The knee is one of the most complex joints in the body, joining the femur to the tibia. It is made up of the smaller bone that runs along the tibia, the kneecap, and other bones.
Tendons join the knee bones to the leg muscles in order to move the knee joint. Ligaments connect the knee bones and provide stability and flexibility to the knee.
Given that the knees take part in all movements, they are exposed to stress and pressure all the time. Needless to say, our body weight is one of the factors that contribute to this pressure. Specifically, every pound of the body weight you carry equals to ten pounds of pressure on the knees when running and three pounds of pressure when walking.
In order to combat this pressure and reduce the stress, you need to perform knee strengthening exercises regularly. Dr. Jo, licensed physical therapist recommends a combination of few simple exercises which strengthen the knee joint and alleviate pain caused by stress and tension.
Before we go into details regarding the knee strengthening exercises, let`s go through the key facts regarding knee pain first. Knee pain can originate in any of the bony structures of the knee joint, such as the femur, fibula, and tibia; the kneecap; or the ligaments of the knee. Knee pain affects people of all ages and can be triggered by other problems, such as foot injury.
The severity of the pain can vary from mild pain to a severe and even debilitating pain. As for the location, it can vary depending on which area of the knee is involved. With a torn meniscus, the symptoms occur in one specific area. In the case of an inflammatory process or an infection, the whole knee can be painful and swollen.
Some of the signs and symptoms that accompany knee pain include difficulty walking, inability to extend the knee, redness and swelling, inability to bend the knee due to locking of the knee, difficulty walking up or down, and limping due to discomfort.
Exercise #1 – Lunges
Hang onto a pile of books and put the feet on either side of the pile, faced forward. Keep the back upright. Drop the body down, so that the back of the knee touches the pile of books. Lift the body slowly, make two repetitions, and switch sides.
Exercise #2 – Squats
Begin by placing a coffee table or chair behind you and standing in the direction opposite the flat surface. Place the feet shoulder-width apart and push the bottom back and down, until it touches the object behind you. Pop back upright and make two repetitions.
Exercise #3 – Step Ups
Take a few books and stack them. Put one leg on the pile of books as the knee remains behind the toes. Then, transfer the body weight on the leg and gradually pull the other leg up to the pile. Lower the leg, repeat two times and switch sides.