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Exercises for Knee Joint Pain

Dr Andrew Dutton - Exercises For Knee Joint Pain - Blog
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Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Whether it’s due to injury, arthritis, overuse, or other factors, the discomfort can limit our mobility and everyday activities. In fact, knee joint pain is a growing concern among our ageing population and active individuals. Research shows that conditions like osteoarthritis, which often affect the knee, are among the top causes of chronic pain and disability among Singaporeans.

Fortunately, not all knee problems require surgical intervention, and may only require physiotherapy or lifestyle modifications. Exercises specifically designed to strengthen and support the knee joint can offer considerable relief, and are a crucial aspect of non-invasive knee pain management.

On the other hand, surgical intervention is typically considered when conservative treatments fail to provide relief, or when the knee’s structure is significantly damaged. This blog will guide you through exercises that can help alleviate knee pain enabling a more active and pain-free life. Additionally, we will provide a rundown of knee replacement surgery and medical treatments such as autologous protein solution (APS), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, and stem cell therapy.

Common Causes & Symptoms of Knee Joint Pain

Knee pain can stem from a variety of sources, including injuries like ligament sprains, meniscus tears, or medical conditions such as arthritis. Symptoms often include swelling, stiffness, redness, and a decreased range of motion, making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or even stand.

Understanding the underlying cause of your knee pain is essential before starting any exercise regimen. Exercises tailored to knee pain relief aim at enhancing joint stability and flexibility, thus reducing stress on the knee. By incorporating a balance of strengthening and stretching routines, you can significantly improve your knee health.

4 Types of Exercises for Knee Pain

Before diving into any of these knee exercises, it’s crucial to prepare your body adequately to avoid further injury. Start with a gentle warm-up to increase blood flow to the muscles around your knees. This could be as simple as a 5-minute walk or a set of low-impact cardio exercises. Additionally, always listen to your body and understand your pain limits; exercise should not exacerbate your knee pain. If certain movements cause discomfort, modify them or consult your doctor for advice.

1. Muscle-strengthening Exercises

Muscle strengthening exercises, or resistance training, strengthen leg muscles to support the knee, reducing pressure and pain while preventing further injury. Resistance can come from various sources like machines, elastic bands, free weights, or body weight, with exercises like knee band workouts enhancing stability and pain relief. These programs progressively increase resistance by 5-10% to build strength safely, necessitating professional guidance for correct execution, targeting specific muscles, selecting suitable resistance levels, and ensuring proper recovery measures.

Drdutton Blogartwork October Kneepain Legpress

Quad Sets: Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Tighten the muscle on the top of your thigh and press the back of your knee flat against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg.

Straight Leg Raises: Lie on your back, one knee bent with your foot flat on the floor. Keep the other leg straight and lift it to the height of the opposite knee. Hold for 3 seconds, then lower. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg.

2. Range-of-Motion Exercises/Surgeon

Range of motion (ROM) exercises, essential for maintaining normal joint movement, counteract knee pain by keeping joints lubricated. Simple and adaptable, these exercises can be performed anytime, anywhere, following medical guidance from a doctor or physical therapist.
Two Beautiful Ladies Exercise For Knee

Knee Extensions: Sit in a chair with a towel rolled up under your extended leg. Slowly straighten your knee and hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then gently lower. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg.

Heel Slide Knee Extension: Lie on your back with your legs bent. Slowly slide your heel on the bed towards your buttock, bending your knee as much as comfortable. Then slowly slide your heel back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg.

3. Flexibility & Mobility Exercises

Knee stretches focus on hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and calves, addressing common knee issues stemming from insufficient flexibility and strength. These exercises often include myofascial release, applying gentle pressure to connective tissues to ease pain and improve movement. Though self-administered stretching is possible, professional supervision is advisable for those with knee injuries or problems.

Two Beautiful Ladies Exercise For Knee

Hamstring Stretch: Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straightened. Lift the straightened leg and gently pull it towards you, keeping it straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times for each leg.

Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at eye level. Put one leg back with the knee straight and the other leg in front with the knee bent. Push your rear heel into the floor and lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times for each leg.

4. Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises, commonly known as cardio, can mitigate knee pain by increasing circulation to muscles through elevated heart and breathing rates. Effective aerobic activities for knee pain include:

Handsome Middle Age Man Aerobic Exercise For Knee

Stationary Cycling: A low-impact activity that helps increase knee joint mobility and endurance without placing much stress on the joint. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase as your endurance improves.

Swimming: The buoyancy of water supports your body weight, reducing stress on the knees while allowing for a full-body workout. Focus on strokes that are comfortable for your knees, like the breaststroke or backstroke.

Walking: A low-impact activity that promotes joint fluid mobility and lubrication, walking can lessen inflammation and stiffness. It’s important to adopt the proper form and avoid harsh terrains to prevent additional strain.

While these exercises are beneficial, it’s important to perform them correctly and avoid overexertion. Start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity and duration. If you experience sharp or persistent pain while exercising, stop immediately. Persistent or worsening knee pain warrants a consultation with a healthcare professional, more so if you have an existing knee condition.

Medical Treatments for Knee Pain

Knee replacement surgery is a definitive treatment for severe knee damage, often pursued when conservative methods fail. However, emerging alternatives like autologous protein solution (APS), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, and stem cell therapy offer less invasive options.

APS involves using a patient’s own blood components to encourage healing, while PRP injections harness concentrated platelets to reduce pain and improve joint function. Stem cell therapy aims to regenerate damaged tissue, potentially delaying or avoiding surgery. These treatments, ideal for patients whose knee structure is significantly compromised, provide targeted approaches to pain relief and tissue repair.

Do note that it’s crucial to consult a doctor before considering any of these treatments as each option carries potential risks and side effects, such as infection or varying degrees of efficacy. Remember, this blog serves informational purposes only and cannot substitute professional medical advice.

Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in knee, hip, shoulder, and other joint problems. With a medical practice dating back to 1996, Dr Dutton completed his subspecialty in hip and knee surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School before opening his clinic in Singapore.

Please book a consultation with A/Professor Andrew Dutton or fill out the form below. You may also call us at (+65) 6836 8000, and we would be happy to answer your questions.

A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic Insurance

The A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic offers minimally invasive and surgical treatments for sports-related injuries and orthopaedic conditions.

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About A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton

A/Professor Dutton, also known as, has been in clinical practice since 1996 after graduating from Marist College, Canberra and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. A/Professor Dutton has worked at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, and the St. George Hospital, Sydney, before completing his orthopaedic surgery training in Singapore. He is currently an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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