Muscles have a significant role in stabilizing the knee joint apart from the basic bony architecture. Exercises help to strengthen the muscles around the knee and stabilize this hinge joint. Indirectly extra stability plays a protective role in the progression of degeneration and arthritis, ultimately pain reduction.
Here are simple exercises to combat knee pains. They can be categorized into 3 varieties
- Done in lying down position
- Done in sitting position
- Done in standing position
- Foot and ankle exercises – lie down relaxed on the floor or a couch and move your foot up and down. after completion of one side switch over to the other side. This exercise helps to build up the gastro muscle on the back of the calf.
- Towel roll and Q drill – Fold a small towel and keep it under the knee and gently press the towel down by contracting the muscle on the front of your thigh. Repeat the same on the other side as well.
- Hamstring stretch – Put a folded towel underneath the ankle. Try to press your knee towards the ground by contracting the muscle on the front of the thigh. This exercise helps to stretch the tissues on the back of the knee and helps to straighten it. This is particularly important in patients with flexion deformity which arises because of arthritis.
- Straight leg raising – raise your limb straight from the hip joint into the air up to 60’ and gently lower down the leg. This helps to strengthen the quadriceps muscle, the main workhorse of the knee joint.
- Hamstring curl – Lie down in a prone position and try to fold your knee by drawing foot and ankle towards your back. This exercise helps to strengthen the hamstring muscles on the back of your knee.
- Sitting Q drill – sit comfortably on a chair. Try to straighten your knee and keep in full extended position for a few seconds then gently flex it from the fully extended position to a normal sitting posture.
- Standing half lunges – Stand straight with one limb in front of the other and take the support of a table or chair. Try to lunge by flexing the knee of the limb in front, this is half squatting and with support. Be cautious not to take your knee in front of your and foot while fleeing, this may put too much pressure on knees. Repeat the same with another limb in front.
All these types of exercises have to be performed at least in 2-3 sets and each would consist of 15 repetitions.
These exercises are advised to ones suffering from knee pains and arthritis.
Joint replacement is a successful surgery advised to patients suffering from intractable pains and arthritis. Ones who have undergone knee joint replacement can do these exercises in the rehabilitation phase to hasten the recovery.