Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic problems affecting many. A number of factors causing pain in the knee can be managed with specific exercises. Even if surgery is needed, rehabilitation exercises will certainly be a crucial part of the pre-operative and recovery process.
Importance of Knee Exercises Knee rehab aims to achieve two goals –
- Prevent the muscles surrounding your knee from weakening and gradually increase their strength.
- Minimize pressure on the knee joint by offloading it using the right kind of muscle activation and supportive treatment.
People with stronger muscles around the knee face fewer problems with the joint. Weaker muscles provide less support and put more pressure on the joints of your knee. Stronger leg muscles control and support the knee joint better.
What does knee rehab exercises include?
- The first and last part of any exercise program should be a simple stretching routine. A few sets of leg stretches can simply get your rehab exercise going. However, before you start your routine, make sure you know the basic rules and techniques of stretching. Improper technique can be counterproductive and may lead to the injuries.
- Muscles that surround the knee – calf muscles, hamstring, and quadriceps – tend to become weak and less supportive due to injuries. The hip musculature plays an important role in proper stress distribution at the knee and thus these muscles need to be strengthened too. Knee rehab exercises aim to improve these muscles.
- Knee rehab exercises may also help increase muscle endurance. when isolated or functional exercises are done repeatedly. Moderate walking, cycling, and swimming can help a great deal in building general muscle strength. Stretching your muscles gently after a strengthening program reduces muscle soreness and keeps them flexible.
Try out these knee exercises –
1. Heel Cord Stretch -
- Stand facing the wall with one leg forward, slightly bent at the knee. Place the other painful leg straight behind you. Keep your heel flat.
- Keep both the heels flat on the ground, pressing your hips to the front
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and relax for another 30 seconds. Do 2 sets of 4 repetitions.
2. Standing Quadriceps Stretch -
- Hold on to a wall or a chair for balance
- Bend the knee and bring the heel up towards the hips from behind.
- With one hand, hold your ankle and pull the heel closer to the body, gently
- Hold the position for about a minute and then switch legs
- Do 2-3 repetitions, 4-5 days a week.
3. Supine Hamstring Stretch -
- Lie on your back and bend both your legs
- Lift the leg straight up and try to bring it closer to the body until you feel a pull at the back of you thigh. Place both your hands under the knee, behind the thighs.
- Hold the position for about 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat the same with the other leg.
- Do 2-3 repetitions, 4-5 days a week
These should be performed under the supervision of a physiotherapist. To ensure that the knee rehab program is working fine for you, speak with your doctor and discuss which exercises will help you meet your goals the best.
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