Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
If the hips become tight, your body will rely on and overwork the quads, which puts pressure on the knees, This stretch is an easy way to open up the hips:
- Kneel on one knee. Place the opposite foot flat in front of you, front thigh parallel to the floor.
- Lean forward, stretching your hip toward the floor.
- Tighten your butt this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
- Reach up with the arm on the same side as the knee on the floor. This will help deepen the stretch.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- Cross your left foot over your right quad, and bend your right knee.
- Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
- When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
- Switch sides and repeat.
What Causes Knee Pain
Knees top the list of common problem areas for pain, along with the legs, neck, and back, according to James Rippe, MD, a cardiologist and joint pain specialist.
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, like a short-term injury from twisting your knee the wrong way during exercise. It could also be a sign of your joint cartilage wearing away over time from high-impact activities, like running on concrete.
Factors like inactivity, carrying too much body weight, poor posture, improperly treated injuries, and insufficient nourishment can all contribute to knee pain, Rippe says.
And if your pain is interfering with daily activities, youre not alone. About one in four Americans now has severe joint pain related to arthritis, according to the CDC. A 2013 study also reported a 162-percent increase in knee replacements over the last 20 years. Messier SP, et al. . Effects of intensive diet and exercise on knee joint loads, inflammation, and clinical outcomes among overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis: The IDEA randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.277669
Luckily, by taking better care of your knees throughout your life, starting as early as your twenties, you can strengthen them and potentially save yourself from years of daily pain and discomfort.
Seated Straight Leg Raise
Knee pain often results in quadriceps weakness- this exercise will help. Sit in a comfortable seat holding good posture with the feet flat on the floor and hip width apart. Then, tighten the top of the thigh as you lift that foot off the ground and straighten the knee . Hold for an extra second with the knee straight before slowly returning to the starting position. Alternate between both legs.
Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each leg for 2-3 sets total. To progress, add ankle weights, increase hold time, or increase repetitions.
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Single Knee To Chest Stretch
Exercises To Help Relieve Patellar Tendonitis Or Quadriceps Tendonitis
Another very common type of knee pain occurs when the tendons that are connected to your kneecap become inflamed . Patellar tendonitis, also called “jumper’s knee,” results in pain at the base of your kneecap, while quadriceps tendonitis results in pain at the top of your kneecap.
The patellar and quadriceps tendons help straighten your kneecap as you extend your leg. When used repetitively or when placed under excess pressure as a result of weak hamstring and/or quadriceps muscles, painful inflammation of the tendons can result.
To help relieve knee pain caused by tendonitis, focus on gently stretching and strengthening your hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
“With knee-related tendonitis, resisted knee extension exercises should be avoided, since this movement applies stress to the quadriceps and patellar tendons, as well as the kneecap,” explains Dr. Brooks. “In addition, cycling may cause pain, since the constant bending repetitively stretches your already inflamed tendon.”
Instead, Dr. Brooks recommends the elliptical as a great way to maintain your fitness without worsening your knee tendonitis pain. An elliptical machine keeps your knee in a neutral position, reducing the amount of tension placed on these tendons.
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What Is Inner Knee Pain
Inner knee pain occurs in your knees, such as a dull ache or sharp stabbing pains. You might even hear a cracking or popping sound when your knee joint moves.
However, this depends on the cause of your pain. If you have inner knee pain, you can also experience redness, bruising, increased warmth, and swelling.
If your symptoms improve during the day, you might have a knee that is inflamed. It is known as knee bursitis.
If the pain gets worse in the day, it might mean you have a degenerative disorder, like arthritis.
Sprained Knee Recovery Time
A knee sprain is considered healed when theres no more pain or swelling, and you can move your knee freely.
Many grade 1 and 2 knee sprains heal within two to four weeks. People who need surgery, however, may take as long as four to six months to recover.
About 80 to 90 percent of people with ACL injuries and 80 percent of those with PCL injuries will experience a full recovery. MCL and LCL sprains tend to heal quite well. However, some people with sprained ACL or PCL ligaments can develop arthritis in their knee over time.
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Medial Collateral Ligament Injury
The medial collateral ligament runs along the outside of your inner knee to stabilize the joint. If the ligament overstretches, you may have an MCL sprain.
The MCL can also tear partially or fully. An MCL injury most commonly occurs after force is applied to the outer knee, such as in contact sports.
Symptoms of an MCL injury include:
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.
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How Exercise Helps Inner Knee Pain
Exercise should be a normal part of your healthy lifestyle. It can boost strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, increased blood flow and endurance. Pain on the inside of the knee is often caused by existing knee injuries such as bursitis, knee osteoarthritis, runners knee, MCL tear, etc. The biggest factor in gaining these benefits is making sure that you are choosing the right exercises to avoid aggravation while still maximizing your knee health.
Hip Flexor Muscles Stretch
The hip flexors are the group of muscles connecting the torso and the leg. They are involved in bending forward at the waist and in moving the knee upward, towards the torso.
Kneeling Hip Flexors StretchThis stretch is best done on a mat or carpet.
Repeat the stretch 3 times on each side, holding each leg for 20 seconds.
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Are My Quads Tight
What Is Pes Anserine Bursitis
The pes anserinus, also called goose foot, is where three tendons are conjoined on the inner side of the shin. It is a complex structure of tendons susceptible to injury. Located below the knee, it is the starting point of three muscles. These muscles are responsible for the inward rotation and bending of the knee joint.
The pain occurs on the inner side of the shinbone directly below the knee.
Pain develops from overexertion, friction, or trauma in the transition zone from muscles and tendons into the bone. There is also a bursa located here that can cause problems.
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Perform These Knee Stretches To Help Relieve Knee Pain
As you just discovered, a “knee stretch” may not stretch your knee at all. Instead, stretches for knee pain help loosen the muscles surrounding your knee joint such as your quads, hamstrings, and inner thigh muscles.
As your knee hurts, remember this: Doing one thing will rarely, if ever, cure an injury. To truly rid yourself of knee pain, you will need to take a well-rounded approach to wellness. Strengthening your quads, performing gluteactivation, and doing a proper warm up will take pressure off the knee, and improve the stabilization of the joint.
In addition, switching to low-impact activities , will help your knee joint prevent overuse, giving your knee time to heal. Lastly, revise your recovery routine, foam rolling your quads, hamstrings, and IT bands to relieve knee pain.
To develop a well-rounded fitness routine that helps you prevent future injury, consider signing up for the Premium plan for the Build Bullet-Proof Health program. You’ll get detailed strength, cardio, recovery, and nutrition plans, plus monthly check-ins with me to discuss your progress.
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Other Inner Knee Pain Treatments
If your inner knee pain worsens after several days, or if basic at-home remedies dont alleviate symptoms, you should go see your doctor.
Some treatment methods for more serious knee injuries include:
- Steroid injection. This injection is used to treat pes anserine bursitis.
- Physical therapy. Therapy often involves stretching, exercises, and ultrasound therapy.
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Exercise For Inner Knee Pain Relief
Inner knee pain can leave you feeling frustrated and unable to efficiently complete your daily activities. Luckily, with a consistent home program for stretching and strengthening you can start gaining confidence in your knee while you boost its healing potential. Its always important to start small with what you’re comfortable completing and then progressing from there.
If youre not sure where to start, discuss the possibilities with your doctor or physical therapist. If your symptoms are chronic, arent getting better after a week or two, or get progressively worse, get in touch with a trusted medical professional as soon as possible for further medical advice.
Knee Exercises For Runners
These knee-strengthening exercises will help with your running, strengthen the muscles around the knee and prevent knee pain.
The exercises strengthen all the muscles supporting the knee and stretch out the iliotibial band, known as the ITB, which runs down the outside of the thigh.
They can be done as part of your warm-up before a run or as a cool-down routine after a run, outside or indoors, or whenever is most convenient.
Typically, you should start to see some benefits after 2 weeks of doing these knee exercises every day.
You should not feel any pain when doing these exercises. If you do, stop immediately and seek medical advice. These exercises are not suitable for people with an existing knee injury.
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Top 7 Stretches To Relieve Knee Pain For Athletes
Athletes like you want to push their limits every day to become better at what they do. However, putting your joints under too much stress can cause pain and inflammation. You can use the following athletic stretches to prevent knee pain. We also suggest these stretches for knee pain that already exists.
Please note that the best knee stretches for runners and athletes will depend on the nature of their individual injury or pain. An orthopedic specialist can help you find the right exercises for you.
When You Feel Knee Pain
If you have knee pain, the thought of stretching might seem unpleasant. However, doing knee stretches when your knees hurt can help you feel better.
The key is to move slowly and gently. Hold each stretch for just a few seconds. If youre doing reps, start with a low number. As your muscles loosen up, you can increase the duration of each stretch.
You should stop if you feel new pain or if your existing pain gets worse. In this case, see a physical therapist for personalized guidance.
In addition to stretching your knees, there are other ways to keep them healthy. This includes:
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Calf Smash With Lacrosse Ball
This move allows you to work out tension in your calf and your hamstring, Williams says.
Sit on the floor and pull your right foot close to your butt so your knee is bent. Wedge a lacrosse ball below your right knee, sandwiching it between your calf and hamstring.
Create a compression force by pulling your shin toward you, and then rotate your foot in alternating circular movements to help create space in your knee joint. Continue until you feel tightness in these areas being relieved, and then switch legs.
Common Causes Of Inner Knee Pain
There are a variety of causes of inner knee pain. Many of them can be linked to an injury. Some of the most common incidents that cause knee injury and pain include falls, sports injuries, or increased activity.
Adults particularly those older than 60 are most likely to experience knee pain. However, inner knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of inner knee pain in children are:
- patellar subluxation
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How A Sprained Knee Is Diagnosed
The doctor will test the ligaments by stressing the individual ligaments to see if theres any instability or if the joint is stable.
If you injure your knee, see a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if you cant stand up, feel as though your knee will collapse, or your leg looks swollen or bulgy.
The doctor will examine your knee, look for swelling and bruising, and ask you to move it around to determine your mobility. Theyll compare it to your uninjured knee.
Theyll also want to know what you were doing when the injury happened, whether you heard a pop, and how long it took to become painful.
You may also be given imaging tests. An X-ray will show if theres a broken bone, but other imaging methods allow the physician to see different, non-bony structures inside your knee. This includes the ligaments and other tissues that support it.
Knee sprains are rated by severity. An overstretched ligament is grade 1. A partially torn ligament is grade 2. A ligament thats severely torn or separated is considered grade 3.
The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of your injury and what part of your knee was damaged.
Downward Dog Calf Stretch
When it comes to a basic calf stretch the Downward Dog is the leader. A classic yoga pose, it helps stretch your calf muscles.
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Think You Have Runners Knee
Its important to note that runners knee is often used as an umbrella term, meaning its a diagnosis of *what* your symptoms are, but it doesnt always determine *why* youre experiencing runners knee.
Some causes of runners knee:
- kneecaps that are too high in the knee joint
- weak core, hip, leg, and/or calf muscles
- tight leg muscles
- restricted joint motion at hips, knees, or ankles
- unsupported feet
- bad form when running
Pro tip: I also like standing hamstring stretches with the foot propped up on a step or chair, says physical therapist Austin Win. This allows a deeper stretch and to emphasize more hip stability if its tolerated.