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Initially, I would recommend icing your knees (or knee) for 5 minutes. You can use an ice bag or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. See how your knees feel after doing this. Do they feel better or worse? You need to focus on feeling better after icing the knee. You can progress to icing your knee from 5 minutes to 10 or 15 minutes to help manage any knee inflammation or pain.
Here are the exercises that you can do to help with your knee pain after workouts.
I got Andrea to demonstrate the exercises.
#1 – Foam Rolling Out the Thigh
Place a foam roller just above the knee. Roll through from the main belly of the thigh going up to just below the hip joint. Do this back and forth.
Foam Rolling Out the Thigh
Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop at the end and an intensity that massages and loosens up your quad muscles. Do not make this too light or too painful.
#2 – Foam Rolling Out the Iliotibial (IT) Band
Place a foam roller just below your hip and put one leg in front. Keep your back leg straight while you move your front leg along. Start rolling from below the hip area down to just above the knee.
We’re working to decrease the tension within the muscle and also decrease any trigger points or bundles of overactive muscle tissue, which help decrease any stress or pull in your knee.
Foam Rolling Out the IT Band
Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled, up-and-down movement. Balance the intensity between being too light and painful. It should feel like getting a massage on the IT band area.
#3 – Quad Stretch
Stand straight on one foot. Bring the heel of the opposite leg toward the seat. To add intensity, you can push the thigh backward slightly. You may also use a chair or the wall to help you balance.
We would like to loosen up the quad muscles so that there’s less pulling on that knee joint that helps in reducing knee pain.
Perform one set of 2 reps, alternating back and forth with a 20-second hold at the end. For some people, the quad stretch can be painful. You may reduce the intensity of this exercise by decreasing the stretch instead of bringing the heel toward the seat.
#4 – Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
Take a step forward and have one leg back. Keep your front leg flat on the ball of your foot. Bend your front knee slightly as you bring your hips forward. Look for a light stretch at the front of the hip and throughout the thigh area.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
Perform one set of 2 reps on each leg alternating back and forth with a good stop at the end for 20 seconds and light intensity.
I recommend doing alternating reps with both legs for the above exercises. This allows both knees to get the most benefits from this routine. If only one knee hurts, the other side goes through the stretches as a preventative measure. This gives the painful side a bit of a break on the exercises, eliminating any unnecessary or excess stress in your knee.
If you have an injured knee, always remember to keep minimal pressure on your knee. Avoid stressing your knees excessively by standing too long or sitting on a low chair or couch with knees bent.
Give these amazing tips and exercises a go, and you’ll cure your knee pain in no time.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to learn how to reduce knee pain and prevent injuries with specific exercises, then check out the Knee Pain Solved program here.