A Simple Fix for Knee Pain

by in Knee Pain February 21, 2008

There’s nothing like a little knee pain to make you feel old and out of shape. Ironically, it is normally when you are trying to get in shape that you discover these little annoyances.

A couple of years ago I started jogging again. At least, that was the goal. I quickly discovered my body wasn’t ready for a jogging routine and much preferred a brisk walk. I had never felt that out of shape before.

Although I was lifting weights and occasionally doing the stepper or elliptical, my body wasn’t used to jogging and it let me know it quick! My hip ached, my knees throbbed, and my muscles were incredibly sore.

Even though most of my body adapted to the new routine eventually, my knees took a little longer to improve. Believe it or not, it was a simple fix – all I needed to do was stretch.

I am sure this may sound odd to some people. I mean, what in the world could stretching a muscle do for a joint? Well, plenty! You see, my leg muscles were really tight, especially my quadriceps (thigh muscles). Since these tight muscles attach to the patella (the knee cap) tight muscles were most likely the cause of my discomfort.

If you gently stretch the leg muscles, you relieve the tension on the knee cap allowing for proper tracking. The only drawback is you have to be patient and consistent with your stretching routine. You can’t expect your muscles to loosen up after just a few stretches. With increased activity comes increase tightness so it’s something you have to do often.

I had to stretch several times a day. I even would stop and stretch in the middle of my jog to help get me through my routine. Eventually, my knee pain completely went away. My two miles of limping turned into a four and half mile pain-free jog thanks to a few simple stretches.

While there are many reasons for knee pain, tight leg muscles are often the culprit especially if you just started noticing it after increasing activity. Unfortunately, many people quit an exercise program due to aches and pains discovered after beginning their new routine.  Just keep in mind the solution maybe easier than you think.

Bonnie Pfiester, personal trainer

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