Saturday, April 30, 2011

Knee Pain Exercises Especially for Women

A young lady in a baseball uniform recently came to see me in the emergency room. She had pain in her knees that had been increasing over the last few weeks. It had gotten to the point that she was actually limping. What to do?

A brief exam and a couple of x-rays later and we knew what the problem was. There was inflammation of the joint between the knee cap (patella) and the knee (distal femur).

Many women suffer from the same ailment. The reason is that because of the wider pelvis that women have, the muscles of the thigh tend to pull the knee cap off to the side. The result is that it gets increasingly inflamed and painful.

The pain from this type of problem is normally just in the front of the knee. It will be painful to straighten out your leg when you are sitting. It will be tender on the side of the knee cap.

If you have this problem, the good news is that normally you can completely relieve your pain with a few simple exercises.

The goal of these exercises is to strengthen the mucles of the front of the thigh (quadriceps muscle) that will pull the knee cap straight.

To strenghten the quadriceps, simply lie down on your bed and do straight leg raises. Don't bend the knee. It is already inflamed and you don't need to make that worse. Just repeatedly raise your leg. This will strengthen the quadriceps.

If you get a bit tired from doing this ten times, just keep doing it. But, if you are in pretty good shape already and this does not make you tired at all, it is time to step things up a bit.

When you are ready, the next step is to do the same exercise with weights. To do this just get an old purse and put a can of food in it and repeat the straight leg raises. Pretty easy eh? As you get stronger, gradually increase the weight in the old purse.

During this time, if you can take them, a good anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen will help get rid of the inflammation and aleviate the pain you are having in your knee.

However, by doing these exercises regularly, you should not need to use the medication for more than a few days.


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