You might blame pain in your knee on an injury, overuse, arthritis, or a meniscus tear. But just like a building’s foundation is key to keeping it standing over many years, so, too, is establishing knee stability to reduce your chances of experiencing injury or arthritis.
Dr. Struan Coleman’s practice is built on partnerships with his patients, and he stresses the importance of self-care — what you do when you’re not here in our office or navigating a telehealth visit — and how greatly it influences your current and future joint health.
After all, we want to make it so that you don’t have to avail yourself of Dr. Coleman’s surgical services until much later, if ever. His primary goal is to keep you moving and pain-free, but wherever you are with knee strength and stability, his expertise and services are indispensable.
Dr. Coleman shares exercise advice with his patients regularly, and not unlike a personalized overall treatment plan, he considers your medical history, current health, age, and other factors when he shares this knowledge.
Your knees are the largest joints in your body, and the muscles around your knee should be well-balanced and strong so too much pressure isn’t put on them. Your knee ligaments, cartilage, and the meniscus all bear the brunt of it. Since your knee is a joint that moves in just one direction, building stability is critical.
For maintaining knee stability, Dr. Coleman recommends a series of easy-to-do exercises that you can perform anywhere, anytime. They’re good for establishing and maintaining knee stability or for building it up again if you’ve had knee surgery.
Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight out on the floor. Tighten the thigh muscles of your straightened leg and lift it up about 12 inches. Hold this position for two or three seconds and lower your leg gradually. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.
This exercise benefits both your knee and hip muscles.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in front of you. Make sure you feel stable in this position. Slowly bend your knees, just like you would if you were taking a seat, and be sure to keep your back straight and don’t let your abdominal muscles go slack.
As you squat, your knees shouldn’t extend beyond your toes. It’s not necessary to hold the squat, and try for two to four sets of 12 on each side.
These exercises are simple to do, take little time, and strengthen thigh muscles and hamstrings too.
Stand straight with your knees one or two inches apart and hold onto something stable, like a chair. Slowly bend your knee behind your body and lift your heel off the floor. Continue to lift it gradually until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Don’t lock your other straight knee.
Hold this position for about five seconds and then slowly lower your bent leg until it reaches the floor. Repeat two more times with that leg and then do three sets with your other leg. This move is knee strengthening and safe.
Stand up straight with your legs three or four feet apart (wider than the distance between your hips), move your weight to your right side, and bend your right knee. You’ll really feel this in your left thigh!
Reverse the move so you work that right thigh, too. Hold the position for 30-45 seconds and do one or two sets on each side. This exercise is great for preventing and helping with knee injuries that result from overuse.
Use a chair or your kitchen counter for support. Lift our right knee slowly toward the ceiling, as high as feels comfortable. Lower your foot slowly and repeat eight to 10 times. Repeat this move, but switch sides.
This move is good for both your abdominal muscles and your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your thighs.
By practicing these exercises, you enhance your knee’s ability to be your built-in shock absorbers. Whether you’re wanting to prevent injury, ease knee discomfort, or recover from knee surgery, these moves are doable, yet gentle and effective.
As always, if you have questions about your knee health and any exercise routine, Dr. Coleman is happy to answer them, as well as advise you about proper pre-exercise warm-up techniques and post-exercise stretches.
Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Coleman to improve or preserve your joint health. Call one of our conveniently located offices in New York or Philadelphia to schedule a consultation, or use our online booking tool.