Knee Pain Relief
Recently I wrote on an article for training to strengthen one of our weaker areas – shoulder pain workout but I also got a lot of feedback from you guys about writing an article to focus on knee pain relief.
We expect a whole lot out of our poor knee joint if you think about it. We’re standing, sitting, running and even stepping up stairs for most of 16 hours out of the day and over time this can take a toll if we don’t pay any attention to strengthening the area.
Physiologically we have the upper part of the leg (hamstrings & quadriceps) pulling on tendons around the knee to flex or extend so if you look at what the research reveals it should really not come as to any surprise.
Knee Pain Relief – The First Step
No pun intended, but the first step in knee pain relief is to strengthen our muscles around the knee joint so that they can take some of the pressure off this delicate area.
So just as I implied above the research proves that working on strengthening our hamstrings and quadriceps may actually prevent knee pain which is usually caused by the abnormal movement of the knee (patella) on the thigh bone.
In fact, one study researchers who tracked the physical condition of over 1600 navy men found that those who had the weak hamstrings were more than three times likely to encounter knee pain. Those men who had weak quadriceps were more than five times likely to get this debilitating pain.
If we look at exercises to really product the most strength for our leg muscles then nothing really comes close to the squat. You can do several variations with squats like with dumbbells, on a bosu ball, using a stability ball against a wall, but the most gain will definitely come from doing squats with a barbell. They are the hardest and most effective.
Knee Pain Relief – The Second Step
Ok this is all good, but what if you have knee pain in the first place so you don’t even want to attempt these exercises?
This tip is awesome so pay special attention to it…Make sure to do squats without letting your knee come in front of your foot when you lower your body. This means a lot more of your weight will be placed on your glutes and hamstrings – aka your butt!
If you do this right it will be a significant change so you will need to either reduce the weights significantly or remove them all together. Doing the squat this way with a stability ball (see image above) is a great way to re-train your body to do squats the right way because no added weight is involved and it also brings focus to your core and how you lower your body.
Speaking of core, how many of you do squats while at the same time keeping your core/abs really tight? Think about this next time you do it and notice how much more of an effect it puts on your entire body.
Knee Pain Relief – The Third Step
The last and third step is the easiest one because all it involves are high quality running shoes. Most running shoes lose their support after 6 months (and if you run a lot even sooner) so I would definitely recommend making sure you invest in a really good pair of running shoes.
I know for a lot of people spending almost a couple hundred dollars after taxes on running shoes sounds crazy right now but if you have had any knee pain the investment is worth it. The alternative is long term pain and/or surgery which is mostly ineffective and far more costly.
A few years ago I went to a specialty shoe store and was ready to spend a little extra since I was experiencing shin splints and also some knee discomfort. One of the staff members recommended a pair of running shoes after I explained my problems and after trying them on I was completely sold even though they were Nike’s!
In fact, I just buy the new versions each year and have been totally blown away by their comfort and support, nothing else has ever come close. Here is the link to Zappos which has a full money back guarantee and pays for shipping both ways if you are unhappy with them – Nike Pegasus for Men & Nike Pegasus for Women.
Supplements for Knee Pain Relief
There has been some controversy on the benefits of Glucosamine Chondroitin as a knee joint supplement but many have said that it does work for them. Glucosamine is supposed to help with increasing the synovial fluid which lubricates your joints and reduces friction. I would try this out and see if it works for you, but do give it some time as it take a couple months to really make a difference. Here is a link to one of the best selling – NOW Glucosamine & Chondroitin MSM.
Another supplement which takes this to the next level includes Vitamin E, folic acid, Glucosamine as well as Omega 3’s is Irwin Naturals 3-in-1 Joint Formula. Would like to hear your feedback on this if you give it a try.
Have any questions or comments about knee pain relief, please leave a comment below…