Exercise Tips for Pain-Free Knees
Believe it or not, exercise can be the best medicine for knee pain. By strengthening the muscles around the knee joint, the joint itself experiences less stress. Limiting the stress on the knee can decrease inflammation, improve mobility and decrease stiffness. The key to ensuring that exercise is in fact the right medicine for you is to always use proper form and technique, in addition to choosing the right exercises. To determine what exercises are most appropriate for your knee pain, you should always consult your medical doctor and a trained professional such as a certified Personal Trainer.
Here are a few exercise tips to help you started…
Always warm up.
If you are already experiencing pain in your knee it is likely that you have sustained some sort of injury or have general wear and tear on the joint. According to a 2018 publication in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, “Performing warm-ups increases muscle temperature and blood flow, which contributes to improved exercise performance and reduced risk of injuries to muscles and tendons.” Try a 5-15 minute warmup on a recumbent bike, gradually building speed up to 50-75% max rate.
Do low-impact exercises.
Any form of physical activity that applies greater pressure to the joint should be avoided. Cardio exercises like running or jumping especially when landing on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete can cause further damage to the knee. Instead opt for low impact workouts like a dance or HIIT class, biking or swimming. Take modifications, lessen your resistance or decrease your speed when necessary.
Try body resistance or light weight.
Heavy weight outside of normal, healthy body weight can cause wear and tear on the joints. Avoid excessive weight when performing any leg exercise especially those that already stress the knee such as squats and lunges. Instead choose light weight or body resistance exercises like hamstring curls or glute bridges.
Rest and recover.
If you are experiencing knee pain during or outside of exercise, you should try to R.I.C.E. (Rest, ice, compress and elevate) the knee.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey