Knee pain is a common problem among people these days, and if not cured at the right time, it can get worse over time. Knee discomfort can be caused due to various reasons, including tight hamstrings and calves, weak or tight outer and inner thighs, poor ankle mobility, underactive glutes, weak feet, etc. Fortunately, yoga exercises can help provide pain relief.
Yoga can be incredibly beneficial in easing knee pain, arising from muscular imbalances, injuries or strains. It can stretch tight muscles, strengthen weak ones and help you regain knee mobility with diverse and simple movements. Studies also suggest that people with knee pain can get much-needed relief by practicing specific yoga asanas a few times a week.
If you’re struggling with severe knee discomfort that’s affecting your everyday routine, yoga can be your best bet. It can gently stretch your muscles and offer you the needed relief.
Yoga Exercises for Knee Pain
Here are five simple yoga poses to alleviate knee pain. If you’re a beginner, get your physical therapist’s approval before starting your yoga session. Let’s get started:
1) Chair Pose
The chair pose is a full body yoga exercise that strengthens your hips, calves and thighs, which makes your knee strong and keeps knee pain at bay.
To do it:
- Stand straight, and raise both your arms overhead with your biceps slightly in front of your ears.
- Bend your knees so that your thighs get parallel to the floor, and make sure your front torso is at a right angle with the top of your thighs.
- Press the heads of your thigh bones down towards the floor, and keep your shoulder blades tight and against your back.
- Stay in this position for 20 seconds to a minute, and straighten your knees to come out of the pose.
2) High Lunge Pose
In addition to strengthening the calves, quads and glutes, the high lunge pose strengthens all the muscle groups supporting your knees.
To do it:
- Stand straight. Step your right foot back into a lunge position while bending your left leg to about 90 degrees.
- Lift both arms up, and keep your gaze forward.
- If you have tight hamstrings, slightly bend your back leg.
- Stay in this position, and switch legs to perform the next rep.
3) Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is another very effective yoga exercise that strengthens your hamstrings, glutes and IT band. Weak IT bands are also a major cause of knee pain.
To do it:
- Lie on your back with your feet and legs parallel, knees bent and feet at a hip distance.
- Slowly move both feet closer to your butts, and press down through your feet to lift your hips towards the ceiling.
- Hold your hands under your back, and get on the top of your shoulders.
- Tighten your shins, and press down properly through your heels to lift the back of your thighs and butts higher while also keeping your thighs parallel.
- To come out of the pose, release your hands, and slowly lower your body to the floor.
4) Peaceful Warrior Pose
The peaceful warrior pose strengthens and activates the quads, hamstrings and glutes – muscles that keep your knee in good shape, preventing knee pain.
To do it:
- Stand tall, and step your left foot forward with your toes pointing straight.
- Turn your right toe 45 degrees to the side, and at the same time, extend your arms with your palms facing toward the ceiling.
- Slowly bend your left knee at a 90-degree angle, keeping it aligned with your ankle.
- Bring the back of your right hand on your right leg, and slowly arch back to reach your left arm overhead.
5) Wide-angled Seated Forward Bend
The wide-angled seated forward bend stretches the adductors of the inner thighs and helps promote knee health. This pose alleviates knee pain and boosts the muscles of your leg joints.
To do it:
- Sit straight with your legs wide open to the sides.
- Flex your knees, and keep your toes pointing up.
- Press through your big toe, and push down so that your quads are facing the ceiling.
- Breathe easily, and lengthen your spine as you hinge at your hips, moving your hands forward and bringing your upper body between your legs.
- Make sure to keep your back straight and do not curve your spine.
- To come out of the pose, move your hands back, and return to the sitting position.
The aforementioned simple yoga exercises can be done regularly to ease knee pain. However, if you feel discomfort or sharp stretch in your kneecap, while doing these poses, stop immediately, and seek the attention of a doctor.