The problem of knee pain is very common among people. Found mostly in athletes the most common reasons for knee pain are sprained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and runner’s knee.
There are many different knee strengthening and stretching exercises to get relieve from knee pain. Below is the list of some of the knee strengthening and stretching exercises:
- Long Arcs: Helps improve the mobility of the knee. This exercise is done in sitting position. With one feet on the floor, raise the other as high as possible and hold it for 3 to 5 seconds. Change legs and repeat. Repetitions: 5 to 20 times.
- Kick Backs: Helps improve strength of hamstring and improve mobility of the knee. The feet needs to be lifted backwards as high as possible and held still for 3 to 5 seconds. Repetitions: 5 to 20 times.
- Heel Raises: Develops the calf muscles and provide better support for the knee. Raise yourself on the toes and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repetitions: 10 to 30 times.
- Quad Clenches: This exercise helps in building and maintaining the strength of the knee. This exercise does not require any knee movement. One needs to lie flat on the back and keep their knee straight. They should tighten the muscle in front of the thigh by pushing knee forward. Repetitions: For 3 seconds.
- Calf Strength: Stand at one arms distance from the wall. Place your left foot behind your right foot. Use your hands for support against the wall and slowly bend your right knee towards the floor. Repetitions: 3 to 10 reps.
- Quadriceps set: Extend your leg straight in front while in lying or seated. Keep a towel rolled under your knee and push the knee downwards for 5 seconds. Repetitions: 3 to 10 reps.
- Straight Leg Raise: In the lying down position, extend one of your legs straight and the other bent. Lift the leg straight up and slowly bring it down. Repetitions: 10 reps.
- Hamstring Stretch: Lie down and keep both the legs straight. Place a long strap around the ball of the foot. Lift the leg with the help of the strap. Hold for 30 seconds in air. Repetitions: 2 to 3 times.
Other not so common causes for knee pain include:
- Bursitis. Bursitis is caused by repeated kneeling and is also known as “housemaid’s knee” or “preacher’s knee”. Bursa is a sac of fluid over the joints which when overused by repeated kneeling may irritate the knee cap causing pain and swelling. It is also called prepatellar bursitis.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The Iliotibial tissue runs from the tip of the hip to the outer part of the knee. Overuse of this tissue can lead to inflammation and pain on the outer side of the knee.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease. This disease is caused by the overuse of the tendon tibial tubercle in the knee. It is most common among the teenagers.
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is common among the age group above 40. It is found both in athletes and non athletes.
- Dislocated knee cap. Dislocated knee cap or Patellar Dislocation happens when the knee slides out of position. There may be pain and swelling.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Patellofemoral Pain syndrome is common among teenage girls. This happens because of muscle imbalance, tightness and alignment of legs.
- Patellar tendonitis. Overuse of the tendons surrounding the knee may cause it to inflame. The most common type of tendonitis is known as “jumper’s knee”.
- Loose bodies. When the pieces of a broken cartilage get stuck in the knee joint, it can cause the knee pain and swelling. This is known as Loose Bodies.