Your knee cartilage plays a vital role to the knee and other joints. It serves a natural cushion so that the joints won’t rub together. However, knee cartilage can get damaged due to injury or caused by certain medical conditions. The most common knee cartilage issue is torn meniscus. Another common cause of cartilage damage is osteoarthritis. Fortunately, there are now medical treatments for knee cartilage injuries.
Knee exercises also play an important role in treating cartilage damage. Such exercises help in restoring the strength and motion of the knees. Of course, follow the exercise under the supervision and advice of your knee physician or professional. The following are some of the simple but effective exercises you can do at home or at the gym:
- Flex and Extend
The common effect of cartilage damage is swelling around the knee joint. Flex and extend exercises help reduce the swelling and alleviate the symptom associated with it. Such exercises also help you restore the full mobility of your joint once the swelling has subsided. To do this exercise, you need to sit down on a chair and make sure that your feet don’t touch the ground. Then start bending your knees gently and slowly extend them to their fullest. Repeat this motion for 10 to 20 times a day. Adjust the repetition and ease up the movement if you feel pain.
- Heel Slide
This type of exercise strengthens the thigh muscles and the knee. To perform this, you need to lie down with your knee bent, your feet touching the floor. Slowly slide your heel towards your buttocks and gradually slide it back to its original position. However, it is important not to overdo this exercise especially during the healing period of your injury. You just have to increase the repetition gradually as you slowly regain your strength and mobility.
- Immobile Extension
It is painful to straighten out your legs completely if you have torn knee cartilage. This helps address such issue. The first thing to do is to sit on a chair with a small low stool placed adjacent to it. Rest your heel comfortably on this stool while you sit on the chair. Place a rolled-up towel underneath the heel and straighten your leg as far as you can. Make sure that you don’t push it too hard. Only straighten it as you can tolerate. Do this for a few minutes and slowly increase the minutes up to 15 when it is no longer that painful.
- Calf Stretches
You can also try calf stretches. This exercise aids in the rehabilitation of the knee by strengthening the calves and the hamstrings, which support the knee. In this exercise, you will have to stand facing the wall, keeping a distance. Bend one leg on the front straighten the other at the back. Hold this position for around 30 seconds and do it the other way.
Remember that exercises are not treatment in themselves. They merely help with the whole treatment process. It is important that you get medical attendance for your knee cartilage damage. Approach a knee specialist to get your problem treated. Contact Dr. Tarlow today to schedule an appointment.