The best exercises for a painful knee and lower back

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Because the knee is one the most complex and large joints in the body, it is not surprising that there is often knee pain. Your knees can be affected by daily activities. Walking puts stress on your knees equal to 261%. Walking down stairs can cause pressure equivalent to 346 percent of your body’s weight. It’s no surprise that knee pain can trigger up to 40% of physical Therapy visits.

Many people experience joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis and aging, but anyone can experience it. Anterior knee pain is often caused by weak muscles, tight muscles or muscle imbalance. The knees can also hurt if there are inflamed tendon.

The best treatment for most arthritis-related knee pain is exercise. It can also be used to treat other types of knee pain . If you feel a popping sensation in your knee, it is not advisable to try and fix the problem with exercise. You should also see a doctor if your knee swells or buckles.

Top Exercises to Reduce Knee Pain

Low-impact exercises such as stretching, swimming and water aerobics, are great for relieving pain in the knees. You can also try an elliptical or exercise bike. These are some therapeutic exercises you can do at your home.

Clamshells

Although it is easy to do, this exercise can yield big benefits. You can increase your strength by adding a resistance band to the area just above your knees.

Step 1: Lay on your back, with your hips aligned and your knees bent.

Step 2: Keep your feet together and lift your top knee up. This mimics the motion of a clamshell opening.

Step 3: After holding the position for a few moments, slowly lower your knees back.

For each side, do 15-20 repetitions.

Straight-Leg Lift

This exercise should be done on the ground, and not on a mattress or any other soft surface.

Step 1: Lay on your back, one leg bent at a 90 degree angle, the other straight.

Step 2: Keep your thigh muscles tight and raise the straight leg about one foot above the ground. Hold the position.

Step 3: Slowly lower your leg to the ground after a few seconds.

Step 4: Perform several repetitions of the same leg, before switching sides.

How many repetitions you are able to do will depend on your strength. Begin with just a few repetitions and increase your strength gradually.

Stand/Sit

For this exercise, make sure you use a sturdy chair.

Step 1: Sit forward in a chair, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Slowly, but steadily, stand without using your hands.

Step 3: Stop the motion and get down.

Step 4: Continue to do this as many times as possible.

Do three sets of this exercise.

Step-ups

You will need to do this exercise with a step up. Start with a step between 6-8 inches. You can also use a stairstep if you don’t own a platform.

Step 1: Stand in front the platform and place one foot on it.

Step 2: Stand on the platform, let your other foot touch the ground, and let your feet hang loosely.

Step 3: Lower your hanging foot to the floor and then step down.

Step 4: Continue with the other foot and alternate sides until you reach the desired number.

You can perform this exercise quickly if you have small hand weights.

Glute Bridges

Glutes refer to a group of muscles located in the buttocks which affect the movement and function of the knee. Glute bridge is a great exercise to target them, but also includes other muscles of your leg.

Step 1: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart. Place your palms down on your chest and relax your arms.

Step 2: Slowly lift your hips off of the ground and move them upwards until your body is straight from your knees to your shoulders.

Step 3: Keep the position for a while, then lower your hips to the floor slowly.

For this exercise, good form is essential. Do not arch your back or round it. Your hips, knees and feet should be straight.

Safety considerations

These knee exercises can be done by most people and are easy to do. Other exercises like squats or lunges can help strengthen your knees, but they can also cause injury if done incorrectly.

Begin with low reps for knee exercises and increase your repetitions as you progress. Stop if you feel pain in any movement. You should stop exercising if you feel sore afterward. You can keep your muscles flexible by doing gentle stretching after exercise.

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