Do Water Exercises Help Knee Pain?

Water Exercises for Knee Pain

Water Exercises and Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by many different things, including arthritis, gout, infections, and other inflammatory conditions. Knee pain is also associated with injuries to the ligaments, knee cartilage damage/tearing (meniscus), or inflammation of the bursa sacs that act as cushions between bone and muscle tissue at the knee joint.

The most common form of knee pain is caused by tendinitis and/or bursitis, typically caused by overuse injuries. The inflammation associated with these conditions causes the familiar sharp pain in the front of the knee or above the kneecap that can affect activities such as walking or climbing stairs.

Particularly troublesome for patients is an inflamed bursa sac on the side of the kneecap which presents itself as a sharp edge when pressed upon. Referred pain from issues such as arthritis usually appear further down on the front of shinbone (tibia) and around or just under the kneecap. One very common cause of knee pain in adults is osteoarthritis (OA).

Symptoms related to knee pain include:

  • A dull ache behind or around your kneecap
  • Pain when you bend or straighten your knee
  • A popping or snapping sensation in your kneecap
  • Swelling

It’s important to note that knee pain can be a symptom of more serious conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, meniscus tears (cartilage damage), and other injuries and conditions. If you have symptoms of these or other serious conditions, always speak with your doctor before attempting to treat yourself. He or she may recommend wearing a knee sleeve or knee brace, even during rest.

Water Exercises and Knee Pain

Water Exercises for Relieving Knee Pain

Water exercises are low impact exercises that can increase range-of-motion without putting too much strain on the knee(s). The water provides resistance to help strengthen the muscles, but it also creates buoyancy that takes off some of the weight.

Water exercises for knee pain can be a great way to decrease swelling and increase blood flow while strengthening the muscles around the knees at the same time. Transitioning into easier low impact exercises can then help you gain more confidence in your ability to exercise without fear of re-injury or further irritation.

Below are 9 different water exercises recommended for knee pain:

  1. Forward Bend – Stand up straight in waist high water with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing forward. You can hold on to a kickboard if you need extra support, but make sure not to push down on it as you bend over. Reach forward until your hands touch the surface of the water, or the wall if it helps with stability, keeping your legs straight. Then stand up slowly to return to starting position.
  2. Sideways Bend – Stand with you feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead. Extend your arm out at chest height facing the side of the pool. Lean sideways towards your outstretched arm as far as possible. Make sure to keep your back flat during this exercise (i.e., don’t arch forward or backward). Slowly return to starting position and repeat on other side
  3. Hip Abduction – Standing in chest-deep water, stand keeping your feet slightly apart. Do not allow your knees to touch. Lift one leg up and out to the side until it is as high as is comfortable and hold for 5 seconds before slowly lowering it back down. Try 10 repetitions on each side.
  4. Hip Adduction – This exercise is performed much the same as the hip abduction, but the only difference is that you are bringing your legs closer together instead of further apart. Stand with your feet slightly apart, but not touching. Lift one leg slightly out to the side (as in abduction), but then swing it the opposite way, crossing over the leg you are standing on. Hold for 5 seconds before slowly returning it back down. Repeat 10 times on each side.
  5. Forward Lunge – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and facing forward, toes pointing straight ahead with arms out at chest height. You can hold on to a kickboard if you need extra support. Step one foot forward. Then, keeping your back straight, lean towards the forward foot, trying not to let your knee bend and go over your toe line (you may want to watch yourself in the mirror first for practice). Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
  6. Lower Back Stretch – In shallow water, stand with both feet hip width apart facing away from the pool wall. Place one hand against the wall for support while reaching down towards your toes with the other arm until you feel a nice low stretch through your lower back muscles. Do not let your hips roll backwards during this exercise; keep them square to face forward throughout movement.
  7. Knee Extensions – Sit on the edge of the pool with both legs dangling in the water, toes pointing up towards the surface of the water. Keeping your back straight, slowly raise one leg until it is high as you can comfortably go while keeping your hips square to face forward. Slowly lower back down to starting position. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
  8. Knee Flexion – This exercise is very similar to the knee extension, except this time you are standing in the pool, facing the wall. Bring your foot towards your gluteus while keeping you back straight and hips square throughout movement. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat 10 time on each side.

Conclusion: Knee Pain and Water Aerobics

Water exercises are a great way to keep your knee joints strong and healthy. They can also be used to continue exercising after an injury has healed. When performed regularly, water exercises are a very effective way to strengthen the muscles that surround the knee joints, which will help improve stability during movement.

And since water provides resistance without putting pressure on your joints, it is also a great alternative for individuals who have problems with their knees due to arthritis or other conditions.

As you can see from the above information – there are lots of benefits of doing water exercises for the health of our bodies – especially if parts of our body are injured, irritated, or weakened. If you are experiencing severe pain, or pain that does not seem to go away, it is important that you consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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