Top 12 Knee Pain Exercises And Stretches
The type of knee exercises that will help you find relief from knee pain depends on the underlying cause of your condition. Dr. Torrance has found that for his patients to get the most results from knee pain exercises and stretches, they first have to identify if theyre generally more strong or more flexible.
If youre legs are very flexible but not so strong, you want to work on strengthening and activating the correct muscles in your legs to support your knees . On the other hand, if youre strong but also tight, you want to improve your flexibility/mobility. If you have a condition that causes pain, gently working on improving both strength and range of motion is important.
Below are some of Dr. Torrances favorite knee strengthening exercises and stretches:
1. Clam Shells This is a great exercise for younger athletes and females who have weak gluteus medius muscles. Its also helpful for those who have flat feet, which creates stress in your ankle that travels up to your knees. Start by laying on your right side with your knees bent and feet and hips stacked. You want your feet to be in line with your butt and your shoulders stacked. Engage your core and keep your feet together as you raise your left knee out to the side while keeping your right knee down on the floor. Hold your lifted knee for one second, then lower and repeat. Try to complete 20 reps on each side.
Are There Guidelines About The Use Of Cbd For Chronic Arthritis Pain
Until recently, little guidance has been available for people with arthritis pain who were interested in CBD treatment. Depending on availability and interest, patients and their doctors had to decide on their own whether CBD was a reasonable option in each specific case. To a large degree thats still true, but some guidelines have been published. Heres one set of guidelines for people pursuing treatment with CBD that I find quite reasonable :
- If considering a CBD product, choose one that has been independently tested for purity, potency, and safety for example, look for one that has received a Good Manufacturing Practices certification.
- CBD should be one part of an overall pain management plan that includes nonmedication options and psychological support.
- Choose an oral treatment and start with a low dose taken in the evening.
- Establish initial goals of treatment within a realistic period of time for example, a reduction in knee pain that allows you to walk around the block within two weeks of starting treatment later, if improved, the goals can be adjusted.
- Tell your doctor about your planned and current CBD treatment monitor your pain and adjust medications with your medical providers, rather than with nonmedical practitioners .
What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Arthritis Of The Knee
Your healthcare provider will interview you when you report your symptoms. Some questions might include:
- Does anyone in your family have arthritis of the knee?
- Does your knee swell up?
- Is your skin often red?
- Is your skin often warm?
- Do you have symptoms in one knee or both?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- What medications do you take?
- How severe is your pain?
- Do you struggle to walk?
- Do the symptoms interfere with your daily activities?
Severe Joint Pain Among Adults With Arthritis
Arthritis-related severe joint pain affects adults of all ages, both sexes, and all races and ethnicities. Most of what we know about severe joint pain is for adults. The age-standardized prevalence of severe joint pain among adults with arthritis varies by state, ranging from 20% in Utah to 46% in Mississippi.1
From 2002 to 2014 in the United States, severe joint pain prevalence among adults with arthritis was:
- Higher among women than men .
- Highest among adults aged 45 to 64 years . Prevalence was the same for adults aged 18 to 44 years and adults aged 65 years or older .
- Highest among non-Hispanic Blacks , followed by Hispanics , and non-Hispanic whites .
- Severe joint pain is more common among adults with arthritis who also have other chronic conditions including diabetes , heart disease , and obesity , and among adults with a disability .
- More than half of adults with arthritis and serious psychological distress reported having severe joint pain.
Use Heat Or Cold Safely
- Use either heat or cold for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Let your skin return to its normal temperature before using another application.
- Always put a towel between your skin and any type of pack.
- Always follow the advice of your physical therapist or doctor carefully when using these methods especially heat.
- Check your skin before and after using heat or cold.
- Use milder temperatures for a child’s skin because it is more sensitive than an adult’s skin.
- Do not use either heat or cold if you have open cuts or sores.
- Do not use cold packs if you have poor circulation or vasculitis.
- Do not use heat that is too hot or cold that is too cold. It is normal for your skin to appear pink after using a hot or cold pack. If an area appears dark red or spotty red and white there may be some skin damage. Blisters also appear if the pack was too hot or too cold.
- Do not use creams, heat rubs or lotions on your skin while using a hot or cold treatment.
- Do not make your bath or shower water too hot. This may cause dizziness or fatigue.
Read Also: Get Rid Of Knock Knees
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation uses a machine that sends electrical impulses through sticky patches, called electrodes, attached to the skin. This may help ease the pain caused by your osteoarthritis by numbing the nerve endings in your spinal cord which control pain.
Treatment with TENS is usually arranged by a physiotherapist or doctor, who can advise you on the strength of the pulses and how long your treatment should last.
What Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
- Thighbone .
- Shinbone .
- Kneecap .
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint
Don’t Miss: Mini Knee Replacement
How Exercise Helps Knee Arthritis
Exercise programs for arthritis that include strength and aerobic exercise can help reduce symptoms, improve joint motion and function, enhance balance, and control body weight. With knee OA, strength training exercises are particularly important, adds Lauren Shroyer, MS, director of product development at the American Council on Exercise.
Thats because as you age, balance can decline for multiple reasons arthritis in your knee can affect balance as well. Strength exercises help stabilize your knee and retain that balance for longer periods of time. Plus, your body relies on muscles to help motor joints, adds Dr. Johnson. For the knee, thats the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and hamstrings in the back.
You cant cure arthritis or make it go away, says Dr. Johnson. But if you strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize the knee, you can take some of the stress load of weight-bearing or walking off a joint thats worn out and weakened from arthritis, and place it on the stronger muscle.
How Chiropractic Care Helps Relieve Knee Pain From Arthritis
Chiropractic care can help reduce the inflammation in your knee and improve your range of motion. This leads to reduced knee pain. Unfortunately, your body doesnt automatically rebuild the cartilage thats worn away. If you have pain when you walk, you may find relief when you go to a chiropractor. You will learn strengthening techniques and get the treatment you need to improve your gait.
Read Also: What Is Chondrocalcinosis Of The Knee
Exercise And Wise Use Of Joints
Another key to coping with pain is to follow an exercise program designed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Your exercise program should include special range-of-motion exercises to help keep your joints movable. It should also include general fitness exercise such as swimming or walking. These help keep your heart, lungs, bones and muscles strong. Exercise also helps relieve stiffness and gives you an improved sense of well-being. Here are some tips to help you exercise properly:
- If you have a flare, do only gentle range-of-motion exercises.
- Start with just a few exercises and slowly add more.
- Listen to your body. If it hurts too much or if you begin to have too much pain, stop the exercise. Ask your doctor or therapist to help you learn the difference between normal exercise discomfort and too much exercise pain.
Using joints wisely and saving energy
Using your joints wisely means doing everyday tasks in ways that reduce the stress on painful joints. Saving your energy means “listening” to your body for signals that it needs to rest. It also means learning to pace yourself so you don’t become too tired. Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:
What Are The Four Stages Of Osteoarthritis In The Knees
People who have immense osteoarthritispain may only show mild changes on X-ray, so it is important to concentrate on the symptoms rather than just the X-ray. Below are the stages of osteoarthritis of the knee with appropriate treatment plans.
Stage 0 or Normal:
- When the knee shows no signs of osteoarthritis, it is classified as stage 0.
- There is no treatment required for stage 0 osteoarthritis.
Stage 1 or Minor:
- In this stage, patients may develop very minor wear and tear and bone spur growths at the end of the knee joints.
- Usually, patients may not feel pain or any discomfort.
- This stage is usually diagnosed as an incidental finding or during a regular health checkup.
- Physicians may not recommend any special treatment for stage 1. However, supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may be recommended. Lifestyle considerations such as regular exercise and weight loss may also prove to be helpful.
Stage 2 or Mild:
Stage 3 or Moderate:
Stage 4 or Severe:
You May Like: What Rebuilds Cartilage
Make Your Own Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, is an ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relief ointments. It works by reducing levels of a compound called substance P, which transmits pain signals to your brain. You can whip up your own massage oil by mixing a few dashes of ground cayenne with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Apply it with gauze to unbroken skin on your painful joints several times a day. The first few doses will cause a mild burning sensation on the surface of your skin, but youll become desensitized to that feeling after a week or so. Just be sure to keep it away from your mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes, where it will really sting.
Which Shots Are Used For Knee Arthritis
The most common shot for arthritis knee pain is a steroid shot. It’s also called a cortisone or corticosteroid shot. Arthritis pain is caused by inflamed tissue, and the steroid shot can help to reduce the inflammation.
Steroid shots can give quick pain relief. For some people, the relief lasts only a few weeks. Others get relief for 6 months or longer. And for some people, these shots don’t help at all.
Another kind of shot for osteoarthritis is a hyaluronic acid injection. This shot may give some people short-term pain relief, but most experts don’t recommend getting this shot. Many studies show that it doesn’t help.
Don’t Miss: Nano Knee Replacement Surgery
Causes Of Knee Arthritis
Do: Incorporate Strength And Flexibility Training To Strengthen Your Leg Muscles
A fitness plan for osteoarthritis should include strength and flexibility training along with aerobic exercise, says James Wyss, MD, a sports physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and an assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Strengthening exercises help support the muscles around the joint, while stretching can maintain and sometimes improve flexibility around the knee,” Dr. Wyss says.
Gradual Increase In Pain
Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.
At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk.
You may also feel pain when youre simply sitting down. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.
For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.
With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. They can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary by days. Factors that may cause them to worsen include cold weather, stress, and excessive activity.
With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary, but they include changes in medication.
With OA, this can be:
- hard swelling, due to the formation of bone spurs
- soft swelling, as inflammation causes extra fluid to collect around the joint
Swelling may be more noticeable after a long period of inactivity, like when you first wake up in the morning.
This is because RA is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body. OA, meanwhile, only has a direct impact on the affected joint.
What Are The Signs Of Arthritis
- Joint becomes stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend and straighten the knee
- Pain and swelling is worse after sitting or resting for long periods of time
- Vigorous activity increases levels of pain
- Deformities of the knee
- Loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue may interfere, causing the knee to lock or stick during movement
- Feelings of weakness and buckling of the knee, poor range of motion
Diagnosing your knee arthritis early can help you seek treatment and therapies that relieve pain and preserve your ability to move without pain or difficulty. Knee pain can also indicate that you have osteoporosis, in which your bones lose their density and become more fragile. This condition can cause pain and discomfort similar to that caused by arthritis. If knee pain is interfering with daily activities more frequently, see your doctor as soon as possible to test for more serious conditions.
Don’t Miss: How To Whiten Your Knees Fast
What About Glucosamine And Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are components of healthy cartilage. Both are produced naturally in the body. They are also available in supplement form.
Researchers have long studied the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements on arthritis. Many studies have found mixed resultssome have shown pain relief and function improvements compared to a placebo, while others showed no benefit from using these supplements.
Because of the lack of confirmatory evidence on the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, the 2019 ACR/Arthritis guidelines recommend that people with knee OA not use these supplements.
There has been little or no research on the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in people with knee arthritis related to RA.
Most supplements are generally safe to use. Talk to your doctor about whether it is safe for you to start a supplement with your current knee arthritis treatment plan.
While supplements have few severe side effects attached to them, it is still possible to experience these. Supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, can make other treatments less effective, and affect other health conditions you may have.