Whenever you experience any type of pain, it’s usually a signal that something is wrong. When it comes to knee pain, it is something that can last days, weeks, months or even years if not treated correctly. Knee pain occurs when cartilage in the joint deteriorates, you have osteoarthritis, or you’ve sustained an injury that never completely healed. While the pain involved might dissuade you from exercising, a complete lack of movement can be the worst thing for you. Much like dealing with back pain, keeping your knee active can reduce chronic pain and ultimately provide some relief.
Obviously running at top speed on a treadmill, or throwing yourself into a fast-paced soccer game, will not be the smartest way to get the exercise you need if you’re having knee problems. But there are some workouts we can recommend to help you keep your legs mobile, and hopefully begin chipping away at the amount of pain you’re experiencing.
Before listing some helpful activities, we’d like to point out that the best way to get started is to consult with your doctor and then ease into activities at a slow pace - especially if you haven’t moved your knee much in a long time.
Exercise in Water
If you have access to a swimming pool, one of the best ways to get started on a new routine is to do it in the water. The buoyancy of the water will reduce the amount of stress you put on your knee, allowing you to move it with some ease.
Walking at a moderate pace is great because it’s a low-impact activity that still allows you to get some exercise while not putting too much strain on your knee. Start at a slow pace and walk up to 20 minutes a day - not only is this keeping you moving but it also contributes to weight loss which will reduce the amount of force put on your knees daily. Also note that walking on grass, a dirt path, or at a slow pace on a treadmill is better than walking on hard surfaces like concrete, because harder surfaces have no shock absorption.
Be sure you are stretching daily and especially before a workout. Stretching eases tight muscles, warms them up, and gets the blood flowing. The more you stretch the more flexible your muscles become making them less prone to pain and injury.
Strengthen Your Leg Muscles
Work the muscles that surround your knee for better support and balance - this will also contribute to alleviating some pain. Your quadriceps and hamstrings are crucial to eliminating discomfort, and if they are weak, you’re more likely to experience more pain. Try side leg-raises and single leg-lifts that allow you to work these muscles while keeping your knee straight.
Do Not Overwork Yourself!
While you may be eager to get yourself back in shape and eliminate that frustrating knee pain, overdoing it will only lead to more discomfort and possible injury. Start slowly and work your way up at a pace that is comfortable. Keeping a good pace is key to creating a successful routine that will lead to pain-relief and a new healthier you.
Hopefully these tips help you get started a new routine that can open so many doors. We must reiterate, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise regimen - this is especially true if you’re experiencing pain or recovering from injuries.