Knee pain very common. Most of us either have had it or know someone who has. Normally, a doctor’s recommendation to knee pain would be rest. Even once we start moving again, we may be advised to stay away from certain exercises such as lunging, deadlifting, and squatting.
Lack of movement can have several detrimental effects – loss of bone and mass, muscle shortening, decreased joint flexibility, and loss of energy. This will lead to increased pain once movement begins. Exercise helps prevent this and may help you feel better, even if you currently are in pain. Movement causes the release of endorphins which inhibit pain and bring about a sense of euphoria. Have you ever regretted a workout?
Human bodies are amazing machines. They are built to adapt to almost any stimulus. This amazing ability usually serves in our favor by making us stronger, but it is a double edged sword because this adaptation can also cause issues. This undesirable adaptation is often seen in those who sit in front of computer screens most of the day. Your body will adapt to that lifestyle and literally make you better at sitting, which will be a problem once you start moving.
On the other hand, if you regularly exercised and challenged your body, the adaptations made will help you perform better and increase the longevity of your joints and other tissues. Your body will start growing stronger bones, increasing blood flow, building the muscles, and reinforcing the joint that is being used.
Learning to move our bodies in ways that prevent unnecessary stress, especially on the knee, is crucial. Moving properly is a skill that can only be acquired through practice and that means getting to a gym or working out at home. Are there certain exercises to avoid? Yes. Can you slowly work on your ability to do them? Absolutely.
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Squats are a common culprit of a movement to avoid if you have knee pain. However, squatting is something we do every day. Anytime you sit down in a chair, stand up, or even sit to go to the bathroom, you are squatting.
By avoiding natural squats, we have essentially detrained our bodies to squat and with that have weakened our knees. So it is crucial to learn to do it properly before heading to the gym to do several sets. Luckily, there are modifications to the exercise that can be made such as:
Knee Pain Exercises:
Squatting to an Elevated Surface (chair/box):
Squatting with a Swiss Ball Wall Squats.
Both of these modifications will allow you to learn the movement properly, keep you away from pain, and strengthen both of the knees and the muscles around it.
Keep in mind that if an exercise feels too easy, it probably is. If you feel pain, back off a bit, and let your body ease into the workout. It will take time for your body to adapt and the process should not be rushed.
One thing is true, once you start moving you will feel better. If you have knee pain do not shy away from exercise, go towards it. Start slow and gradually build yourself back up.