Knees hurting? Try this

What to do when you have knee pain and aren’t sure where to start.

Emma Bale

Did you know knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults? That’s 1 in every 4 people that sign up for a workout at Rise. While that sounds alarming, knee pain does not necessarily mean something is wrong with the knee or the surrounding structures. Luckily, there are many ways to decrease existing knee pain or prevent it from starting in the first place. Keep on reading for our top tips for treating and preventing knee pain.

Motion is Lotion

One of the worst things you can do for knee pain is to stop moving. Living with and exercising with knee pain is certainly not fun, but as long as your pain is manageable, motion is incredibly important for healing and strengthening your knees. Think of your pain like the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale from 0-10. 0 means no pain and 10 means you need to go to the emergency room. As long as your knee pain doesn’t go above a 4, then it is both safe and helpful for you to keep exercising and even performing some of those exercises that cause discomfort in your knee. Does this mean you have to work through the pain? Absolutely not. However, continually staying active and moving will actually help your knee pain in the long run. If we stop moving regularly and then reintroduce it later, our body will lose the strength needed to meet the demands of the exercise, which may lead to more pain and a higher risk of injury. Keep reading below for 3 different types of exercises geared towards the knee and some examples to go with them.

Single Leg Squat Variations

Working single leg squats not only improves the musculature around the knee, but also improves balance and proprioception. Balance and proprioception are important because they involve the connection between your brain and your knee. This can bring awareness to your knee and alert your brain that nothing is seriously wrong, which can decrease the pain you’re feeling. The brain-body connection is pretty amazing! Some examples of single leg squat exercises are:

  • TRX Single Leg Squat 

  • SL Squat to Box

  • SL Box Touchdown Squats

Hip Strengthening

The hips are directly correlated to the knee because a lot of the muscles in our legs attach at both the knee and the hip. This means that knee pain can stem from weakness in our hips. On the contrary, if we have had a knee injury and are recovering from it, our hips are often weak during the recovery process. The best way to get back to full strength is by completing exercises targeted at the hips. There are tons of muscles related to the hips, but here are just a few to start out with:

  • Side Lying Mini Band Hip Abduction

  • Monster Walks (any and every direction)

  • Mini Band Marches 

Explosive/Powerful Movements

While explosive movements might seem like they will make knee pain worse, they are actually some of the best exercises you can do. Why? Because power-based movements help prevent sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, specifically as we age. If you are a member of Rise, you know that we are currently wrapping up our power phase which includes all of the exercises listed below:

  • Box Jumps

  • Squat Jumps

  • Single Leg Toe Hops

What if…?

Wondering what to do if your knee pain is severe, not getting better, or a result of a traumatic injury? Go see your local PT. Did you know you can see a physical therapist without a referral from your doctor? This means it is easier to get in and be seen right away. A physical therapist can diagnose your knee pain and give you specific exercises to complete based on your diagnosis. At Rise, we have a PT that comes on the first Monday of every month for 15 minute consults and can determine if it would be beneficial for you to go into a PT clinic for your knee pain. 

Rise is the perfect place to get a full range of exercises personalized to you and your needs (even if that includes knee pain). Interested in hearing more about Rise and preventing any future knee pain? Get started with Rise today.