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Does Lack of Exercise cause Knee Pain?


It is common for people to think that exercising will aggravate knee pain, but that’s not true. Exercise is vital in helping you to improve your health and fitness. It strengthens your muscles and surrounding tissues, which are essential in maintain support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those bones, which creates more stress on your knees.

Knee pain shouldn’t hesitate you from exercising. Exercising could be the last thing on your mind. However, it is the best thing you could do for your knees. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source, people with knee pain should do light exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days per week.


Exercises for Knee Pain


Range-of-motion Exercises

If you have sustained knee pain, range-of-motion exercises might help to relieve immobility and increase your flexibility in moving those joints. These exercises might include movements such as pressing your knees, lifting your knees at 45 degrees angle, raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and backward. Usually, these light exercises can be performed daily.


Strengthening Exercises

These strengthening exercises help you to build fit muscles for joint support and protection. Squats training is an example of strengthening exercises that can help you to improve your current muscle strength. For instance, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, firmly planted on the ground. Then, slowly bend your knees at 45 degrees angle. However, ensure that your knees do not go forward beyond the toes. Both arms can be used (raise forward) to balance yourself. Remember to take breaks between your workouts, and rest if your knees are painful or swollen.


Flexibility Exercises

If you are experiencing knee pain, you might benefit from flexibility exercises to help you manage your condition. Stretching will loosen up the muscles and nerves, while relieving pain and discomfort. For instance, you can practice the knee extension exercise by:

  1. Sit down on a chair and hold a towel over your toes.
  2. Pull your toes up (while holding the towel), tighten the muscles of your thigh and slowly pull your leg to a straight position.
  3. You will feel a stretch to the hamstring at the back of the thigh.
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds, and then relax.
  5. Repeat 3 to 5 times on each leg.


This stretching exercise will help to loosen any tense joints; if it causes pain or discomfort, stop immediately and take a break. Many researches continue to prove that stretching can minimise sports injury or improve one’s athletic performance.


Knee Pain Prevention

Apply Heat


Heat compression can relax your joints and muscles while relieving any pain you have before doing any activities. Heat treatments can be applied on the areas for 20 minutes approximately.


Go Slowly

It is important to start your exercise routine with slow and easy movements. If you experience pain, take a break. Any pain that is stronger than your usual knee pain might signal that you should slow down in your movements.


Do Not Overdo

Exercising is essential as too much rest can weaken your muscles and joints. However, overdoing it can worsen one’s performance and cause pain after exercising. In general, if you’re sore for more than two hours after exercising, it might be a sign that you have over exercise. If you’re still unwell or you’ve no idea which exercises are suitable, talk to your doctor or physical therapist.


Based on our personal recommendations, Dr Mizan Marican is known for his professional joint orthopaedic surgeries. As a skilful doctor who’ve performed a significant number of surgeries (including knee), rest assure that his consultation will solve your doubts.


Consider Acupuncture


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be used to treat certain medical symptoms. In this case, acupuncture can be a considerable procedure, which involves inserting of fine needles into certain points on the body. The medical process is widely used to reduce different types of physical body discomfort, including knee pain.


How Exercise Helps

Exercise can help you to improve your current health and fitness. With your current treatment routine, exercise can:

  • Strengthen the muscles around your knees
  • Strengthen your bone strength
  • Energise you throughout the day
  • Maintain your weight
  • Improve your balance
  • Improve your immune system


In overall, any exercises or movements, no matter how small, can certainly help in managing one’s knee pain or body discomfort. So, check with your sports doctor or physical therapist about the suitable types of exercise routines for you. In addition, you can seek for existing clinical treatments targeting at knee pain.


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