A severe condition like arthritis or any other condition could spring up due to a stiff knee. Moreover, overuse of the joints and muscles in your knee can also cause stiffness. Strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings and other knee-supporting muscles protects your knees from stress and the shock of impact. Stretching your muscles improves flexibility, which can prevent stiffness and injury.
To relieve and prevent knee pain and its causes, try these recommendations and exercises from our expert physiotherapists at HCR.
Stretch the muscles that support your knees
When butt muscles atrophy or become imbalanced as we tend to sit much of the day, the hamstrings and hip adductors (inner thigh muscles) also overwork, in order to compensate for the underdeveloped gluteus maximus. This results in compressive force on the knee joint. By stretching out these support muscles, you decrease the chance that they’ll get tight and cause muscle imbalances. So remember the complementary two-fold process - as you strengthen naturally weak muscles like the glutes, also stretch supporting muscles like the inner thigh muscles.
Strengthen your glutes
Research shows that knee injuries like common Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears, can occur when large hip muscles are weak. ACL tears are more likely to happen in women athletes. Such a condition has been shown to lead to other cartilage tears and to correlate with knee arthritis later in life.
In general, our butt muscles are weak. When the main muscle (Gluteus Maximus) is weak, it causes the pelvis to drop and the upper thigh bone (femur) to fall inward. Every time you take a step, the imbalance creates painful downward stress on the hip and ankle. To strengthen the glutes, hip extensions are quite useful and helpful. There are various exercises that can be performed to strengthen your glutes such as squats, kick backs, etc.
Tone your core muscles
Any kind of weakness in your pelvis will cause it to tilt forward, which creates excessive low-back curvature and shifting the leg bones inward. You can find out how this happen by experimenting with yourself: Over-arch your back and notice how your legs and knees want to roll in toward the midline of your body. Then flatten your back and notice how the opposite movement occurs at the legs.
Therefore, it is essential to strengthen your core muscles. Strengthening the core helps your back in a neutral spine position and placed the lower extremities, especially the knees in the best possible position for movement without joint compression. Besides only performing crunches, there are so many other ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Performing various exercises to keep your knee and other supporting muscles healthy, is the key to avoid a stiff knee. While sitting and working for long hours, all the muscles including the knee muscles become stiff. It is important that you perform exercises daily, so that all the muscles of your body loosen up and don’t become stiff. If you’ve been experiencing a stiff knee or any other difficulty related to your body and muscles, get in touch with our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton. They have all the possible ways to help you maintain your body.