Knee pain affects people of all ages for various reasons. Sometimes it is sports related, or simply persistently achey knees or aging knees – there are lots of reasons why knees may be bothersome.
Knee pain can really affect your quality of life, making stairs difficult, reducing walking endurance and generally make life much more of an effort. Non-painful clicking or crunchy knees is usually nothing to worry about. Knees that lock or give-way can be an indication of what is happening to the ligaments or cartilage in the knee.
What can you do?
One of the most important things for improving knee pain and keeping your knees healthy is exercise. Making sure you keep the whole of your legs strong will help with leg strength.
A common myth is that running is bad for your knees. In fact, recent research has shown that running can even be beneficial for keeping your knees healthy. You don’t have to stop running if you have knee pain.
A little test:
Sit on a chair and fold your arms. How many times can you stand up to straight and sit down again in 30 seconds? This provides a general measure of your lower limb strength.
A knee exercise programme
Try these exercises to improve your leg strength:
Single leg squat
Single-leg toe raise
The ultimate progression is to add in some jumping and quick change of direction exercises.
There is simply nothing better than a regular exercise routine for improving your muscle and joint health. It must be regular to see the benefits though.
A good way to start with these exercises is to exercise to your tolerance or up to 20, whichever comes soonest. If you find it too easy, use weights – dumbells if you have them or books in a rucksack. The more weight you add the fewer repetitions of each exercise you will do.
Try these exercises for 4-6 weeks and then try the sit to stand test again and you will probably find you have improved and hopefully your knees will feel a lot stronger too.
If you are worried about your knees, do book in for an assessment and advice.