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How to Pick the Right Exercises for Bad Knees and 3 DIY Remedies for Knee Pain

Knee pain can easily get in the way of your workouts.

Most activities require movement of the knee. But, if you’ve got pain, you won’t feel like getting up off the couch.

Exercise can help, though you’ll want to choose the right exercises.

You don’t want to choose something that could exacerbate the pain. So, choose your exercises wisely. But, don’t let a little pain stop you from working out.

It turns out that a little bit of exercise may be the best treatment for this knee pain. By strengthening the muscles around the joints, you can protect yourself from injury and reduce stress on the knees.

By avoiding certain exercises and incorporating the right exercises, along with a few DIY remedies, you can fight through the pain.


Change Your Regular Workout Routine

The first step in dealing with knee pain is to change your routine. So, to work through the pain, you’ll need:

  • Learn which exercises to avoid
  • Learn which exercises to include
  • Take additional steps to treat the pain

You’ll need to make a few changes, which you should stick with until the pain starts to go away. This allows your knee to begin healing, while also strengthening your muscles.


Avoid Exercises That Require Full Extension

Some exercises will put tremendous pressure on your knees, especially if they’re not performed with exactly the right form. While dealing with knee pain, you don’t want to include any exercises that cause unnecessary strain, including:

  • Lunges
  • Deep squats
  • Full knee extensions
  • Hurdler’s stretches

These exercises work many of the same muscles as the exercises that you’ll find below. The difference is that these exercises require you to fully extend your knees or place unneeded stress on your joints.


Include Exercises That Minimize Stress

So, which exercises should you include in your workout? Anything that doesn’t require the use of your legs should be fine. You can sit on a bench and perform as many curls or lifts as you want.

But, you’ll want to avoid anything that requires your knee to stick out past your toes.

The idea is to find exercises that put less pressure on your kneecaps, while still engaging the muscles in your legs and hips. Suitable exercises include:

  • Partial squats
  • Calf raises
  • Straight-leg raises
  • Step-ups

The partial squat requires a chair. Stand in front of the chair, with the chair behind you about 12-inches. Your feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hips and lower yourself halfway to the chair. Hold this pose for one breath and then rise.

The calf raise is a simple exercise. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lift your heels off the floor, rising on your toes. Hold this pose for one breath and then lower.

With straight-leg raises, you’ll sit with your back against a wall. Keep your left leg straight and your right leg bent with your foot flat on the floor. Raise your left leg 12-inches off the ground, hold, and then lower. Repeat with your other leg.

For the step-ups, stand in front of a staircase or a step bench. Step up onto the step with your root foot. With your left foot, you’ll simply tap the step and then step back down. Repeat this with your other foot.

You should perform 10 repetitions and 2 sets of each exercise. This should only take a few minutes out of your day and can help strengthen the right muscles while stretching out your legs.

Use DIY Remedies to Treat the Pain

Along with the exercises that you choose, there are DIY remedies for dealing with knee pain. Taking a few additional steps to help heal your knee could speed up recovery.


#1 – Wear a Knee Brace

Wearing a knee brace provides several benefits. It provides support, reduces swelling, and prevents you performing movements that will make your pain worse.

The brace compresses the joint. This squeeze is what reduces the swelling. At the same time, the brace stabilizes your knee. This additional support allows you to remain more aware of your movements.

The compression gives you more sensory feedback. So, you are less likely to out-stretch your knee. It’s a safety precaution that also aids recovery.


#2 – Use a Foam Roller

A foam roller can be used to perform numerous exercises. And, it can be used to help treat your knee pain.

Rolling the foam roller over your legs will help loosen your muscles. If you’ve got tension around your quads, hamstrings, or thighs, the tension can impact the movement of your kneecap, resulting in unnecessary strain.

The roller will help relieve this tension while also breaking down painful adhesions in your muscle tissue.

If you regularly suffer from runner’s knee, the foam roller is a great tool. Lay on the floor, with your legs outstretched. Roll the roller across your thighs and then place it under your legs. Next, roll the underside of your thighs, your hamstrings, and calves.


#3 – Get Better Rest

The final remedy for dealing with knee pain is to make sure that you get adequate rest. This includes rest from exercise and proper sleep.

As mentioned, working out can help you fight through the pain while strengthening the muscles around your knees. But, you don’t want to overdo it.

You shouldn’t push yourself while dealing with pain. The idea is to keep working out, but not over-work yourself. Pay attention to your body.

If the pain worsens, then you’re probably pushing yourself. Take it easy, slow down, and perform lighter exercises.

You also need proper sleep. Studies show that a disruption of sleep can make your aches feel even worse. The theory is that the restless sleep changes the way that your brain processes the pain, which causes you to be more sensitive to the knee pain.

You should aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Avoid caffeine and food for several hours before bedtime and don’t fall asleep with a television playing in the background. Proper sleep requires no distractions.

Combine these simple remedies with the exercise suggestions. Knee pain shouldn’t keep you from working out. Avoid exercises that put additional strain on your knees while using the right exercises.

As your pain subsides, you can slowly return to your normal routine. Just don’t push yourself. Remember to pay attention to your body and avoid overly strenuous activity.

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