Do you struggle with knee pain? Or maybe you’ve had a past injury to your knee and it still doesn’t feel right. Then this article is for you!
If you have a history of a meniscal tear, it’s essential to choose exercises that are gentle on the knees while still providing strength, stability, and flexibility. Always consult with your healthcare provider or a physical therapist before starting any exercise regimen to ensure it’s suitable for your specific condition.
Below are some exercises that are generally considered safe for individuals with a meniscal tear history:
- Low-impact cardiovascular exercises:
- Walking: A great low-impact exercise that helps maintain cardiovascular fitness.
- Swimming: Provides a full-body workout without putting stress on the knees.
- Cycling: Low-impact on the knees and can be done outdoors or on a stationary bike.
- Quad-strengthening exercises:
- Straight leg raises: Lie on your back, straighten one leg, and lift it a few inches off the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then lower it down. Repeat on the other leg.
- Wall squats: Stand with your back against the wall and slide down into a seated position with your knees bent at a 45- to 90-degree angle. Hold the position for a few seconds and then stand back up.
- Hamstring exercises:
- Hamstring curls: Use a resistance band or a machine to perform hamstring curls while sitting on a step or chair where your knees are bent to around a 90 degree angle.
- Bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the floor, pushing through your heels, engaging your glutes and hamstrings. Hold for a few seconds and then lower down.
- Glute Strengthening exercises:
- Clamshells: Lie on your side with your knees bent. Keeping your feet together, open and close your knees like a clamshell while engaging your glutes.
- Step-ups: Use a low step or platform to step up and down while focusing on engaging your glutes.
- Core exercises:
- Planks: Hold a plank position, either on your elbows or with straight arms, engaging your core muscles.
- Bird-dog exercise: Kneel on all fours and extend one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously while maintaining a stable core.
- Stretching exercises:
- Quadriceps stretch: Stand and hold one foot behind you, pulling it gently toward your buttocks. Engage your glute muscle during the stretch and perform a posterior pelvic tilt aka tuck the bottom of your pelvis forward for best results.
- Hamstring stretch: Sit with one leg extended and reach toward your toes, keeping your back straight.
Always start with a proper warm-up and perform exercises with controlled movements. Avoid exercises that cause pain or discomfort in the knee area. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts, but remember to listen to your body and avoid overexertion.
If you experience any intense pain or unusual symptoms during exercise, stop immediately and seek medical advice.