Be careful! These exercises can make your knee pain worse
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 22, 2023
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle often involves exercise and a balanced diet. While some take this advice seriously, others brush it off. It’s true that exercise can help us maintain a healthy weight and prevent certain diseases, but what if you have knee problems? Can you still exercise? The answer is yes, but you need to be cautious. Let’s explore the exercises you should avoid if you’re dealing with knee pain.
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We spoke to Dr. Vivek Mahajan, an Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon from the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi, to gain insight into the relationship between workouts and knee pain.
Common Knee Problems in Women
According to Dr. Mahajan, women are more prone to knee disorders due to their anatomy and lifestyle choices. Excess weight, lack of muscle flexibility, and strength can contribute to knee pain. Here are some common knee problems that cause discomfort:
1. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome occurs when there’s an overuse or misalignment of the kneecap, resulting in pain at the front of the knee.
Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent type of arthritis, leads to the destruction of joint cartilage.
Tendonitis refers to inflammation in the tendons that connect muscles to bones, causing discomfort and swelling.
Bursitis involves the inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons around the joint. This condition leads to discomfort and swelling.
5. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
ACL injuries occur when the ACL ligament joining the two halves of the knee is damaged.
Exercises to Avoid
If you’re concerned about your knee health, it’s crucial to stay away from exercises that put pressure on your knees. Here are a few exercises you should avoid:
Although running is an easy way to stay fit, it can be harmful to your knees. The jarring motion that occurs when your feet strike the ground can worsen knee pain.
2. Exercises Requiring Knee Flexion and Extension
Exercises that involve significant knee flexion and extension, such as lunges, plyometrics, squats, and step-ups, can be challenging to perform without experiencing pain and discomfort. These exercises can strain the patella (kneecap) and exacerbate conditions like patellofemoral pain syndrome. Engaging in these exercises can further harm your knees.
3. Climbing Stairs
While some people use stairs for workouts, it’s best to avoid climbing or running up the stairs if you have knee issues. This activity will only worsen your knee pain. Additionally, sitting on the floor or sitting cross-legged should be avoided as it can harm the already compromised cartilage.
But don’t be disheartened! Women with knee problems can engage in low-impact workouts like swimming, yoga, or walking. Dr. Mahajan recommends yoga as an extremely beneficial exercise for women looking to improve their knee health. Asanas such as Trikonasana (triangle pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Vrikshasana (tree pose), Malasana (squat pose), and Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee forward bend) can help strengthen, stretch, and enhance knee flexibility. These poses also improve balance and coordination.
Remember, when it comes to knee pain, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid activities that exacerbate the discomfort. Taking care of your knees today will ensure a healthier future.