Knees are joints that take on a lot of stress with movement. Knee pain such as sprains, strains, tears, tendonitis, and arthritis are common in the knee joint and can result from repeated pressure on the joint, injury, and aging. There are many muscles and tendons in the area that can be affected. An exam of the knee will help diagnose the condition. Procedures can include orthopedic testing of the joint, x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or arthroscopy. Many times, non-surgical and non-invasive solutions work very well for knee conditions.
Repeated activities can cause knee problems:
Activities like walking, running, jumping, squatting, and lunging can trigger knee pain.
To stretch your quadriceps muscle (front of thigh), stand and grab hold of the top of your foot/ankle on the same side. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
To stretch your hamstrings (back of thigh), sit on the ground and stretch your arms to touch your toes. Hold for 30 seconds.
To stretch your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (calf area), stand facing a wall wearing shoes and rest the ball of your foot on the wall. Bend your knee and feel the stretch in another part of your calf. Hold both stretches for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
To stretch your iliotibial band (side of knee, thigh, hip), sit on the ground with one leg straight and the other leg bent with foot placed on the opposite side of the straight leg. Gently turn your upper body toward the bent knee side and apply pressure from the arm to enhance the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Try using a foam roller on these muscle groups as an additional stretch.
Squat: Stand with feet hip-width apart or more. Keep your weight on the back of your heels. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the ground with feet flat. You should be able to see your toes when squatting. Repeat 10-15 times.
Calf raises: Stand up and push through the balls of your feet while heel is raised until standing on your toes. Lower down. Repeat 10-15 times and repeat on the other side.
Hamstring curl: Stand and shift your weight to one side. Slowly bend your knee bringing your heel toward your butt and then lower. Repeat 10-15 times and repeat on the other side.
Bridges: Lie on your back with bent knees and feet on the floor. Keeping your upper back and arms on the floor, lift your hips as high as you are able. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
As always, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic to get adjusted. This will help your joints stay in alignment. He or she may educate you on specific stretches and exercises for your condition.