Knee pain will affect one out of every two Americans at some point during their lives, according to the Arthritis Foundation. As the number two cause of chronic pain, more than a third of Americans report being affected by it at any given time.
While it may seem like the best thing for a sore knee is rest, studies show that too much time spent at ease can prolong pain, reduce mobility and even extend recovery time. Carefully adding exercises that improve range of motion, strength and stability and endurance can eliminate knee pain and put you on the path to finding relief.
Where to Start?
According to Rob Danoff, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician and a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, the types of exercises that can be incorporated into a workout or treatment plan for knee pain relief depends on the health of the knee. For example, aerobic exercise in a non-weight bearing environment, like the pool, can help lose extra pounds that may be putting pressure on painful joints without the strain of impact. A medical professional will be able to assess the cause of pain and help you determine which exercises will be most beneficial, but the following are an easy, effective place to start:
- Strengthening Exercises
One major cause of knee pain is instability in the joint because of weakness in surrounding muscles, like the quadriceps and hamstrings. When these muscles are strong, they help keep the knee joint in alignment, help it absorb shock and also reduce strain in the joint. Exercises like step ups (or stair climbing), straight leg lifts or dips, wall squats and hamstring curls help support and protect the joint, improve muscles balance and stability and provide knee pain relief.
- Range of Motion Exercises
Stretching the muscles that you strengthen is another important exercise for eliminating knee pain. Strengthening exercises can tighten muscles, and tight muscles are not only more prone to injury, but can promote soreness and stiffness in the joint. Stretching exercises like a standing quadriceps stretch or a seated hamstring stretch will help maintain normal joint movement and will keep your muscles long and flexible.
- Aerobic or Endurance Exercises
Excess weight is a major cause of knee pain because of the added stress on the joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, every pound of excess weight exerts an extra 4 pounds of pressure on the knees. That means that if someone is 20lbs. overweight, their knees are feeling an extra 80lbs. of pressure. Adding aerobic exercises will not only improve circulation and heart health, it will help reduce extra weight and pressure and can provide knee pain relief through a reduction in inflammation in the blood and joints.
Need Help Getting On Track?
At Pain Stop North Phoenix, it is our goal to provide you with fast and effective pain management, a customized treatment plan for your specific condition, and a multi-disciplinary approach to your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.