Understanding Pain Behind The Knee
Pain behind the knee is often distinguished as patellofemoral pain syndrome , which is caused by overuse , muscle dysfunction and postural abnormalities .PFPS can come as mild or severe, causing discomfort that spreads from the back of the knee cap affecting the thigh bone. It typically occurs in runners, basketball players, cyclists, and other sports that require players’ knee movements.
Strength Exercises For Knee Osteoarthritis
Aging doesnt just cost you articular cartilage flexibility. It also takes a toll on your muscles, too and that can lead to knee instability.
Sarcopenia is the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with age. The process typically starts around age 30. On average, adults lose 3% to 5% of their muscle strength every decade after that birthday.
A strength program targeting your lower body helps limit the decline in muscles supporting your knee. Think of those muscles as load-sharing cables, says Dr. Orlandi. They work to limit stress and pressure on the joint.
Workout equipment offers numerous ways to build strength through exercises such as leg presses, hamstring curls and quad extensions.
If you dont have equipment or a gym membership, no worries! Try these simple exercises:
- Bodyweight squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your feet turned out slightly. Keeping your heels on the ground, bend your knees while dropping your butt and lowering your body. Pause before returning to standing. Repeat.
- Stair stepping. If you have stairs in your home, tackle those flights a few times a day. Stepping up and down off of a stool or block also is an option if youre living in a one-floor residence.
- Leg extensions. Sit on the edge of your bed or a chair and alternate kicking out your left and right legs.
What Else Can Help With Knee Pain
Finding relief from knee pain depends on the cause or issue thats making it difficult for you to go about your daily activities. Carrying excess weight puts extra stress on your knees, which may lead to osteoarthritis.
In this case, the most effective treatment, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is weight loss. Your doctor may recommend a combination of diet and exercise to help you lose weight and strengthen the muscles in your lower body, especially around your knees.
A 2013 study found that adults with overweight and knee osteoarthritis experienced a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of a diet and exercise program.
But if overuse is the culprit, your doctor will likely suggest RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation and physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
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Does Your Knee Injury Need Surgery
Maybe it was a high school sports injury that you never got around to treating. Or maybe it was that spill you took skiing last winter that still gives you problems today.
Whatever its cause and however long ago it happened, a knee injury can affect how well you move. Fortunately, you can usually treat it with physical therapy, weight loss, and other strategies. Sometimes, if itâs more serious, your doctor may suggest surgery.
But how do you know when an operation is your best choice? That’s a discussion to have with your doctor. Surgery can’t fix every knee problem, and not everyone is a good candidate.
How To Fix Knee Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 58,186 times.
Knee pain is a common complaint among Americans and affects all ages, but often for different reasons. In younger people, knee pain is usually the result of an injury, such as a sprained ligament, tendinitis or torn cartilage. In older people, medical conditions such arthritis, gout and infections are more common causes of knee pain.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Most types of knee pain can be managed at home with self-care treatments however, in some cases, medical intervention is needed, including surgical repair.
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Double Knee To Chest Core Strengthening
Core strengthening is always an essential piece for a lower leg strengthening program. Without good core strength, leg strength and balance can never be optimized. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor to get started. Then, tighten the abs so that your back is flat on the floor. Hold this position as you lift both feet off the ground and bring your knees toward the chest. You should be able complete this with little to no movement in the low back without holding your breath. Return your feet to the floor with control and repeat.
Repeat for 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets. If its too hard, you can start with one leg at a time. Other great core strengthening options include planks and bicycle crunches.
Is It Safe For Me To Exercise
Are you worried that working out could cause more knee damage or pain? As long as your doctor says its OK, the best thing you can do is to strengthen the muscles that support your knee and keep them flexible. Start slowly, and build up over time. Talk to your doctor about which specific exercises are good for you.
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Exercises To Avoid With Knee Pain
To maximize your knee recovery potential, there are certain moves that you will want to avoid to prevent unnecessary aggravation initially. With time and healing, you will be able to carefully get back to all of your favorite activities. Exercises to consider avoiding include:
- High impact exercise such as running, jumping, and other plyometrics
- Sports that require sudden changes in direction or pivoting- such as basketball, volleyball, and football
- Deep squats or lunges
- Any lower leg move that makes the knee feel unstable- particularly if you notice it collapsing inward, as this can strain the patella , meniscus, and medial collateral ligament
- Repetitive leg movements that can lead to overuse
- Any exercise that causes knee pain
If youre having trouble tolerating exercise, focus on other home treatment options first. You may also benefit from a round of physical therapy to efficiently address your knee deficits and get the best possible relief. A physical therapist can recommend a personalized home program that boosts your recovery and confidence.
Thigh And Hip Strengthening Seated Leg Raises
This exercise strengthens the muscles in the front of the thigh, the quadriceps.
Repeat with the right leg. Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each side.
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Couch To 5k Running Plan
New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just 9 weeks.
The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.
As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
Exercises For Knee Oa Pain
Learn more about exercises that help with knee pain, promote knee function and reduce injury.
1. 6 Exercises for Knee OA Pain
2. Listen to Your Body
3. Mini Squat
4. Quad Stretch
5. Standing Back Leg Slide
6. Knee Strengthener Move 1
7. Knee Strengthener Move 2
8. Hamstring Stretch
9. Take Pressure Off Your Knees
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Easy Exercises For Knee Arthritis
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How exercise helps knee arthritis
Exercising an arthritic knee may seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise can actually lessen and even relieve arthritis pain and other symptoms, such as stiffness and swelling.
There are several reasons to exercise with knee arthritis:
- Exercise maintains the joints full range of motion.
- Exercise strengthens the muscles that support the joint.
- Strong muscles help the joint absorb shock.
Exercise doesnt have to be hard to be beneficial. In fact, gentle, low-impact exercises are best for knee arthritis. They minimize stress on the joint as they increase its flexibility and strength. Learn more about osteoarthritis here.
Top Exercises For Knee Pain
Low-impact exercises like stretching, swimming, and water aerobics are good for relieving knee pain. Using an exercise bike or elliptical trainer can help, too. In addition, try these therapeutic exercises that you can do at home:
This exercise is simple to do but can pay big dividends. As you get stronger, step up this exercise by using a resistance band just above the knees.
Step 1: Lie on your side with your hips stacked and knees comfortably bent.
Step 2: Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up, mimicking the movement of a clamshell opening.
Step 3: Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower the knee back down.
Try for 15-20 repetitions on each side.
Perform this exercise on the floor, not on a bed or other soft surface.
Step 1: Lie on your back with one leg bent at about a 90-degree angle and the other leg straight.
Step 2: With thigh muscles tight, raise the straight leg about a foot off the ground and hold.
Be sure to use a sturdy chair for this exercise.
Step 1: Sit slightly forward in a chair with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Slowly stand up without using your hands.
Step 3: Reverse the motion and sit down.
Step 4: Repeat as many times as you can.
Try for three sets of this exercise.
This exercise requires something to step up on. You should start with a step of 6-8 inches. If you don’t have a step platform, you can use a stair step.
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Lunges With Knee Passing Over Toes
If the knee goes past the toes when lunging, the compressive forces at the kneecap increase significantly, Ebner says. This can cause grinding and irritation in the knee joint.
Fix it: For most people, your knees should be directly over your toesor not too far past your toes. But whats more important is how you distribute your weight: Think about keeping your weight in your heel and mid-foot. That way, if your knee does move forward slightly, the forces wont be so great on it.
What Can You Do For The Pain
Your plan will depend on your specific injury. Mild to moderate issues will often get better on their own. To speed the healing, you can:
- Rest your knee. Take a few days off from intense activity.
- Ice it to curb pain and swelling. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Keep doing it for 2 to 3 days or until the pain is gone.
- Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to wrap the joint. It will keep down swelling or add support.
- Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when you’re sitting or lying down to cut down on swelling.
- Take anti-inflammatorymedications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label. These drugs can have side effects, so you should only use them now and then unless your doctor says otherwise.
- Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. You may want to do physical therapy, too.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you still have pain after 2 weeks of home treatment, if the knee becomes warm, or if you have fever along with a painful, swollen knee.
Some people with knee pain need more help. For instance, if you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee. If you have arthritis, you may need an occasional corticosteroid shot to settle down inflammation. And if you have a torn ligament or certain knee injuries, you may need surgery.
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What Conditions Can Exercise Help
Knee exercises and stretches can help relieve knee pain caused by many conditions, including these three that commonly affect older women:
Patellofemoral pain. This condition typically causes a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee thats made worse by daily activities, such as squatting, going up or down stairs, or standing up after sitting for a long period of time. The pain is caused by irritation of the cartilage underneath the kneecap when it does not glide or sit properly. Exercise can help to eliminate problems that lead to this irritation. Stretches can loosen tight muscles on the side of the knee that may be pulling the kneecap out of its groove as it moves. Strengthening weak hip muscles or stretching tight muscles in the front or back of the legs can also reduce discomfort.
Chronic degenerative meniscal tears. When one or both pads of cartilage that cushion each of your knee joints deteriorates or tears, you may feel pain and a sticking or locking sensation. While surgery is sometimes necessary, doctors usually first recommend physical therapy to help build up the muscles around the knee to take the pressure off the joint and reduce discomfort.
Getting Medical Treatment For Knee Pain
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W Sit And Hurdler Stretch
W sitting is normally seen in children, but has also been adopted by athletes to stretch hip rotators and quadriceps, Ebner says. The hurdler stretch is a similar stretch focusing on one leg at a time. Both stretches are bad because of the large amounts of torque applied to the knee, hip, and ankle.
Fix it: Find stretches for all fitness levels on the SilverSneakers GO app . Like a stretch? You can save it to your favorites.
How Do I Start Exercising
Your doctor or physical therapist will tell you which exercises are right for you.
Start slowly. Building muscle strength takes time. As you get stronger, gradually increase the number of exercise repetitions or add weight to an exercise.
Do not ignore pain. You should not feel serious pain during an exercise. You might feel discomfort because you are challenging your muscles, but not pain. If an exercise hurts, stop the exercise.
Do not overdo it. You should not feel serious pain after exercise. It is typical to feel stiff or a bit sore the day after you exercise. If you feel so sore that it is difficult to move, then you have overdone your exercise. Rest is the best thing for your sore muscles.
Ask questions. Talk to your doctor or therapist if you have any pain or are unsure of how many exercises to do, or how often to do them.
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Quad Foam Roller Stretch
Stretching your quads is vital, since our quads get adaptively short from all the sitting most of us do every day. Theyre often under constant tension. To get this large muscle group back to functioning at its best, Williams suggests using a foam roller.
Lie facedown. Place a foam roller under your right leg, right under your quad. Put the majority of your body weight on your leg and roll slowly. Instead of simply rolling up and down, roll your leg from side to side too, focusing pressure on the tighter spots in your muscles.
Switch legs. Continue rolling until this feeling is no longer painful. If thats impossible , do it for at least 5 minutes.