Good afternoon knee junkies,
I well aware that countless people go through their day dealing with various aches and pains in or around our knees. Most of the time it has nothing to do with a serious injury as an ACL or meniscus tear. It could simply be a natural wear and tear over the years, or maybe you strained a tendon and ligament playing tennis or basketball. Your knee hurts, but its certainly not bad enough to have surgery.
Well, today I'd like to share some helpful low impact, low stress leg exercises that can help allieviate nagging pain. First, I recommend leg extensions. When I sprained my MCL on a hiking mishap in 2009, I was suffering from a chronic excruciating pain that would even allow me to bend my knee. Considering I lived in a 5th floor walk up, the daily journey up and down the steps made the pain unbearable. I thought that my injury was so bad that it would require surgery.
So after a few weeks of dealing with the pain, I visited a doctor to get their take. My doctor assured me I hadn't torn a ligament or tendon, but had simply sprained my MCL and needed to consider ways to strengthen my legs to take some stress off my knees. She suggested working on strengthening my quadricep muscles. Doing exercises like leg extensions, or low impact cardio like the ellipitical machine can go a long way to strengthen your legs and take stress off your knees. Even after a few weeks of integrating quad exercises in my routine, my knees began to ache less and it was a lot easier going up those stairs. Three years later I may experience some pain and tigthness from time to time, but overall having stronger legs has really paid off.
By: cgluck: Oct, 29, 2013 15:46 PM
By: smershman: Oct, 28, 2013 22:30 PM
I think this is an extremely helpful insight on how to properly take care of your knees. Every time I go to the gym, I stare at the equipment meant for knee and leg strenghtening, but always have the fear that i am going to do something wrong to tear my knees. My knees crack a lot when i bend or overactively use them, and i appreciate the information on what us confused and uninformed exercisers with bad knees can be doing to avoid this issue. Obviously our knees are crucial body parts that we do not think twice about using and it's important to take care of them, just like any other part of our bodies!
By: dukeofmartin: Oct, 25, 2013 10:22 AM
I agree 100% with what agrewal26 and the other commenters have stated. I tore my meniscus back in 2002 and it is stronger than ever. I think one of the key reasons why is that before the tear I never focused on strengthening my legs or muscles around my knees. However, after physical therapy and working out everyday I am a firm believer on using leg weights, stretches, lunges, and especially the elliptical. I do love to run but I think that the elliptical is a great machine that still gives you a great cardio workout but does not put the stress that running does on your knees. I would encourage all those having sore knees to build those muscles up by doing the exercises mentioned above and in the comment section. I also would recommend using the elliptical as an alternative to running.
By: Gelsey: Oct, 24, 2013 15:51 PM
I have always had pain behind my knees when I bend my leg back, as in sitting on my heels. I may have a new arthritis diagnosis to deal with so these sorts of helps will mean a lot to me. I never did understand the pain in back, but the doctor indicated that the pain wraps around the joint so.........
I don't want to be unable to use my stairs!
By: andy.peloquin: Oct, 01, 2013 15:25 PM
The problem with using knee extensions is that it can put a lot of strain on the front of the knee - the patella. The muscles doing the lifting are at the front, so you have to be careful not to overdo it. If I was training to get back into shape, I'd do high rep (20 to 25), low weight workouts. Less weight means less strain on the knees, but you're building muscular endurance.
If you're going to lift heavy weights (4 to 6 rep range), train no more than once every three days. If you're doing medium range (12 to 15) or high range (20 to 25), train once every two days. These weights don't cause as much damage to the muscle fibers, so it takes less time for your body to repair itself.
Andy (from The Giant's Knees blog)
By: AllanW: Sep, 23, 2013 17:45 PM
Thank you for your advice! I have a couple of questions:
I've seen knee extension weight lifting machines at the gym. Should I be using those or doing it without weight? And if I'm using weight, how much should I use? I only have slight nagging discomfort and want to strengthen my knees, but I'm also worried about injuring them further.
How often should I do knee extensions? It's hard for me to get to the gym (if I am supposed to do it with weights). Would once a week be good, or should it be more like three times week? What if I did Friday and Sunday? I've been told that might be too close together for exercising the same body part, but I honestly know very little about how workouts should go.