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Top 5 Exercises To Help Alleviate Knee Pain


Top 5 Exercises To Help Alleviate Knee Pain

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Top 5 Exercises To Help Alleviate Knee Pain

At times, you may experience knee discomfort without any specific injury or condition like arthritis. The source of knee pain is often related to the muscles surrounding the knee rather than the knee itself. If these muscles are weak due to lack of regular exercise, it can lead to knee pain.

Mitch Torres, a physical therapist and lead editor for Knee Force, explains that weak muscles can decrease blood flow in and out of the joint, resulting in inadequate nutrients for the knee to function properly. Additionally, strong muscles act as shock absorbers, protecting the knee from impact. In contrast, weak muscles can’t absorb shock effectively, leading to increased stress on the knee joint and potential injury over time.

Weak muscles like the quadriceps or glutes can force the knees to compensate, taking on excessive stress that results in pain, according to Joseph Rayner IV, a physical therapist based in Texas.

Dr. Rayner further explains that when the glutes are weak, the quadriceps bear more load during physical activities. Weakness in the quadriceps can also impact the patellar tendon’s ability to manage stress. Ultimately, when muscles reach their limits, the knee’s passive stabilizers, such as ligaments, become vulnerable to strain.

When addressing knee pain, it’s essential that exercises should only cause mild discomfort, ideally no more than a three out of 10. If the pain persists or worsens, seeking professional advice is recommended.

To combat knee pain stemming from weak surrounding muscles, the key solution is to strengthen those specific muscle groups. Below are some knee-strengthening exercises you can incorporate into your routine.

5 Knee-Strengthening Exercises

1. Wall Squats

Wall squats, recommended by Ryan Balmes, a certified orthopedic and sports physical therapist, target the glutes and quadriceps. You can perform a wall squat hold or execute reps. Begin by leaning against a wall, slowly walk your feet out, bend your hips and knees until seated with knees in line with hips. To hold, remain in position for 30 seconds and repeat five times. For reps, slide down the wall into a squat position and return back up, repeating three sets of ten.

2. Isometric Lunge

An isometric lunge involves holding a muscle contraction. Lower down into a lunge position with one foot back until you feel slight discomfort or nearly touch the ground with your bottom knee, ensuring proper knee alignment. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat three to four times.

3. Deadlift

Deadlifts strengthen hamstrings and glutes, providing knee stability. Start with feet hip-width apart, bend at the hips, and keep your back flat while bending forward mainly at the hips. Stand back up, engaging hamstrings and glutes.

4. Side-Lying Hip Abduction

Target the gluteus medius with this exercise. Lie on your side with hips stacked, lift your top leg in line with the lower leg, then lower it back down. Repeat three sets of 10 reps.

5. Lateral Step Downs

Focus on the quads with lateral step-downs. Stand with one foot on a 12-inch step, lower slowly until the other foot taps the ground, ensuring the stabilizing knee aligns with the second toe. Complete two to four sets of six to 10 reps.

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