To relieve knee pain, physical exercise is often the best solution. Discover five simple and effective exercises that can be practiced at home, recommended by Lisa, a physiotherapist based in Paris.
Back pain is often mentioned, but less so is knee pain. However, they can be painful, even disabling.
Most of the time, knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis, patellofemoral syndrome or meniscus injuriessays Lisa, physiotherapist in Paris and creator of the Instagram account Lisakine_. If the use of analgesics can help relieve them, physical exercise is often recommended. “Above all, you have to move”, assures the health professional. Here are 5 easy exercises to do at home.
What exercises when you have knee pain?
- The chair
“This is the first exercise to work isometrically, that is to say stable, and not dynamic”, specifies Lisa. Place yourself against a wall, knees at 90°C. If it’s painful, you can raise your glutes higher to be a little over 90°C. The idea is to first discover the exercise. “I don’t like to give a number of repetitions. Let the patient do a first series of tests. Let’s say he lasts 30 seconds for the first time, then he could do 3 sets of 30 seconds if that suits him. It will be the same for the other exercises.”
Stand upright. Slowly bend your knees and lower your buttocks toward the floor as if you want to sit down. Then, always come back up with control. Repeat the movement.
- The balance
For this third exercise, you will need stairs, a step or a small ledge. Place one foot on the object, bend your knee and let the other straight leg hang with the foot flexed. Try to balance.
In a more advanced version, you can controllably extend the knee to align both feet, then fold it back. Remember to keep the hip-knee-ankle alignment, advises the specialist, and to perform the same exercise on the other leg.
- The leg kick
When the knees are painful, it is “very important to work the hips”. The leg kicking movement will strengthen the gluteus medius muscle, informs the physiotherapist. It is performed with an elastic band placed above the knees, standing or lying down. The goal is to open the leg to the side with control and come back, like a beat in classical dance. “It can be done at a tempo of 3 seconds on the way up, 3 seconds on the way down.”
- The half-bridge
This Pilates and yoga posture is very effective for knee pain. “You can keep the rubber band”, she specifies. Place yourself on your back, both knees bent, feet on the ground. Your arms are on the floor, alongside your chest. Inhale in this position, exhale, lift your buttocks, lower back, then middle back. Your knees are parallel to each other. Inhale at the top, then exhale, unwind the spine and drop the buttocks last. “Control the movement, it’s important.”
Are certain sports not recommended?
No sport should be avoided when you have knee pain, advises the physiotherapist. “To the surprise of many of us, running is recommended for knee pain. This is also the case for swimmingwalking, muscle strengthening overall… Everything is recommended if it is well balanced.”
The same goes for the movements. “There are no movements that are not recommended if the condition of the knee allows it: if it is stable, does not give way, supports impacts, changes of direction, imbalances, etc. And if all this has been the subject of an assessment with his physiotherapist.”
Improve your lifestyle
Physical exercise is a valuable aid in case of pain, but it alone is not enough to resolve the problem. The adoption ofa healthy lifestyle is essential. “For osteoarthritis, we recommend a dietary rebalancing if the patient is overweight or in a situation ofobesity, we help him adapt his daily life to his pain. A sports program to do at home can also help”, lists the health professional. Finally, “surgery is considered if there is too much damage”. Regarding meniscus problems and patellofemoral syndrome in great athletes, “we will suggest reducing the volume and intensity of training, then increasing them” a bit later.
This article was originally published on November 20, 2023.
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