For so many of us, knee pain is something we deal with on a daily basis.It affects everything we do- what physical activity we can handle, how well we sleep, how well we can take care of ourselves.Standing for long periods can be a real challenge which can affect our ability to work, or perform household tasks like cooking or cleaning.Add to this the risk of prolonged chronic pain resulting in depression… just how motivated can you be expected to be to get healthy and fit?Apart from the usual recommendations of keeping to low impact exercises, or taking glucosamine supplements, one undervalued method that may help ease knee joint pain is performing certain stretches of the muscles surrounding the knee joint.Read on to find out more…
Calf stretch (wall)Facing the wall, flex your right foot so that your toes are on the wall, and your heel is on the floor. Straighten your right leg as much as possible, and then lean forward slowly until you feel the stretch up the back of your lower leg. Hold at the point where the stretch is mildly uncomfortable but not painful, then push a little further for an additional 10-20 seconds. Repeat for your left leg.
Quad/hip stretchStanding on your left foot and holding onto something like a sturdy chair or doorframe for balance with your left hand, keep your knees together, and bend your right knee so that your foot comes up behind you, and grab your right ankle with your right hand. Pull your foot towards the centre of your body, stretching the front of your right hip and the muscle running down the front of your right thigh. Repeat on the left side.
Hamstring stretchPlace your right foot on a low step or a chair seat if you are more flexible, and straighten your right leg. Keeping your back straight (don’t hunch forward) lean forward over that leg, feeling the stretch run up the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.
Foam roller stretchIf you can, get your hands on a foam roller, or a firmly rolled up towel or two can suffice in a pinch. Place the roller on the floor, then positioning your body on its side and the roller just above your knee, gently and slowly roll your body so that the roller comes towards the top of the side of your thigh, then slowly roll back again. Repeat on each side ten times.