Knee rehab exercises are suggested to add flexibility that accentuates quick recovery of the knee muscles after a fracture or a surgery. The knee is one of the most used parts of our body that aids in the proper movement of legs. Exhaustion in the legs has a direct effect on the movement of knees that tends to get fatigued when not given adequate rest. This causes terrible pain to the knee and its associated areas. Knee exercises are also meant for subsiding pain and for improving mobility.
Rehab Exercises for Knees
Before going into the exercises, we shall first study the anatomy of a knee. This will help you to know the beneficial effects of the exercises on specific points of the knee. The lateral meniscus and the medial meniscus are the two important cartilages present in knee that help in protecting the joints and assisting movement of bones. The stabilizing ligaments, better known as anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament maintain congregation of bones in legs and knees. Any kind of injury caused to these ligaments and cartilages is bound to restrict movement of knees. And when you have recovered from the injury, the knee exercises would help you to regain mobility by improving the function of the components of a knee. Take a look at these exercises.
Knee Extension Exercises
Knee extension exercises are meant for people who have undergone knee fracture or a surgery. Initially, doctors recommend partial extension exercises since the pain still remains. Once you are capable of bending and stretching your knees partially, you can proceed on to full knee extension. The steps below will explain you the correct technique for performing knee extensions.
- Partial Knee Extension: Sit on a table so that your legs hang freely. Raise your knees slowly and stretch it straight without applying too much force. Hold the position for 15 seconds and then slowly release your leg. In the next step try to fold it towards the back. Support your leg with your hand throughout the process.
- Full Knee Extension: The basic procedure is similar to partial knee extension. You can start full knee extension when the pain has substantially diminished and you are capable of pulling your leg completely backwards. Stretch your legs completely forward and tighten the muscles of your knees and then fold them backwards. The fold is complete when you are able to touch your feet at your thigh.
- Hamstring Holds: This is an excellent exercise for relieving tension from both the lateral and median meniscus. Lie down straight on your back and extend your legs. Lift your leg gradually in the air at a height of 6-12 inches. Do not compel yourself to lift to a greater height. Fold your leg at the knees very carefully. Practice this everyday till you are capable of folding it 45 degrees towards the back.
Knee Strengthening Exercises
Exercises for knee rehab with resistance bands are basically meant for strengthening the knee muscles. This is a modified form of extension exercises wherein more stress is laid on knee muscles for making them strong. Adding strength to knee muscles becomes an important factor when a person is able to walk freely. Strength needs to be added to muscles for sustaining heavy impact activities. Apart from using resistance bands, you can also use various kinds of equipment for this purpose. The strengthening exercises should be performed under strict guidance of physiotherapists or fitness trainers.
- Calf Raises: They are performed with the help of a calf raise machine, wherein a weight is put underneath your calf muscles and you have to lift it slowly. Such exercises not only make knee muscles strong but also strengthens the muscles of the calf. Carry light weights initially for preventing strain in muscles.
- Knee Lunges: Knee lunges, when performed with dumbbells, is an excellent way to improve stamina of the knees. 5 sets of lunges for each knee is enough to strengthen the ligaments and muscles of your knees. Lift a dumbbell of 7½ pounds and stand straight with it. Place your right foot forward while stepping back with your left foot. Now fold your right foot at your knee and maintain the posture for 15 seconds. Perform the same with your left leg.
- Resistance Pull: Calf raises, when performed with resistance bands, improves the strength of knee muscles. The band is flexible and you have to balance it with your feet. Maintain a similar posture as explained in calf raises and tie the band around your feet. Lift your legs as high as possible giving stress on the band. If the band is supported by any exercise equipment, then you can wrap it around your calf and lift your leg backward by pulling it.
These were some of the most effective forms of knee rehab exercises. Thus, you can understand the importance of a complete rehab program that is set for people for recovering from knee injury and for improving the strength of knee muscles. Follow the correct techniques under the supervision of your physiotherapist to recover quickly from knee injuries and knee pain.