Got knee pain? Are you asking yourself “Can I exercise with knee pain?”
I’ve got good news for you:
YES! You absolutely can exercise with knee pain – in fact, you should!
Now, before you go and say “whoa, this is crazy”, let me clarify: You SHOULD exercise with knee pain. HOW you should exercise with knee pain, however, differs vastly depending on WHY your knee hurts in the first place.
The good news is that in private Pilates sessions, we can create a program that works for you, no matter what the reason for your knee pain.
But let’s get back to the why:
Your knees are just achy – no idea why
While you may want to back off high-impact exercise, some mobilization might actually be good for you. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons, but here are just three:
1. When you’re in pain, your small muscles tend to seize up. This adds to the pain. Loosening them up helps.
2. Moving your joints through the full range of motion available lubricates them, which also relieves pain.
3. Your knee pain could be caused by structural issues, such as weak feet. Working on realigning and strengthening your structures will definitely help in that case!
You have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
Here, you definitely should be extra-careful with overloading the joints, but it IS important that you take them through the full range of motion – every day, if you can! With RA, you also want to be careful not to overdo it – but with both conditions, it’s move it or lose it. You just have to do the “moving” the right way.
In carefully structured Pilates sessions, I can and will show you how to do so safely.
You’ve injured your knee
No matter how, why or when you got your knee injury, you will want to have that checked out by a medical professional. Depending on the diagnosis, one of two approaches will apply:
a) Avoid working out the knee, but exercise the rest of your body. (Hint: Pilates is PERFECT for this! We can target all sorts of things until you’re cleared to start exercising that knee. And once you are, we can ramp it up carefully so you wind up with stronger knees than before in the long run!)
b) Carefully work on strengthening the knee and the tissues that surround it.
You need knee surgery
Guess what – Pilates is perfect for this, as well! Seriously. We can work to carefully strengthen (notice a pattern there?!) the knee and the surrounding tissue. This will help in the run-up to surgery and also help you bounce back quickly.
You’ve just had knee surgery
Yes, even now, you should exercise! (In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends starting to exercise the knee the day after total knee replacement surgery!) Again, two approaches:
- You’ve been cleared to start walking and exercising the knee (i.e. released from physical therapy or your PT is willing to work hand in hand with me): We can – you guessed it – work to carefully strengthen and mobilize the knee.
- You haven’t been cleared yet: We can work against the cabin fever and work out all the rest of you – because Pilates lets you really target and isolate areas as well as providing full-body conditioning.
So if your knee hurts, there’s no need to sit there and pine: We can definitely work you out!