If your knees make you suffer, don’t think that practicing sports is a luxury of the past in your life. There are certain disciplines that can even help you reduce discomfort and treat the pathology that generates it.
If knee pain appears, we must be careful what we do. Otherwise, some inconvenience can turn into a more serious problem. Although it may seem contradictory, there are certain sports that we can practice to improve knee discomfort.
Next, we are going to see some of the sports that we can practice if we start to notice those uncomfortable discomforts. Considering your practice can be very positive, although the prior approval of a health professional will always be necessary.
How to improve knee discomfort with sport
Knee pain can have a large number of causes. These range from lack of exercise to excess of it, also going through bad postures or even structural problems.
What we are looking for with the exercises described below is to strengthen all the muscles of the lower limb without compressing the knee. That is, we look for low-impact exercises.
To understand this concept well, the opposite example would be jumping. With this movement, we work the muscles a little and when we fall, the joint is suddenly compressed. Well, what we will seek is to do just the opposite: a lot of muscular work and the minimum joint effort possible.
The simple fact of walking is ideal for a large number of body structures . In this case, we work on the posture and all the muscles of both the lower limb and the spine. Also, we do it while the knee is compressed in a smooth and controlled manner.
In general, the only people who walk a healthy distance per day are those whose jobs require them to do so. The rest of us, on the other hand, must be aware of the importance of walking.
2. Exercise in the water
Doing sports in the water is good if our joints hurt because the body enters a state similar to weightlessness . That is, the compression of the knees is minimal in the vast majority of exercises that we can perform in this environment.
While the clearest example is swimming, disciplines such as aquagym are also included in this section . In fact, this second option is safer, since as soon as we make an incorrect gesture, a study published in the Digital Journal of Research in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences shows that swimming can cause knee pathologies .
Riding a bicycle is another way to strengthen the muscles without compressing the joint. In this case, we never get to support the weight on the lower limbs . The legs work and work, but the joint is never compressed. This is why cycling is a very good option.
4. Specific exercises
Another way to practice sports to improve knee discomfort is to do specific exercises for the leg muscles . We are talking about squats – well done – or putting a weight on our ankles and, sitting down, stretching our leg.
We can also lie down and raise the leg straight or make the gesture of cycling in the air. In general, it is about finding exercises that, again, work the muscles without excessively compressing the joint.
5. Pilates, yoga or taichi
These 3 disciplines are based on placing ourselves in certain positions and maintaining them . Thus, as long as we eliminate postures that force us to lean on the leg that hurts, they will also be a good option.
In addition, by practicing them we will also greatly strengthen the core, that is, the middle zone that includes the muscles that give stability to the body. This can also help with knee pain. In fact, there are studies that show the benefits of Pilates to cure knee pathologies, such as one published by the National University of La Plata.
6. Aerobic work with machines in the gym
Finally, if we are in a gym, we can use several machines to work correctly. We are talking about devices such as the elliptical or the exercise bike.
As for the elliptical, by having the foot constantly supported, we are not giving it compression shocks . The joint is compressed and decompressed, but very gently. That is why it is usually recommended for overweight people, so that they can do aerobic exercise without compromising the hip, knee and ankle joints.
A wide variety of options
With everything mentioned, it is clear that if we want knee discomfort to improve, we have a wide range of possibilities. It is worth emphasizing the importance of having a correct sports gesture for all of them . Even when walking, knowing if we are walking correctly —seeing factors such as the footstep or the alignment of the lower limbs— is a great advantage.
If you have discomfort, it is worth doing several of the exercises mentioned every day. It is likely that you will notice improvement, since the muscles are in charge of taking weight off the joint. In any case, if you see that it is not improving or even getting worse, you should go to the doctor for an assessment, since it could be a more serious problem.