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5 Foot Exercises to Relieve Uncomfortable Knee Pain

It may seem like exercise is counter-intuitive when you have pain behind the knee, but there's excellent evidence proving that performing simple foot exercises to improve muscle strength and knee joint primarily helps alleviate knee pain.

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As we age, knee pain is common and inevitable. The knee is one of the most prevalent body parts that are likely prone to injury and overuse, causing discomfort and pain behind the knee. Despite the pain, it is crucial to keep moving and exercise your knees and feet more often.

Understanding Pain Behind the Knee

pain behind the knee

Pain behind the knee is often distinguished as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which is caused by overuse (commonly related to your exercise routine), muscle dysfunction (like tight hamstrings, or weak quadriceps) and postural abnormalities (such as a flat foot or high arch).
PFPS can come as mild or severe, causing discomfort that spreads from the back of the knee cap affecting the thigh bone. It typically occurs in runners, basketball players, cyclists, and other sports that require players’ knee movements.

5 Foot Exercises to Relieve Pain Behind the Knee

Our feet are somewhat in control of our stability, posture, and particular persistent pains. They carry our weight all day and can even withstand any abusive footwear we use. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of our feet while ensuring the rest of our body is in excellent condition. Here are 5 foot exercises you can execute to help relieve your persistent pain behind the knee.

1. Toe Walking

Toe walking strengthens the muscles and ligaments in your feet and toes. Performing this exercise is similar to walking like a child or as a ballerina.

To execute this exercise: Stand up on your tippy-toes and walk for around 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise up to 5 times – twice a day, with small rests in between. 

2. Toe Presses

Toe presses are an excellent method to maintain the blood flowing on your feet; at the same time, it also keeps you relaxed. You can also perform this method as a warm-up before engaging in various exercises.

To execute this exercise: Stand up and bend your knees slightly. Slowly grip the floor with your toes and hold for 3 seconds then release. Repeat this ten times – three times a day to achieve optimal results.

3. Ankle Circles

Ankle circles help get rid of the hip, ankle, and knee pain, as these areas are likely related to poor posture.

To execute this exercise: Lie down flat on your back along with your legs bent upwards. Pull in your one leg and stretch it out over your body. Slowly rotate your ankle clockwise for 10 seconds, then counter-clockwise for another ten seconds. Switch with another side of your legs and do the same for the other ankle. Repeat this twice a day for optimal effects.

4. Toe Object Pick-up

Toe-Pencil-Pickups exercise strengthens the foot and toes, which is also ideal for road and trail runners. You can do this simple method almost anywhere.

To execute this exercise: Pick up an object with your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this five times – 2-3 times a week for each of your foot.

5. Resistance Band

The smaller muscles in our feet are responsible for maintaining balance, which is why we need to ensure these muscles as stable and robust as possible to prevent unanticipated pain behind the knee.

To execute this exercise: Sit on the floor and align your legs out in front of you. Next, wrap your exercise band around a sturdy chair, then place the opposite side of the band on top of your feet. While seated on the floor, slide back until you feel a pressure in the band. Stretch your foot backward and hold for a count of 5, then release. Repeat this for ten repetitions for optimal effects.

Conclusion

It’s essential to keep our knees healthy and flexible. By doing strengthening exercises, you can help reduce the overall stress of your knee joints and achieve knee pain relief in no time. Specific activities that target your knees can help strengthen and lessen the strain, allowing you to get rid of any sudden injuries. Incorporating a tool like a knee pillow can also help support your top leg and keep your spine aligned while at rest. 

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