Each part of our body is delicate in its own way and we need to perform regular exercises to keep everything in good shape. The majority of people experience joint pains at some point in their life, with knee joint pain being the most common among the population. Our knee joints are more prone to injury than any other joints in our body. If you’re experiencing a knee joint pain then you’re not alone – about 50 million Americans feel exactly the same. But, don’t worry! Just like a rusty door hinge, with maintenance and care, your knees can also be free from any kind of problem.
Exercising the muscles located around the knee joint, such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip abductors will strengthen them, making your knees stronger. In this article, we will review some of the stretches that can help reduce pain in your knees.
Our knees can be greatly affected by the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the thigh). They might be the source of discomfort you are experiencing. Depending on how frequently you exercise your knee joint, it is recommended that you start off slowly and pick up the pace with time. You can do three stretches three times in a week as you proceed.
To start this stretch, lie flat on your back, face up and remember that both of your legs should be straight. Take a reasonable length size resistance strap and wrap it around the ball of your right foot. Lift your leg high above the ground using the strap until you feel a stretch behind your thigh and knee. It is recommended that you ensure your knees are not locked during this stretch. When you reach the deepest point of the stretch, hold for 30 seconds after which keep switching in 5 seconds series between relaxing and contracting the foot of the stretched leg. If you are very flexible, you may hold the ankle of the stretched leg and pull it towards your torso. Repeat the stretch two or more times and then switch to the other leg.
Half-Kneeling Hip and Quad Stretch
This is one of the most amazing stretches as it has double benefits. It works for both your hips and quadriceps (muscles on the front of the thigh). The quadricep muscles are the pillars that support your knee and when they are not in a good condition you may feel some discomfort and even pain in your knee.
Before you start the stretch, warm up your muscles for a couple of minutes. Kneel on the floor on one knee and plant your other foot flat on the ground few inches in front of you. The posture you assume should create a right angle with both your legs. You can use a mat or a cushion to kneel on if kneeling directly on the floor causes you discomfort. Stretch the front of your hip downwards as you lean forward towards the front leg. Then, bend the back leg, and hold the ankle, gently pulling the heel towards your rear. You can move in and out of this stretch and you can do as many sets as you are comfortable with.
WALL Calf Stretch
This stretch exercises the muscles at the back of your lower leg and the Achilles tendons. The calf muscles consist of the Soleus muscles and the gastrocnemius muscle. Performing this stretch regularly can increase their flexibility.
To begin the stretch stand a few inches away from the wall and then place your hands against it to get the support that you will need. Gently bend one knee forward while keeping your other knee straight with the foot’s heel planted firmly on the floor. Bend your front knee until you reach the deepest point of the stretch. Hold it for around 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Performing these stretches on regular basis will help to reduce knee related pains and increase mobility by strengthening the muscles around the knee joint.
About the author
Halland Chen is an MD who currently practices in New York at the Vein Institute and Pain Centers of America. With a passion for regenerative medicine, Dr. Halland helps patients alleviate pain and avoid surgery by allowing them to heal naturally using the body’s own growth factors and repair mechanisms. He is on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Regenerative Medicine, whose leadership directors come from the Harvard Stem Cell Group and Mayo Clinic. Among his other passions, Dr. Halland travels alongside with tech entrepreneurs across various locations internationally to cultivate new upcoming and emerging technologies. He also enjoys kite-surfing and writing informative articles to help educate readers.