Do you have knee problems? Know that, you are not alone. It makes no difference how old you are. You could get knee discomfort whether you are 13 or 65. All ages might get impacted by knee pain. Many people experience persistent knee or joint discomfort from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or daily stress.
Common Causes Of Knee Pain
Surprisingly, the issue might not always be with the knee. Because it is a joint, the surrounding muscles, such as the quads, hamstrings, and calves, have an effect.
Your knee health is influenced by the state of your complete body. Any imbalance, such as bad posture or a tight hip joint, might result in a knee injury. Your spine, pelvis, sacrum, and knees all bear a portion of your weight. You can feel it in your knees if you are standing or sitting in an unusual position.
Arthritis is the most common musculoskeletal disorder, primarily affecting the knee and hip. Arthritis, which is defined as the slow and sometimes progressive degradation of cartilage that covers the bones of a joint, affects approximately 20% of the world's population.
Other common causes of knee pain include ligament injury (such as a torn ACL), weak quads or hamstrings, or a chronic condition such as tendinitis.
Symptoms Of Knee Pain
- Swelling and stiffness
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching sounds
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
How Yoga Helps With Knee Pain?
Yoga, with its slow and controlled movements, will help with pain relief.
- Yoga gently stretches the knees without injuring them, making them healthy and flexible. These asanas also strengthen the muscles that surround the knees.
- It is a low-impact exercise, which means it raises heart rate while putting little tension on the joints. It is beneficial to people suffering from knee pain because it can reduce chronic pain while also improving mobility, physical fitness, and overall quality of life.
- It also strengthens the muscles that surround the knee joint, thereby stabilizing it and reducing pain. For people with hip and knee pain, strengthening the knee flexors (hamstrings), knee extensors (quadriceps), and hip extensors (glutes) is essential.
Keep Your Knees Safe During YOGA
If you want to practice yoga but have knee pain, it's a good idea to use props to help you. Props serve a variety of functions in yoga and can be used to modify poses and make them more accessible and comfortable if you have knee pain.
- A thick yoga mat: Thicker yoga mats provide more cushion between you and the floor, which is beneficial when you are on your knees. If you are having difficulty placing your knee directly on the floor in a kneeling pose, folding your mat over to double the padding beneath your knee can help.
- Blankets: Yoga blankets or bath towels are excellent for adding cushion to your practice and making poses more comfortable. For example – In Child’s Pose -To broaden the angle of the bent knee and reduce discomfort, a blanket can be rolled up and tucked between the glutes and ankles.
- Yoga blocks: Blocks are an excellent addition to any yoga practice because they help you explore poses without overextending yourself. For Example - If sitting cross-legged on the floor is uncomfortable, sitting on a block, can relieve pressure.
Best Yoga Poses For Knees
Yoga is an excellent tool for dealing with weak knees and knee pain. Many of the poses in yoga are beneficial for knee stabilization as well as muscle strengthening. Yoga is also fantastic at stretching tight muscles which pull on the knee such as the outer hips and hip flexors. Let’s look at some yoga poses for knee pain
Triangle pose is fantastic for strengthening your quadriceps, inner thighs, and abdominals. Additionally, it stretches the hamstrings, hips, and waist.
- Begin by standing in mountain pose. Continue by opening the side of your mat.
- Just turn the left foot a little inwards and open the right leg outwards at 90 degrees.
- Engage the thighs, keeping pelvic neutral, back erect, and shoulders relaxed. Don’t put strain on the knees.
- Start inhaling and raise your left hand slowly straight above your head. Bring the right hand near the shin and if you need support you can place it there for a second or so.
- Exhale, bend your torso and extend the bending from the hip joint towards your right ankle. Don’t bring the head too close to the shoulder.
- Try bending more till your fingers are at your ankle. Avoid bending the body forward. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
- Come back in the standard position slowly and repeat the process on the other side.
Chair pose strengthens the thigh muscles which will provide support for your knees.
- Stand with your feet close to each other and arms on your side.
- Now, lift your arms over your head. Make sure your fingers are close to your ears, pointing towards the sky.
- Bend your knees to achieve a partial squat position. Your thighs and knees should be parallel to the floor.
- Lean your upper body/torso forward.
- Hold this position for 10-15 breaths.
Half Moon Pose
This balancing pose benefits the muscles that support the knee by making them stronger with its consistent practice.
- Stand with your back to the wall and rotate the right foot
- Place a block in your right hand, then bend your right knee.
- To straighten the right arm and leg, place the block on the ground close to the front of the right foot and press down with your right hand.
- Rotate the left side of your body in an upward direction so that the back is in alignment with the wall behind you. The left leg should be parallel to the floor, and the left arm should create a straight line with the right arm.
- Hold this position for a couple of seconds; take a few deep breaths and increase the duration of the pose gradually as you get stronger
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana 1)
Warrior I can help strengthen the various muscles surrounding the knee, improving knee joint stability as well as general balance.
- Starting from a standing position, step back with your left foot, keeping your feet hip distance apart and your toes pointing outward.
- Bend your front knee 90 degrees, and your thigh should be parallel to the floor, with your knee stacked over your ankle.
- Lift your torso and extend your arms upward as you inhale.
- Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths & repeat on the other side.
Yoga has a wide range of benefits for knee pain, when used as part of an ongoing treatment plan, To get started, all you need is a mat and some props to keep yourself comfortable during a session. When practicing yoga, it is important to know your limits and not overextend yourself.