These Moves Will Help Ease Your Knee Pain
Feeling weak in the knees is only a good thing when it’s over your latest date with that special someone. Weak knees related to joint pain is a whole different story.
Joint pain is a real problem in the US, affecting one in five Americans. Joint problems are one of the leading causes of disability and the outlook is not good. According to The Journal of Bone and Knee Surgery:
- Half the patients now receiving knee replacements are younger than 65 years of age, and most of them are in the workforce.
- There are more than 600,000 total knee replacement surgeries performed each year in the U.S.
So how do you know if you are at risk of weak joints? Some indicators include inactivity, carrying too much extra body weight, and insufficient diet.
Fortunately, by taking better care of your knees starting in your thirties, you can strengthen those joints and potentially prevent yourself years of pain and discomfort.
The following article discusses 3 simple stretches you can do right now to start taking care of your precious knee joints.
See the stretches below and be sure to share this with your friends who could use some good advice on protecting their knees.
BY ERIN KELLY
What You Can Do Now
One of the best things you can do for knee health is simply maintaining an active lifestyle. “Your joints thrive on movement,” Rippe says. “Always try to remember that some activity is better than no activity.” Rippe recommends low-impact activities, like swimming, brisk walking, or cycling, and considering taking health supplements that provide glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen and lubricate knees.
On the flip side, too much movement can be hard on your joints. So if you’re one of those people who just can’t quit their HIIT habit or long-distance runs, there are some simple moves and stretches you can try that will help alleviate pain.
1. Wall Calf Stretch
Calf muscles often get neglected during our stretching efforts. However, for those who run, do high-impact workouts, or spend a lot of time on their feet, calf stretches are very necessary, Williams says. Calves can get extremely tight from impact and need to be stretched to relieve any pain that might travel up the knee.
Find a wall you can lean against. Facing the wall, flex your right foot and position your heel right where the floor meets the vertical surface. Your toes should be elevated, while your heel remains on the floor. Keeping your heel on the ground and your leg as straight as possible, lean toward your front leg, holding the stretch at its deepest point. Lean in for five seconds at a time before releasing, working to deepen the stretch. Repeat the same stretch with your left leg. Aim for 10 to 15 reps on each leg—or more, if you’re still experiencing tightness.
2. Half-Kneel Hip and Quad Stretch
This stretch not only feels amazing, but it also works double-duty for your hip and quad muscles, Williams explains.
Kneel on one knee (feel free to put down a towel or mat) with your other foot planted flat on the ground in front of you. Make close to a 90-degree angle with both of your legs. Lean forward toward your front leg, stretching the front of your hip downward. Next, grab the ankle of your leg planted on the ground, and pull it toward your rear for a deep hamstring and hip stretch down the front leg, all the way to your knee. Move in and out of this stretch for 10 to 15 reps or more, depending on your level of tightness.
3. Wall Hamstring Stretch
Our hamstring muscles affect the knee more than we think and can be the source of discomfort or pain.
Lie faceup with your left leg flat on the ground, foot flexed. Take your right leg and prop it up on a wall or table, or use a resistance band. This stretch should radiate down the back of your leg, beginning in your knee. Once you find the deepest point of the stretch, alternate in five-second sequences between contracting and relaxing the foot of your right leg. If you have greater flexibility, hold the ankle of your right leg and pull it toward you. Aim for 10 to 15 rounds of five-second holds, and continue if you still feel tight. Repeat with your left leg.
To your health and wellness!
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