My Knees, My Aching Knees!
Though you might think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that is not the case. Lack of exercise and movement can actually make them more painful and stiff. Always be sure to check in with your doctor and even possibly an orthopedic specialist to make sure there is nothing injured that needs attention.
Exercise can help with joint pain by strengthening the muscles around the joint that support it, help maintain bone strength, improve your balance, help in getting better sleep, and boost your energy throughout your day. Being evaluated by a physical therapist or exercise professional can help you determine which exercises may be most beneficial for you.
Knee Pain Causes
Knee pain can occur due to posture and being out of alignment. You may need specific exercises for other muscle such as your glutes, hamstrings and others to help with proper pelvic tilt, including tight hamstrings or extensors. During an evaluation you 'll be tested for how you stand, sit and walk, as imbalances can often trigger pain in the back, hips, knees or other joints.
Warm up gradually when exercising
Important aspects when exercising include warming up slowly and gradually so that the muscle and joint lubrication is ready. It may also help to use a wrap or support around the knee. Your exercise should progress slowly both in duration and intensity as the muscles get stronger to support the knee. The hardest type of activity on the joints are those that are weight bearing and with impact, such as running and walking, followed by those that are weight bearing with no impact, such as using an elliptical trainer.
Activities that are easiest on your joints are those that are non-weight bearing, such as biking or using a NuStep; water exercise is the least stressful. Choosing an appropriate type of activity and being willing to use other types can be crucial in your success in the long term.
Be sure to cool down
After you exercise it's important to cool down with appropriate activities, and ice your knee for at least 15 minutes can reduce pain, swelling and help in recovery so that your next exercise session can go well.
Exercise, including strengthening, flexibility and endurance exercises improves your pain threshold, helps with your ability to do more and increases your quality of life.