It is a wearable and natural replacement to painkillers to give you relief even when you’re active.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
(1) Bicycling. 5 stretches that will make your knee pain go away http://www.bicycling.com/training/health-injuries/5-stretches-that-will-make-your-knee-pain-go-away Published: November 21, 2016. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(2) Healthline. 7 symptoms of arthritis in the knee http://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/knee-arthritis-symptoms#Types1 Published: November 8, 2016. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(3) Youtube. Supine Hamstring stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUNc_M2VvIU Published: January 7, 2010. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(4) Youtube. How to do a standing calf stretch – Knee exercises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vEeaK3tvzE Published: July 15, 2015. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(5) Youtube. Quadriceps stretch prone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVdjvM0_8hM Published: April 27, 2015. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(6) Youtube. How to use a foam roller to release your IT band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoHBDim_fzk Published: October 21, 2009. Accessed: December 19, 2016.
(7) Youtube. How to do a figure 4 stretch – sexy butt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axVQ_gy99NU Published: October 22, 2014. Accessed: December 19, 2016.