How to Combat Your Bad Knees
A knee injury is one of the most common injuries that can occur in the body. Seeing as the knee joint undergoes so much pressure during everyday life, as well as physical exercise, it is prone to pain and injury.
Some of the most common forms of knee pain are products of strains, sprains, bursitis, dislocations, meniscus tears, overuse injuries, and fractures.
This can be caused by several issues, including the immense twisting or bending forces that the knees undergo daily, as well as a direct fall that can come from sports, falls, or accidents.
People who endure high-intensity workouts or vast amounts of physical activity in their day to day lives are much more prone to knee injuries than others.
Related: Best pain relieving knee brace.
Cardiovascular Exercises for Knee Pain
There are many strengthening exercises for knee injuries which have been proven to assist in recovery. These are generally low-impact exercises, as to not reinjure the area after it has healed.
This is a great way to begin rehabilitation for your knee injury. knee pain can often prohibit us from living an active lifestyle which can have detrimental effects on recovery and overall health.
This is why it is important to stay active, but in a way that is safe for your knee and will avoid reoccurrence of the injury.
It is not recommended to participate in high-intensity cardio workouts, but there are some things that you can do in order to keep active and restore the function of your knee.
Other exercises that you can do at home include partial squats, sit-ups, lunges, and calf raises, all of which will keep up your cardiovascular health and help to build muscles in the area once again.
1. Kickboard In Pool
Using a kickboard in the pool, wrap your arms around the kickboard and flip over onto your back. Kick, keeping your knees high with each kick.
This should be conducted almost like a march. This is the reverse kick and can be completed at any stage of recovery and is a great exercise to strengthen knees.
During the early stages, you may want to be conservative with your kicks. But, as you improve, you can bring your knees higher toward your chest.
2. Step Touches
For step touches, step to the right, holding your hands out to the sides.
Bring the opposite foot in and touch the floor next to your right foot.
Then come back to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Keep your legs straight throughout. This is not a lunge or a squat but just a side step.
As you warm up your body, you can take larger steps out to the side. Continue for a period of 60 seconds.
For some variations of the side step, you can try to step all the way across the room and come back again. You can circle your arms as you step touch to increase the intensity of the exercise.
You may even step out to the front rather than the side, keeping one leg in place and then repeating with the other leg.
3. Low-impact Jumping Jacks
You can try some low-impact jumping jacks to follow the side touches. Step out with the right foot and pivot your body toward the left so that you are slightly facing the left.
Swing the right arm up as you do this. Step back and do the same, pivoting toward the right. Swing the left arm up as you do.
Continue for 60 seconds, alternating between each side.
For some variance to the exercise, you can ad circling arms instead of bringing them up above your head.
Once you have had enough time to heal, you can try a full jumping jack as long as this does not cause any pain or discomfort.
On the other hand, if pivoting causes pain to the knees then you can complete this exercise with your body facing forward.
4. Exercise Ball March
If you have an exercise ball then you can try the exercise ball march. Hold the ball in both hands up over your head. keep your arms straight.
Bring the exercise ball down to your knee as you lift it up in a marching fashion. Take the ball up over your head again as you lower your leg back to the ground.
You can continue this exercise for 60 seconds.
If this is too challenging at the beginning you can keep the exercise ball at your chest as you march.
For a more intense exercise, you can speed up the movement.
5. Medicine Ball Lunges
For the final exercise you will need a medicine ball. Stand in a lunge position with the medicine ball above your head.
From here you can kick the right leg forward, keeping it straight, and bring the medicine ball down to your knee.
Your supporting leg will straighten as you do this. Return to the start position and after 30 seconds switch legs.
Continue this exercise for a total of 60 seconds, one rep per leg.
If you are still experiencing pain in your knee from bending your leg then you can keep it straight. If moving the medicine ball is also too strenuous to begin you can hold the medicine ball at your chest.
You can also bring the knee up to your chest if you would prefer it to keeping your leg straight as you kick.
You need to keep your body strong after any physical injury and these are just some of the ways in which you can rehabilitate a knee injury using physical exercises.
Running or jogging is discouraged, but walking is an easy way to restore physical activity into your daily life. You can start small and work up to longer walks as you venture further into recovery.
Speed walking or walking at a brisk pace, will increase your physical activity immensely and work your muscles.
It is a low-impact option and as long as you stretch beforehand and ensure you pick good quality and supportive walking shoes you will feel the benefits in no time.
Start out by walking only on flat surfaces and progress from here, perhaps to longer hikes, once you have built up the muscles in this area.
Swimming and pool exercises are some of the best knee strengthening exercises following an injury as it takes the pressure off the joint and can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
There are specific classes that you can take which have a focus on knee rehabilitation.
Low-resistance circuit training is another way in which you can exercise post knee injury.
This involves moving from one exercise machine to another during a workout with little or no time resting between each.
Effective Treatments for Knee Injuries
The treatment for your knee injury depends on the type and also the severity of the pain. It can begin with RICE therapy, involving rest, ice, compression, and elevation of your knee. This may act to combat some of the symptoms of your pain and can be accompanied by other treatments at a later date.
Experts may also recommend such treatments as immobilization or surgery. Surgery should of course always be a last resort for any joint injury as this can sometimes have adverse effects and harbors the most risk.
Once you have reduced swelling and pain you may wish to use physical therapy treatments such as stretches or exercise to strengthen the area and slowly get back into your regular routine.
Water walking and water aerobics, specifically for rehabilitation are great ways to reduce the strain on your knees during physical activity.
To prevent knee injuries you must seek proper training, the right equipment and perform your training in a safe environment where it is unlikely you will fall and cause more knee problems.
Prevention is, of course, the best action to take to combat knee pain and injury. This way you can avoid the injury before it occurs again. Once you have severely injured your knee once it is likely that the same problem can reoccur.
Any kind of treatment should be sought from a medical professional and if you decide to involve any kind of physical activity into your routine you should first consult with your doctor.
You do not want to risk further injury to the area and prevention is always the best method for avoiding knee pain in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you strengthen a knee injury?
After you have finished an extensive period of rest, you can begin to incorporate exercise back into your daily routine. Take it slow and make sure that you stretch the joint sufficiently before you take on any physical activity.
What is the best cardio exercise for bad knees?
The best cardio exercise for knee injuries or weak knees is anything in the water. This takes the stress off the joints and acts to support your weight while you participate in your daily exercise.
Is walking good for knee rehab?
If you start off slow and avoid slopes and sharp inclines, then walking can be great rehabilitation for a knee injury. As your knee recovery progresses then you can take on more challenging walks and hikes to strengthen the joint.
How do you rehab a knee injury?
You must begin by first seeking medical attention. Following this a period of rest is in order, possibly following the RICE method. You can then begin to incorporate physical exercise back into your routine slowly. Eventually, depending on the extent of your injury, you will find that your knee has sufficiently healed.