This week, in our new joint discomfort series, we are going to go over a common area people suffer discomfort in: the knees. We will take a deep dive into the most commons causes of knee discomfort, as well as special exercises you can do that will help reduce any discomfort you may have.
Common Causes of Knee Discomfort
Knee discomfort can cause swelling, instability, and stiffness. It can also lead to the inability to walk correctly if nothing is done about it. The following are the most common causes of knee discomfort. If you have experienced any one of these, the chances are that it is why you now have stiff knees.
- Injuries, such as an ACL injury, fractures, torn meniscus, knee bursitis, and patellar tendinitis
- Mechanical issues, such as iliotibial band syndrome or a dislocated kneecap
- Arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudogout, and septic arthritis
- Other issues, including being overweight, not having strong muscles, and not being flexible enough
Exercises to Relieve Joint Discomfort
There are several effective exercises you can do that will successfully reduce any knee discomfort you may have. The way they work is by strengthening the muscles around your joints, to relieve some of the pressure they feel. Here are some of the best exercises you can do right now to help.
*As with any exercise, you should always consult your physician.
Standing IT Band Stretch
The illiotibial tract band, or IT band for short, is a long ligament that goes up the outside of your leg, above the knee. It helps move the knee and keep it stable. When it gets inflamed, you can experience knee discomfort. This exercise will strengthen the muscles around it.
First, take the knee that you feel discomfort in and stretch it behind your other leg. You will then want to lean towards the leg that feels fine. Take your arms and stretch them above your head. Finally, bring them back down and touch your ankle, or as close to it as you can get. You will want to stay in that position for 15 seconds and do it all over ten times. You can do this exercise three times every day.
VMO Straight Leg Raise
The vastus medialis oblique, or VMO, is the muscle that is responsible for providing stability to your knee. It is incredibly vital to your knee to be fully supported. With it, you can extend your knee while stabilizing it. When you strengthen it, you can prevent patellofemoral joint discomfort. Here is how to perform an exercise to strengthen this critical quad muscle.
First, lie down on your back. You can get a yoga mat for greater comfort. Next, take one of your legs and make sure it is entirely straight, facing upward at a 45-degree angle. Keep your other leg bent, with the sole of your foot on the mat, making a 45-degree bend at the knee. Make sure that both your thighs are parallel to each other. Hold this leg raise for three seconds. Then, slowly bring your leg back down. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side. You can do this exercise two times a day.
Clam shells are a very popular exercise that people with knee discomfort perform. That is because it targets the hip abductors, such as the gluteus medius muscle. This helps relieve pressure from the knees. Here is how you can perform this effective exercise.
Lay down on your side on top of a padded mat. Keep your legs flush with one another, while your knees are bent at 45 degrees. Make sure your feet are together as well. Then, open up your hips, with the top knee going towards the ceiling. While you are doing this, ensure your pelvis is slightly forward and not rolling back while performing the exercise. You should repeat this for a total of 10 times for each side. Do this exercise twice a day.
The VL stretch focuses on stretching your vastus lateralis muscle, which is on the outside of your thigh. By stretching this muscle, you loosen up your hip flexor, which in turn helps release pressure off your knees. Here is how you can perform this exercise.
Kneel down on one knee while keeping the foot of the other leg flat on the floor. Keep that leg’s knee bent at 90 degrees. Take hold of the foot whose knee is down and pull the top of the foot towards your hips. At the same time, keep your forearm resting on the other knee. Increase the stretch slowly, while making sure your back stays straight. You will want to hold this more 30 seconds, repeating it two to five times on each side. As you progress into this exercise, pull your foot a little closer to your hips.
Get Additional Relief
These exercises work great at reducing and minimizing knee discomfort. However, you don’t have to stop there. In addition to your discomfort-alleviating exercise regimen, you can take an all-natural joint supplement called JointFuel360. This is a popular supplement made with all natural ingredients.
Don’t wait until joint discomfort sets in. You can implement strategies for health and wellness over the long term. An active lifestyle, combined with a healthy diet and quality health supplements is a great way to help you keep moving!
* These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.