5 Low-Impact Exercises for Chronic Knee and Back Pain

Exercises for Chronic Knee and Back Pain

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Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes read

Dealing with chronic knee and back pain can be a struggle, affecting your daily activities and overall quality of life. Fortunately, low-impact exercises can play a crucial role in managing and reducing discomfort. These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles around your knees and back without putting extra stress on them. This article will guide you through five simple yet effective exercises to help ease your pain and improve mobility.

Incorporating low-impact exercises into your routine can offer significant relief. These exercises target core and hip strength, vital components for supporting your knees and back. By focusing on these areas, you can alleviate pain, enhance stability, and reduce the risk of future injuries. 

Strengthen Your Core and Hips to Alleviate Chronic Knee and Back Pain

Strong core and hip muscles are essential for supporting your lower back and knees. By enhancing stability and balance, you can reduce the strain on these areas. Before we list the exercises, it’s essential to understand that consistency and proper form are key. Start slowly and increase the intensity as your strength improves.

1. Abdominal Brace

Abdominal Bracing for Chronic Knee and Back Pain
  • Begin on your back; knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. 
  • Exhale and draw your belly button towards your spine (as if a string was pulling on the inside of your belly button from the ground). 
  • Hold for 5 seconds before relaxing. 
  • Do this 10 times for one set, and complete 2 sets.

2. Pelvic Tilt

Performing seated pelvic tilts, an effective movement to stabilize and strengthen the lumbar region.
Seated Pelvic Tilts step 2
  • Sit upright in a chair with your shoulders relaxed. Take a deep inhale and expand your belly.
  • As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and flattening your low back against the chair.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then slowly relax.
  • Perform 10 repetitions for a total of 3 sets.

3. Clamshells

Clamshell step 1
Clamshell step 2
  • Start by paying on your side with both knees bent.
  • Keep your feet in contact with each other, and then rotate your top leg up. 
  • Make sure you keep your spine in alignment and your hips don’t rock back! Rule of thumb is to do a smaller range of motion if you think your back is moving.
  • Rotate your top leg back down to the starting position.
  • Do this 10 times for one set, and complete 3 sets.

4. Standing Hip Lifts

standing hip lifts step 1
standing hip lifts step 2
  • Stand tall with one hand placed on a bed or chair. Balance on your left leg, keeping a soft bend in your knee to keep from locking out.
  • Leading with your heel, lift your right leg out to the side. Be sure not to lean to the left. 
  • Repeat 10 times per leg.
  • Complete 3 sets of the exercise.

5. Standing Hip Extension

Standing hip extension step 1
Standing Hip Extension step 2
  • Stand tall with your hands placed on a steady surface. You can use a counter, sink, or chair (no chairs with wheels) to hold on to for balance. 
  • Shift your weight onto your left leg, keeping a soft bend in your left knee to keep it from locking out.
  • Then, keeping your toes pointed forward and your right leg straight, lift your right leg back a few inches, then lower back down.
  • Repeat 10 times per leg for 3 sets.

Care Tips for Knee and Back Health

Maintaining knee and back health requires more than just exercise. Here are some additional tips:

  • Stay Active: Regular, gentle activity can help keep your joints flexible.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Reducing body weight can decrease stress on your knees and back.
  • Wear Supportive Footwear: Proper shoes can help align your body correctly.
  • Practice Good Posture: Keep your back straight and shoulders back to reduce strain.
  • Use Ice and Heat: Applying ice or heat can soothe pain and aid in recovery.
  • Consult a Professional: Always check with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine.

Conclusion

Incorporating these five low-impact exercises into your daily routine can offer relief from chronic knee and back pain. By strengthening the core and hips, you not only reduce discomfort but also improve your overall mobility and quality of life. Remember, consistency is key, and making these exercises a regular part of your day can lead to significant improvements.

However, it’s important to listen to your body and consult with healthcare professionals to tailor the exercises to your specific needs. As you gain strength and confidence, you’ll find yourself moving more freely and with less pain. Start taking steps today toward a more comfortable and active life.

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)

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