In terms of biological engineering, our knees are quite incredible. Whether you’re running after a bus, jumping rope with your kids, or helping a friend move, your knees are constantly working to keep you mobile and active. Unfortunately, the fact that they are responsible for so much means that they are also often the first joints that begin to show the wear and tear that accompanies age or excess strain. To stay in shape, you will need to learn the best exercises for bad knees. Otherwise, you risk additional injury.
Although everyone’s knees will slowly degrade with time due to regular use, those who have experienced traumatic knee injuries and those who struggle with obesity are more likely to have “bad” knees at an earlier age. This can make it difficult to engage in many physical activities and could further exacerbate the conditions that caused damage to the knee(s) in the first place. Therefore, it is important that you can identify which exercise is safe for you to engage in. Speak with the best orthopedic surgeon DC has to learn more. In extreme cases, you make need a knee replacement surgery in DC.
Start with the Experts
If you have not already had your knee pain or discomfort diagnosed, you should start with a visit to your local orthopedic surgeon’s office. To streamline the process, try to identify when your discomfort began and if there was a traumatic event that triggered it. Do your best to remember what specific movement first caused you pain and where you feel the tension or pain in your knee. These initial facts will act as a baseline for your orthopedist and allow them to go through the diagnostic process as efficiently as possible.
Once Dr. Stein can identify the source of your discomfort, you can begin to discuss possible treatment options to improve your mobility and reduce pain. Physical therapy, injections, or surgery could help resolve your bad knees. Your orthopedist will still create a treatment schedule that prioritizes non-invasive treatments until it is determined that surgery is necessary. This is also a great time to discuss what exercises and stretches are safe for you as you go through your treatment plan. Here are some of the options you may consider.
Best Exercises for Bad Knees
If you are in need of a low-impact cardio workout, it doesn’t get much better than swimming. A freestyle stoke can allow you to maximize your workout and minimize aggravation to the knee joint, as it requires a motion that originates at the hip without heavy emphasis on the knee. However, if you are aiming to build strength in your knees, and your orthopedist agrees, then a breaststroke will push for greater involvement.
Depending on the condition of your knees and your orthopedic surgeon’s advice, you may be able to include step-ups in your workout routine. As one of the best exercises for bad knees, it can keep you fit. But without the risk of additional damage. However, you have to be careful that your knee is always directly over your ankle as you step up. Keeping it in line with other supportive joints is key to preventing further damage.
If you want a good core workout that doesn’t strain your knees, then pilates may be right for you. However, keep in mind that much of pilates is floor work, so you need to safely get down to the floor to engage in a general class. To improve your experience, you can always talk to the instructor outside of class time to learn what adjustments can be made to reduce strain on your knees.
These are just a few ideas for how you can continue staying physically active despite your bad knees. For specific guidelines on what exercises can be used to safely strengthen the surrounding muscles to provide increased support for the damaged joint, speak with Dr. Stein at the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics.