Knee arthritis is the single greatest cause of chronic disability among adults in the United States. Many factors can lead to knee pain—arthritis, excessive foot pronation, muscle fatigue, even injury—but we have good news for you: Most chronic knee pain is preventable. The New England Journal of Medicine recently found evidence suggesting that exercise and physical therapy can be as effective as surgery in treating chronic, arthritis-related knee pain.
When muscles are forced to compensate for others that are weak or overused, injuries and chronic pain often occur. By strengthening and stretching key muscles and joints that support your knees, you can ultimately relieve and prevent knee pain. But the key to successfully preventing knee pain may surprise you: strengthening your core. An overall weak and inflexible core can impair arm and leg function, thus leading to knee pain and injury.
Your core consists of more than just your abdominals; it’s made up of all your torso muscles, including those in your back, hips and upper thighs. Abdominal weakness may cause your leg bones to shift inward while your pelvis tilts forward, creating excessive lower-back curvature. Strengthening your core will also help keep your back in a neutral spine position, thus avoiding painful joint compression.
Increased core strength offers many benefits beyond reduced knee pain. You may notice improved posture, better balance, reduced back pain, easier breathing, increased range of motion and perhaps even weight loss or maintenance.
Whether you suffer from chronic knee pain or are recovering from a recent injury, we can design a core routine that’s right for you. We will teach you how to use proper form to do some exercises safely and effectively on your own. Although it may be a challenge to get started, once you begin strengthening your core, you will notice an improvement in the way you look, feel and move throughout your day.