If you’re suffering from ongoing knee pain, the root cause of your discomfort may not actually be in the knees.
Often, knee pain arises from limited mobility and flexibility in the joints above and below the knees-the ankles and hips. Tight, stiff ankles and hips can put undue stress on the knees during everyday movement and exercise. The ankles, knees, and hips are all interconnected in the kinetic chain, so dysfunction or immobility in one joint can reverberate up and down the chain.
To relieve knee pain, try improving mobility and flexibility in your ankles and hips:
Your ankles act as the bridge between your legs and feet, so their mobility is crucial for proper knee alignment and movement.
Some exercises to improve ankle mobility include:
-Ankle circles: Slowly roll your ankles in circles, first in one direction and then the other. Do 10-15 reps in each direction.
-Dorsiflexion stretch: Sit on the edge of a chair with one leg extended. Bend the other knee and place the sole of that foot against the inner arch of your extended foot. Lean forward to stretch your ankle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
-Calf stretch: Stand about 3 feet from a wall with feet flat on the ground. Lean forward against the wall and slide your right foot forward, keeping the heel on the floor. Bend your left knee and keep your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Tight hips can also contribute to knee pain, as they limit your range of motion and alignment.
Some good hip mobility exercises include:
-Knee to chest: Lie on your back and slowly bring one knee up toward your chest, grasping it with your hands to pull it closer to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
-Seated twist: Sit on the edge of a chair with feet on the floor. Extend your arms behind you for support. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor, then twist your torso to bring your knees from side to side. Go only as far as comfortably possible and hold for 30 seconds on each side.
-Hip flexor stretch: Kneel on one knee, with your other foot flat on the ground in front of you. Push your hips forward, keeping your back straight, until you feel a stretch in the hip of the kneeling leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
With consistent practice of the above exercises, you should notice gradual improvements in your ankle and hip mobility, leading to decreased stress on your knees and less pain.
Be sure to breathe fully and steadily as you do these stretches. However, if your knee pain is severe or does not improve, consult an orthopedist or physical therapist for targeted rehabilitation programs.
Are looking for a program designed especially to support relieving your knee pains? I have a course that should interest you. > RIGHT HERE!
More information is also in my free Facebook group > HERE