Knee Pains

Last week, the subject for my blog was WEAK HIPS. One of the nearest joints closest to the hips are the knees. The best way to prevent a knee problem (or recover from one) is to maintain a healthy weight and improve the flexibility and conditioning of the knee’s stabilizing muscles so the joint is less vulnerable.

The most common knee ailment women experience is a stretched or torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is a short band of ropy connective tissue that extends from the back of the thigh bone (femur) to the front of the shin bone (tibia). It prevents hyperextension and excessive rotation of the knee joint and stabilizes the knee. Symptoms include a popping sound in your leg or a feeling that something has snapped in your knee. Then there’s the pain, rapid swelling and the feeling that your leg is buckling when you put weight on it.

Tears to the ACL–as well as other types of knee injuries–can be, well, a real pain. Regardless of the specific problem, a sore or injured knee directly interferes with your quality of life because this joint is the basis for our mobility. An injury can also put the rest of the body in danger by forcing you to compensate for your weakness.

Doing exercises for the muscles surrounding the knee joints will help with giving strength to the knees. Keep one simple rule in mind… no deep knee bends if you have weak knees or pain in the knees. Wall squat is a good exercise to strengthen the major muscles in the front of the thigh. While you perform the wall squat look at your hip, knee and ankle alignment. Make sure the knees are not rotating inward or outward, but just pointing straight forward from the hip bones. Keep weight to your heels and this will transfer the workload to the thighs and buttocks.

Bridging is a great exercise for the hambstrings, the opposite muscle groups to the quadriceps or the thigh muscles. Sidelying leg circles on the reformer will aid in the pelvis stability and the inner and outer thigh muscles as well.

Flexibility plays an important role in the health of your knees. All it takes is for the quadriceps or the hamstrings to be tight, and the knee joint can take take the brunt. Make sure all Pilates or workout sessions follow with adequate stretching. Here’s to healthy knees!

June 20, 2010 · Monica Dawson · Comments Closed
Posted in: Injury Prevention