Patients will often ask me about knee strengthening exercises and how they may help alleviate symptoms of knee pain. Rehabilitation of the knee or knee strengthening exercises are a cornerstone of our joint preservation program at the Atlantic Spine & Joint Institute. A stronger more balanced joint is usually a healthier one, especially in regards to the knee joint. Knee strengthening exercises will help facilitate the healing of soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains of the knee, they assist in the recovery process post surgically, meniscus surgery or ACL repair, and especially with those patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee as the exercises help disperse and promote production of the lubricating fluid in the knee, synovial fluid.
Exercises prescribed here at the Atlantic Spine & Joint Institute actually differ from patient to patient. One exercise may be good for one but not for another, however, several of the frequently used exercises include seated flexion and extension of the knee, either on machines, with resistance bands or with no resistance at all. We do a variety of hip exercises in the same manner. We will utilize upper body exercises while encouraging the patient to stabilize their torso with the legs. We also have the luxury of having the area’s only “anti-gravity treadmills” called the Alter-G. These Alter-G treadmills allow our patients to walk or run while bearing 100% of body weight down to 20% body weight. This is a phenomenal knee strengthening exercise. Recumbent biking is a fantastic knee strengthening exercise and is utilized here as well. Obviously there are a myriad of strengthening exercises that can be performed from the most basic to highly advanced and are only limited by the imagination.
Please keep in mind that exercises prescribed here at the Atlantic Spine and Joint Institute is always dependent upon the patient and their condition. I would be remiss to give a broad generalized recommendation of a knee exercise without consulting with the patient first, however, knee strengthening exercises are an overall benefit for the vast majority of knee conditions. Strengthening exercises are not only used to reduce symptoms, facilitate healing and support surrounding tissues but also to prevent unwanted knee conditions from arising.