Knee pain can stem from many things: injury, overuse, or an underlying condition such as arthritis often being the root cause. It is the most common musculoskeletal condition – in part due to the active nature of modern society – but also due to the excessive strain we put through the joint.
The knee must support our body weight daily as we twist, rotate and walk. So, the ligaments tendons and cartilage need adequate strength for stability to avoid ongoing wear-and-tear.
But what can we do if we start to suffer from aches and pains?
5 Strengthening Exercises to Stabilise the Joint and Reduce Knee Pain
If you are struggling with sore knees, your primary focus should be on strengthening your joints as well as improving their mobility. When starting out, the best approach is using supine exercises – where you lay on your back – as this puts the least stress through the knee.
Bridge Exercise: The bridge – also known as the hip raise – targets your bum muscles and hamstrings, which helps stabilise the knees and legs through strengthening the surrounding muscle groups.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart, then raise your hips to the sky in a smooth motion.
Straight Leg Lift: The straight leg lift works similar muscles to bridging and is a brilliant way to increase the stability of your lower back and hip flexors. This reduces the strain on your knee joints and should ease your pain over time.
VMO Squeeze: The most technical-sounding exercise is perhaps the most important for knee health as it strengthens the Vastus Medialis Oblique – the quad muscle critical in controlling knee extension while stabilising the patella.
Squeezing a medicine ball between the knees helps build muscle, stabilise the joint and avoid long-term atrophy.
Single-leg Balance: The single leg balance is the perfect low-impact way to increase stability in the joint. Plus, it’s easy to do at any time during the day: while boiling the kettle or as you brush your teeth – why not fill those idle minutes with some knee strengthening?
Squatting: As you progress, trying more dynamic exercises is a great way to enhance your mobility. Squatting will strengthen and stabilise the muscle groups throughout the lower back and legs; perfect for combatting prolonged aches.
1 Cardinal Sin if You Suffer from Knee Pain
The knees absorb disproportionate shock throughout our lives, so we must do our best to protect them. Running on hard surfaces is perhaps the worst activity we can do at the best of times, but if you already suffer from sore joints – this is a definite no-no.
Running on tarmac – or any hard surface – should no longer be part of your life.
Once you’ve built the adequate strength and stability through the above exercises, you can consider running again; just choose parklands or areas where the ground will absorb the impact.
If you need more help or advice, get in touch to speak with our in-house physiotherapist and to find out if MBST could help you. Call 01780 238 084.