The best way to treat and relieve knee pain is to strengthen the muscle groups that support your knees, increase your range of motion, and improve your stability. You should also make an appointment with your podiatrist to determine whether your knee pain is stemming from another source. Your podiatrist may be able to recommend custom exercises that are ideal for treating knee pain based on your personal health.
The following exercise plan was developed for those who suffer from knee pain by a personal trainer named Mike Robertson, who specializes in knee biomechanics. The exercises can be performed alone, or following your routine workout.
Equipment needed: Resistance band, three- to five-pound dumbbells, and a fitness bench.
The leg stretch exercise will improve flexibility and range of motion in your calf muscles and hamstrings. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Extend your right leg, and loop the resistance band around the bottom of your right foot. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand, and pull your leg to your chest. Your foot should be directly above your hips so you can efficiently stretch the back of your thigh.
Keep your leg straight without completely locking your knee, flex your foot, and pull down on the band to point your toes toward the floor while also stretching out your calf muscle. Hold this position for between 10 and 30 seconds, and relax your foot slightly if needed. Do between three and five reps on each leg.
The side-lying clam will help strengthen your hip muscles. Lie down on your right side with your heels together, and knees slightly bent. Rest your head on your right arm, and look straight ahead. Hold a three- to five-pound weight on the outside of your left thigh, then tighten your abs while keeping your feet together. Squeeze your buttocks, and raise your top leg as high as you possibly can without rocking your body. Lower your leg back to the starting position while keeping your buttocks tight. Do between one and 15 reps for each side.
The bridge exercise will strengthen your glutes, which are the muscles in your buttocks that help keep your knees aligned. Lie down on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Rest both arms at your sides, and squeeze your buttocks. Raise both your hips and back slowly off the floor in one smooth motion to make a bridge with your body. Then, lower your hips and back slowly back down, and repeat. Do 15 reps in each set.
Step-ups will strengthen both your hamstrings and quads, and lead to better overall knee support and stabilization. Stand behind a sturdy fitness bench, and place your left foot flat on top of the bench without your heel hanging off the edge. Shift your weight to your left foot, raise your body, and touch the toe of your right foot to the top of the bench. Hold this position for up to five seconds, while keeping most of your weight on your left leg. Lower your right foot, and lightly tap the floor, then repeat. Do between eight and 12 reps for one set on both legs.
Are you suffering from foot and knee pain? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an evaluation at (913) 338-4440, or request an appointment online so we can determine the cause of your injury and get you back on your feet.