In 2005 after finishing my second 60-mile walk I developed horrible knee pain. After the birth of my child, in 2007, it hurt so badly I went to see the joint specialist. (The best surgeon in the Joint, so to speak.)
He checked me out, told me I didn’t need surgery and prescribed some physical therapy. The surgeon told me the same thing the physical therapist told me.
KNEES DON’T GO BAD, ALL ALONE! (typically)
Just ponder that for a moment.
It turns out, I had put on 40+ pounds during the pregnancy. (That’s an additional 160 pounds of pressure on each knee.) I walked for exercise, but I did NOT stretch.
Your knees go bad (if not involved in an accident) for two reasons. 1. Weak ankles or 2. Weak Hips.
My issue was weak hips. 1 week of consistent stretching and my knee pain subsided.
I wanted to provide you with some of the stretches that my doc and the PT crew recommended.
Bring 1 knee up to the chest and pull it to your chest with your hands until you feel the stretch. Try to hold it for about 30 second, then repeat with your other knee. (Try doing this 3 times for each knee)
This one is blurry, but I think it can get the point across. I call it the leg dangle. Lay on the edge of your bed and allow the leg on the edge to “dangle” off the edge. Work to keep your knee straight and feel the stretch in the top of that thigh. I keep my opposite hand out on the bed to stabilize myself. Turning your head can intensify or lessen the stretch as well. Try to allow this stretch for 30 seconds. (3 times for each leg)
The third stretch I use to relieve the tension in my hips is what I call the cross over. Again, lay on the edge of the bed. This time cross the opposite leg over the body and allow it to “hang” off the edge of the bed. You can intensify this stretch by how straight you keep your knee, which direction you look while stretching, and the angle your leg is to your body. Again, 30 seconds for each stretch and 3 times for each leg.
I am not a medical professional, I don’t pretend to be. I just wish to share what has worked for me in eliminating the pain in my knees.
One last note. Weight loss had tremendous impact on my knee pain as well. When you consider that each pound overweight we are, increases the weight bearing load of our knees by 4 pounds. Thus, when we are 25 pounds over weight – our knees feel 100 pounds of extra weight to carry and deal with.
For more information, feel free to contact me. If I don’t have an answer, I have a colleague who does and I am happy to refer.