There are many conditions that can cause knee pain – and just as many different types of knee pain that a person can experience.
Whether it’s an intermittent pain, or a chronic one, it’s important to deal with it when it first arises. Letting the issue go for too long can lead to the knee structure wearing down over time, compromising your mobility and leading to even more pain in the future.
A common cause of knee pain is a muscle imbalance in the thigh muscles, also known as the quadriceps (1). These are muscles which can become unbalanced as the larger muscles on the outer sides of the thighs do more work in day to day activities and become stronger and more developed than the smaller muscles in the inner thighs.
However, if you strengthen these inner thigh muscles, they will be better able to support your knees, meaning you’ll be less prone to knee pain.
This exercise, developed by physical therapists, is a terminal extension exercise designed to correct a muscle imbalance in the quads by strengthening the vastuis medialis muscle – a must if you experience knee pain on a regular basis.
To perform the exercise, you’ll need a long, strong rubber exercise band – surgical tubing can work well for this – and a stable structure to anchor it with.
Begin the exercise by stepping one leg into the band, so the band is behind the thigh muscle, and moving back until the band is taught, but not tight. Step back with your other leg to elongate your stance – you should be in a position like a long step, with your front leg bent and your rear leg straight.
Once you’re in the correct starting position, simply extend the knee so the front leg becomes straight. Keep your hips steady during this motion. The backward extension of the knee prompts the use of the vastuis medialis muscle, while the rubber band provides resistance for the muscle to pull against. Work the muscle by extending, then flexing, the knee.
This is an easy exercise that can be done without a lot of effort; four sets of twelve repetitions on each leg per day should be enough to strengthen the necessary muscles and help prevent knee pain.
Over time, as you perform this exercise regularly, you may notice the muscles of your inner thighs becoming more activated during other exercise, like lunges or squats.
But most importantly, your knees will be able to support your weight more effectively, due to being better supported by the muscles surrounding them.
This exercise will hopefully help reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the knees, and help improve your mobility if you experience regular knee pain.