Knee pain is a common ailment affecting people of all ages. Although it is prevalent in older adults, knee pain can also occur in young people. Arthritis is often considered the number one culprit for knee pain, but certain activities (e.g. sports and dance) -- and genetics -- may also be contributory factors.
When it is not addressed or treated immediately, knee pain and injury can have debilitating effects on a person. It hampers our mobility and makes simple tasks like walking unbearable. If you are constantly suffering from knee pain, there are some physiotherapy exercises that can help build strength, improve flexibility, and reduce knee pain. By strengthening the muscles that support the knee joint and preventing stiffness, your knee will be better able to support your entire body.
Knee exercises have the great benefit of improving mobility. Sedentary lifestyle, poor body posture and certain health conditions can tighten muscles surrounding the knee, making it painful to move.
Before you begin these physio exercises for knee pain, do some light, non-impact warm-up exercises first. Riding a stationary bike or using an elliptical trainer for 5-10 minutes will get blood flowing and help build strength. Warming up helps prevent injury and gets your body ready for some light challenges to grow stronger.
1. Quadricep Stretch - This exercise requires a chair. Hold the back of a stable chair while lifting your ankle up towards your gluteal muscles (buttocks). Straighten your spine and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Do the same with the other ankle/leg. Keep alternating sides and repeat the procedure three times. (You can also use a wall for balance if a chair is unavailable.)
2. Heel Slide Knee Extension - Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your left knee bent and your left foot flat on the floor. Carefully slide your left heel away from your body and slide it back. Do three sets of ten repetitions for each leg.
3. Hamstring Stretch - Start this exercise sitting on the floor and extend the right foot forward with toes up. Bend the left knee on the floor and place your left foot inside your right thigh. Slowly and gently lean forward to reach toward (or touch) your toes with your right fingers. When you feel your hamstring stretch, hold the position for 5-10 seconds and gently release. Do three stretches for each leg.
1. Wall Squats - Lean against the wall with your back straightened and feet shoulder apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Slide down the wall with your knees to a 30 degree squat position. Straighten your legs and return to a standing position. Repeat three sets of ten repetitions.
2. Straight Leg Raises - Lie on the floor or bed and gently bring one leg up to a 45 degree angle. Keep the leg straight. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and return the leg back to its original position. Alternate legs and repeat the process 5-10 times.
3. Stationary Bike - Stationary biking is a great way to improve range of motion and boost the strength of the knee. When performing this exercise, make sure that your legs are properly positioned and not hyperextended. If you have extreme pain, do not use any resistance on the bike until you’ve build more strength.
It’s always best to have a trained, experienced physiotherapist recommend specific exercises and supervise your initial efforts to address injury or pain. For expert help, contact Toronto Orthoneuro Physiocare at (416) 533-3900; we’re prepared to help get you on the road to recovery.