Stretches for knee pain requires that one consciously works towards achieving complete ROM in not just the knee but in all the joints of the leg, i.e.: the hip and ankle as well. Statistics have shown that 90% of knee pain comes from tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. Hence complete flexibility of all the muscles that surround these three joints are key to alleviating knee pain. Stretches for knee pain are done as 5 reps, each with a 30 second hold. You can work muscle groups in pairs.
Stretching the hip flexors and quadriceps together:
- In half kneeling, i.e. while you are bearing weight on one knee, you are supporting yourself with the other leg bent at 90 degrees at the hip and knee.
- The foot of the weight bearing knee is placed up on a chair behind you.
- Bend backward gently to stretch out the quadriceps. You can reach back to hold the chair if you wish. Hold/ repeat as suggested above
- Lean forward on your supporting knee, so that your hip is flexed well on the supporting leg. This will stretch the opposite hip flexors. Hold/repeat as is required.
Stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles together:
- In standing, place your toes on a rollthat is 4-6” in diameter while staying on your heel. Place your supporting leg comfortably behind you.
- Tighten your quadriceps to relax your hamstrings
- Gently bend at your hips till you fingers reach the floor. Hold/repeat as suggested above.
Along with stretches for knee pain, strengthening of all the muscles around the hip, knee and ankle is also very important. Of these, the exercise to pay most attention to are gentle isometric contractions of the knee. To do this, sit with your leg stretched out. Place a pillow under your knee. Gently squeeze down onto the pillow while your foot lifts of the surface you are on. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times. This is a set. Perform 5 sets.
Pain is your body’s signal for help. Doing a regular exercise routine will ensure the health and stability of your knee joints. Since strengthening shortens muscles, it is advisable to start with “knee isometrics” to warm up, continue with the strengthening routine and finish with the stretches for knee pain.
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