The knee is a fragile joint that relies on a support system of ligaments and muscles of the leg, namely the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. If the supporting muscles of the knee are weak, this will cause more stress on the knee joint during activity resulting in unnecessary wear and tear, cartilage deterioration and knee pain. You can prevent knee pain and even reverse knee pain by gently strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscles over a period of time. A physical therapist can recommend exercises for your specific knee injury. Any independent strengthening you do will ultimately be helpful to your knees as well, as long as it is done in a safe way without a lot of undue impact or force.
Yoga and Stretching
Although there are some yoga postures that can potentially damage the knees if performed in the wrong way or by inexperienced practitioners, yoga and stretching, done correctly, can be very helpful in rehabilitating worn knees. Yoga positions can help regenerate healthy muscle tissue around the knees. In certain postures, blood flow to the knees is restricted, signaling the body to send even more blood flow to the area. When you release the posture, fresh blood comes rushing to the site of constriction, which aids in healthy tissue regeneration. For example, even kneeling with the hips back on the heels can be a beneficial posture for rebuilding the knees and easing knee pain. It should be noted that care should always be taken with the knees, as they are an especially delicate joint and can be easily injured. Consult an experienced yoga teacher for specific postures that you can do to help your knee pain or injury.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that uses tiny needles inserted into the skin at particular points on the body to heal and relieve pain. Acupuncture has proven to be very helpful in controlling chronic pain and swelling in the knee, and it is particularly helpful for easing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. A recent study conducted at the University of Maryland showed that study participants treated with acupuncture reported 40 percent less knee pain than study participants treated with other methods. Acupuncture is safe and has few to no side effects if performed properly. Consult your physician to get a referral to a reputable acupuncturist in your area.