Stretching Exercises Help Relieve Knee Pain at Home
Knee pain is a common issue, affecting approximately 18 million people annually. Sadly, it can interfere with your routine daily activities. Knee pain is the result of general wear and tear from daily activities like bending, walking, lifting, or standing. Other causes include:
- Sprained knee ligaments
- Meniscus tears
- Knee tendon tear
- ACL injury
Brief Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is vulnerable to pain as it bears the most pressure from everyday activities, including physical exercises like aerobics and jogging. It comprises:
- Patella or kneecap
- The femur or the upper leg bone
- The tibia or the shinbone
The bones have a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock to protect the knee. Around the femur and tibia bones are two groups of muscles that enable you to bend and stretch the knee. Other components around the knee are tendons that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments connect bone to bone and determine how far the tibia moves backward and forward.
Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain
When you have knee pain because of surgery, injury, or arthritis, gentle stretching exercises can help ease the pain. They also enhance flexibility and improve the range of motion. While exercising an injured knee may seem counterintuitive, it is better than keeping the knee still. Doing so can make it stiff, worsening the pain and making it difficult to engage in daily activities.
Heel and Calf stretch
This stretch helps to strengthen the muscles in the lower leg, especially the calf muscles:
- Stand a short distance from the wall as you face it.
- Place both hands on the wall and move one leg back as far as you possibly can while remaining comfortable. Both feet should face forward, with the heel flat on the ground and a slight bend in both knees.
- Lean into the stretch and hold the position for 30 seconds until you feel some impact in your back leg.
- Change the position of the legs and do as above
- Repeat the exercise twice for both legs
This exercise targets the muscles at the back of your thigh, the hamstring muscles. If done properly, you will feel the back of your leg and the base of your glutes stretch. The impact will also be evident in your calves when stretching the feet. Follow these steps to stretch the hamstring muscles:
- Spread a mat on the floor and lie on it, adding some cushioning under the back for comfort if necessary
- Straighten both legs or bend the knees with the feet on the floor
- Lift one leg off the floor and put your hands behind the lifted thigh, just below the knee
- Gently bring the lifted knee forward toward the chest until you feel a slight stretch, but without any pain accompanying it
- Hold the position for 30 seconds
- Repeat the same steps with the other leg
- Repeat two times for each leg
Straight Leg Raises
This is a simple stretching exercise for the leg muscles and quadriceps. It should put no strain on the knee:
- Lie on a flat surface on your back
- Bend one knee with the foot flat on the floor
- Keep the other leg straight on the floor
- Lift the straight leg, raising it to the height of the opposite knee
- Hold for 20 seconds
- Do the same with the other leg and repeat 10 -15 times for three sets.
Stretching exercises should relieve knee pain and discomfort. However, stop exercising and check with your doctor if you experience sharp, shooting, or sudden pain in the knee, joints, or muscles.
Your doctor may recommend braces and other medical supplies for knee pain. If this is the case, Elite Medical Supply is here to help you on the road to recovery. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your bracing needs.
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