What Stretches are the Most Joint Friendly for my Knee?
When your knee hurts, you may be tempted to take it easy. But some types of stretches may be able to help strengthen your knee and recover more quickly. Even if you haven’t suffered an injury, knee exercises can help you avoid one.
What are some knee problems that might benefit from good knee exercises?
The following are some knee problems that may be helped by knee exercises:
- Knee osteoarthritis: A top cause of disability, knee exercises can often help increase mobility and decrease pain caused by osteoarthritis.
- Injuries: Injuries can affect many different parts in and around your knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
- Bursitis: Bursae outside your knee can become inflamed and painful.
- Patellar tendinitis: Thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to your knee can become irritated and inflamed.
- Post-surgery: Knee exercises are often recommended post-surgery.
Is it safe to perform knee exercises regularly, especially if you have knee problems?
Check with your doctor and/or physical therapist to find out which knee exercises are safe for you. Although you may be reluctant to exercise when your knee hurts, strengthening the muscles that support your knee and keeping them flexible can be extremely helpful.
In addition, it’s helpful to do some light cardio for a few minutes before your knee exercises. Riding a stationary bike for about 5 minutes or taking a brisk 2-minute walk can help prepare your body and lower your risk of causing further damage to your knee.
What types of exercises may help your knee?
Your doctor may recommend some of the following exercises:
Lunging hip flexor stretch
Kneel on one knee with your opposite foot flat in front of you. Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor. Lean forward and stretch your hip toward the floor. If you tighten your butt, you’ll be able to stretch even more. Also reach up with your arm that’s on the same side as your knee that’s on the floor. Switch sides and repeat.
This exercise can help because it loosens and opens up your hips, which keeps your quads and knees from being overworked.
Figure four stretch
Lie on your back, crossing your left foot over your right quad. Bend your right knee and holding the back of your right leg, pull it gently toward your chest. Hold your stretch, and then switch sides and repeat.
The figure four helps avoid tight glutes, which cause your quads and knees to have too much pressure and impact.
Standing hamstring stretch
Stand on your right foot. Put your left foot in front of you, toes up with your heels on the floor. Stand on your right foot. Put your left foot in front of you, toes up and your heels on the floor. Hinge forward at your hips, bending your right knee and sitting back a bit. Your left leg should be straight with your weight on the edge of your heel as you bend your right leg. Switch sides and repeat.
The standing hamstring stretch helps keep your hamstrings loose. This is important because hamstring strains commonly cause knee injuries.
To learn more about what stretches are joint-friendly for your knee, as well as other forms of prevention and treatment for knee pain, make an appointment today with New York Orthopedics of NY, NY. We specialize in many areas, including knee pain, all under one roof and are dedicated to getting you back to your active lifestyle.