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What To Take For Bad Knees

Running On Treadmill Vs Outside

The Best Exercises For Bad Knees

A research in 2019 has analyzed whether treadmill running is biomechanically comparable to overground running. 33 participants were included in this research to compare the differences between running on treadmills and running outside.

The key findings from this research indicated that muscle activity and muscle-tendon measures are similar between treadmill and overground running. The differences are appeared from the measures of foot strike, knee flexion range of motion and the vertical displacement .

Researchers have found the following points which are reflecting that running on a treadmill produces a lower impact on the knees than running outside:

  • The vertical displacement of running on a treadmill was significantly lower when compared against running on all overground surfaces
  • In some situations, the characteristics of treadmill running biomechanics can be beneficial for training or knee injury rehab because treadmill has a less stiff surface which is preferable for rehab with lower vertical loading rates compared to stiff overground surfaces
  • Higher muscle forces in the gastrocnemius and soleus have been found during treadmill running thus it may be suitable for rehab from lower limb stress fractures
  • The Reduced propulsive force has been found during treadmill running which adds less stress on your knee joints because running speed is relatively stable
  • Lower braking forces are found when running on a treadmill which produced lower impacts on the knees

When To See A Doctor

Joint laxity decreases with age, and it can become difficult to tell which aches and pains are a normal part of a maturing body and which signal injury or chronic disease. Arthritis, meniscus and ligament tears, fractures, and other serious conditions usually require a proper diagnosis. You should see a doctor if your creaks and aches progress to any of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to walk

Be Gentler When You Exercise

Running on roads can jar your knees, while a jog through a wooded trail carries the risk of falls and twists to knees and ankles. A better way to run is on a treadmill or track, or alternate jogging with walking, Dr. White suggests. Biking doesnt put as much strain on your knees, but it can cause pain if you ratchet up the resistance too high on a stationary bike or the saddle is pushed back too far or is too low. If you bike a lot outdoors, you might want to spring for a professional bike fitting, which can help you with seat and handlebar height and pedal strokes. Whatever exercise you do, just remember to warm up.; You lose muscle strength as you get olderespecially if you sit at a desk most daysand that just increases your chances of injury when you head out to exercise.

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What Modifications Can I Do To Avoid Hurting My Knees

Mazzucco suggests doing lunge variations to avoid knee injury. Some of these include a modified lunge where you bend halfway instead of all the way, or lunging backward to help prevent your knee from moving too far forward. She also recommended trying static lunges, an exercise in which your feet don’t move, but you still go down in lunge position, pause, and come back up.

“Make sure your right shin is vertical to the ground to prevent your knee from pushing over the right foot,” Mazzucco said. “Static lunges are better for avoiding knee pain than walking forward lunges because walking lunges require momentum, making it hard to stop your movements, which can add pressure to the knee.”

In addition to these alternative lunge exercises, Dr. Kuhn also suggests elevating your front foot on a small stair or box when doing lunges. Having some form of support nearby – whether it’s a pole or kitchen sink – can also help relieve any knee pressure as well. If you suffer from knee conditions such as osteoarthritis, you can take the bend out altogether.

Optimal Aging Portal Blog Team

How to Exercise with Bad Knees

The latest scientific evidence on this topic was reviewed by the McMaster Optimal Aging team. Blog Posts are written by a professional writer, assessed for accuracy by Dr. Maureen Dobbins, an expert in interpreting and communicating the scientific literature, and edited by a professional editor. There are no conflicts of interest.

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No 2 Leg Extension Without A Machine

If you wish to support your knees in times of stress, it is better to stay away from machines and find the best alternative to squat for bad knees.

Staying seated, tightening your thighs, and then extending your legs forward will increase the strength in your quadriceps and turn out to be the biggest support for your knees.

Essential tip As this is one of the best substitutes for bad knees, to make the most of it, make sure that you are seated comfortably and dont be too fast while stretching your leg forward. Also make sure to tighten your abs when you lift your leg up and release it when you stretch your leg forward.


  • Rest your back and sit straight on a chair
  • Place your hands on your thighs.
  • Slowly lift your right knee upwards, tighten your abs, and then slowly stretch your leg forward. See to it that your toes are pointed straight in a 90 degree angle. Your thighs and toes should be in one line.
  • Now, bring your leg down slowly.
  • Repeat this procedure with your left leg too.

Among the squat alternatives for bad knees, leg extension without a machine is excellent. Try it for about 3-4 minutes every day.

To figure out the right technique of doing this exercise, watch this video!

Choosing The Right Treadmill Belt With More Comfort

Choosing the right treadmill belt can actually offer your legs and knee joints more cushioning and comfort.; Treadmill belt thickness is the main factor that is directly related to the level impact on your knees and whether you can run comfortably on a treadmill. The treadmill belt is the component of the treadmill that the runner is directly contacting their feet.

Hence how much grip the treadmill belt can provide or how much impact it will cause to your knee joints are the main factors you need to consider when choosing the right thickness for the treadmill belt. Treadmill belt can typically be categorized in three different types based on its thickness:

  • Single Ply: The treadmill belt is made by a single piece of rubber
  • 2-Ply: The upper side of the treadmill belt is made by high-quality PVC rubber and the underside is made of cotton, polyester and mono-filament
  • 3-Ply: Added an additional layer of rubber to provide cushioning

Treadmill belt with 2-Ply is generally the sweet spot for running because its made by high-quality PVC rubber which can give sufficient grip when you are running and the cotton from the underside helps to reduces the impacts on your knees. Cotton can also reduce the noise from the deck when the treadmill is operating.

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Exercises That Require You To Jump A Lot Should Also Be Avoided

Since jumping can put a lot of force on your body that is equal to twice or thrice your body weight. This amount of weight on the knees can increase the chance of injury. Exercises that involve hopping or light jumping are a lot better but make sure that you do not perform any such activities that require bending of the knees while jumping.

The Best Workout For Bad Knees

How To Get Fit With Bad Knees!

When you develop bad knees, you may think your days of working out are over. After all, most exercises involve the movement of the knees in some way.

Some of the limitations youll experience will depend on the reason for the bad knees. You may find you must change your workout temporarily while you recover or you may need to find permanent alternatives to your favorite workouts.

Heres a look at the best workout for your bad knees. Youll take the pressure off, avoid too much movement, but not do so little that you can make your injury or ailment worse. After all, your knees will still need some movement to help avoid pain and issues.

You may be surprised to see that some of these exercises involve using your knees or kneeling on them. Your suitability for some of these will certainly depend on the problem. You shouldnt feel pain when performing these exercises. Check out more info on inner thigh band workout here

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Cardio Workouts To Fit Into Your Training

Most people believe that bad knees mean no more cardio workouts. After all, running or walking can aggravate your injury or leave you in pain for hours or days afterward.

You dont have to give up all cardio. Youll want to do a couple of sessions a week to help ease the pain, keep your joints working, and boost your heart health. Its all about finding alternative workouts to walking or running.

Start with swimming.;One of the best workouts you can do is swimming. This is suitable for everyone, and you will burn the calories. Build your stamina up in the pool.

Worried about getting bored? You can now get waterproof MP3 players. Youll be able to download your favorite podcasts or music and listen to them while youre in the pool. Its almost like youre still running.

One of the benefits of swimming is the lack of weight youll feel. The water holds up you, taking the pressure off your joints. Youll find it easier to stretch, push yourself, and move your joints around. If you dont fancy swimming lengths, you can take up aqua aerobics, do a little weight training with float weights, and even walk up and down the pool.

When you do swim lengths, especially if youre doing front crawl, you will burn almost the same number of calories as you would on the run. Its sometimes easier to push yourself when swimming since you dont feel yourself sweat. The water will help to keep you cool. Just make sure you have a water bottle, as you will sweat and become dehydrated.

Help For Arthritic Knees

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of pain and disability in knees. In the knee joint, smooth articulate cartilage, called surface cartilage, covers the ends of the femur and tibia . Between the two bones sits a second type of cartilage, called menisci, which acts as a shock absorber. Joint fluid also lubricates the knee joint.

Osteoarthritis starts as the lack or loss of surface cartilage, progressively involving the surrounding bone, tissues and synovial fluid. In OA, your knee cartilage may thin in spots or disappear completely, resulting in areas of exposed bone.

X-rays, MRI and;knee arthroscopy can help you and your doctor to determine the right treatment plan, which may include these noninvasive options.

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Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.

Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.

Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.

Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.

Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.

Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.

Why Do My Joints Hurt

How To Exercise With Bad Knees To Lose Weight: Tips To ...

You have 250 to 350 joints in your body that provide support and help you move. When you damage your joints whether due to injury, overuse or an underlying condition you may not be able to move comfortably.;

Pain or discomfort might interfere with your day-to-day living. This joint pain can be temporary, or it can be ongoing, explains Dr. McElroy.

Painful joints are caused by many types of injuries or conditions. People of all ages and activity levels can have joint pain. Your pain might be the result of:

  • Overuse
  • Other injuries

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Injections Are Another Low

If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.

A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.

For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.

Two other injection therapies are platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, neither of which is covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee. Theres currently more science backing up the effect of PRP than stem cells, says Dr. Day.

If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.

Which Supplements Are Best For Your Knee Pain

I have taken glucosamine plus chondroitin for general knee health for at least ten years.

Recently I added turmeric to my joint regime and was able to jog comfortably for the first time in several years.

Following a recent fall while skiing, which twisted my right knee, I added in a collagen supplement and my stretched ligaments have now almost healed two weeks later.

Now that everthing is back to normal, I have switched to This Supplementwhich includes turmeric, glucosamine, Boswellia and vitamin C, and take my omega3 fish oil separately in the form of This Super Strength Krill Oil.

Which supplements do you find most helpful for your knee pain?

Click here to read my review of glucosamine gels and other topical pain relieving creams.

Click here to read my review of the best non-prescription painkillers.

Image credits: solitchka/wikimedia; meditations/pixabay;scientificanimations/wikimedia;steven_jackson/flickr;melica73/bigstock;

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Star Pattern Step Knee Bends

Heres a good exercise for working on controlling your knee positioning while in motion.

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Stretch one leg out in front of you on the ground, as you bend your other knee to help your foot slide forward.
  • Stand back up then repeat in a similar way, but this time bringing your foot out at a 45-degree angle in front of you. Repeat three or four more times, each time moving your foot further to the side/back.
  • Repeat on the other side.

How To Get Moving Every Day

How to Use a Treadmill With Bad Knees & Hips

In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.

Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.

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How Effective Are Vitamin C Supplements For Knee Pain

In the Framingham Osteoarthritis Cohort Study, who underwent regular knee x-rays, people with the highest vitamin C intakes were three times less likely to see their knee osteoarthritis progress than those with the lowest vitamin C intake. This protection was mostly related to a reduced risk of cartilage loss. Those with high vitamin C intake also had a 70% reduced risk of developing kneepain.

In the similar Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study, those who took vitamin C supplements were 11% less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than those who did not take vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C may also enhance the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin. A small trial involving 34 males from the U.S. Navy who had degenerative joint disease of the knee or lower back found good results from combing glucosamine HCl , chondroitin sulfate and vitamin C in the form of manganese ascorbate . After 16 weeks, knee pain in those with osteoarthritis was reduced by 26.6% using a pain scale recorded during clinic visits, while their physical examination score improved by 43.3%. The researchers concluded that this combination was effective in relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

Run On A Softer Surface

If you spend most of your time running with bad knees on hard surfaces like concrete, you are placing extra stress on your knee joint that you can help to relieve by running on a softer surface, says the University of California San Fransisco.

Softer surfaces, such as grass, dirt or wood chips, can help minimize the shock placed on your knees when you run many times high school and collegiate cross country races are held at golf courses for this purpose. You will want to make sure that the softer surface you are running on is still stable and firm, so you do not slip and cause further damage to your knees.

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