10 Simple Exercises for Knee Pain Relief
Knee pain can make you feel older than your age. This is one of today’s most common health complaints, How justified is it to pop pills every time you suffer from knee pain when exercise is an alternative form of medicine? Here are the best exercises for your knees to help keep pain away:
• Calf stretch
Stretching is a perfect natural pain reliever. Using a chair for support, take your right leg and bend your knee while holding onto the chair. Keep your left leg back and slowly straighten it. Press your left heel to the floor so that you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold the position for 20 seconds, repeat twice, then switch legs.
For more stretch bend your right knee a bit more but keep it behind your toes.
• Step up
You can use your steps for your knees. Place your left foot on the first step and slowly step up on right foot, hold the railing or wall for support. Keep your right foot off the ground and in the air. Hold for a second or two and come back down onto the right foot so that there is no weight on your left foot.
Repeat 6 times on each leg.
• Partial squats
Place a chair 12 inches away facing you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward. Bend at your hips making a chair-like position. Keep your abs tight and make sure your knees don’t go past your toes.
This will strengthen your inner legs to better support your knees. Lie on your back and bend your knees. Place a pillow between your knees and squeeze them together. Hold for a count of 10 and release. You can also squeeze while sitting in a chair keeping your fist between your knees instead of a pillow.
• Hamstring stretch
Another stretching exercise is to lie down on your back using a bed sheet. Make a loop around your right foot and pull it towards yourself to pull your leg straight up. Stretch the sheet and hold for 20 seconds before releasing. Repeat twice with each leg.
• Standing knee extension
Stand up straight and place the heel of the affected knee on the floor. Place both hands on your knee and bend forward, applying gentle pressure with your hands to keep it straight. Keep pushing and stretching until you are as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 2-3 seconds and return to the starting position. You can also try rotating your foot outward while stretching if you have pain inside the knee or rotate inward if your pain is on the outside of the knee.
• Straight leg raises
This will strengthen weak knees. Sit against a wall with your right leg bent and left leg flat on the floor. Slowly move your left leg up about 12 inches from the floor, keeping it straight. Hold for a few seconds then slowly lower it to the floor. Repeat with right leg.
• Heel raise
Stand up straight using a chair for support. Lift both heels and stand on your toes for a count of 3 then come back slowly. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. If you find this too difficult you can try it while sitting on a chair.
• Sit to stand
This exercise will make standing easier. Place two pillows on a chair and sit on top with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Now smoothly and slowly stand up tall using your leg muscles, then slowly lower to sitting position. Make sure your bent knees don’t go farther than your toes. For ease you can use a chair with armrests and use more pillows.
Sitting for extended periods can increase your pain. Make it a habit to talk on the phone while standing or walking. Walking backwards will strengthen your hamstrings and stabilize your knees, which will help relieve knee pain.
Note: Exercising 30 minutes a day is sufficient. Start with short durations then increase it gradually. You can warm up your body with some aerobics before you start exercising.