As hockey players, we all suffer from knee pain at one time or another. Here’s how to cope.
By James Seeds, MD
Strengthening the muscles that support your knees is one of the best ways to relieve and prevent knee pain. Strong muscles in the front and back of your thighs help your knees absorb shocks. When you do knee exercises, follow these guidelines:
- Start slowly and progress gradually
- Stop doing any exercise that causes pain
- Don’t do too much too soon. If you’re so sore it hurts to move your knee the day after exercising, you’ve done too much.
- Warm up for five to 10 minutes (by walking, for instance) before exercising
- Ask your doctor or physical therapist for advice if you’re not sure how to exercise
Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other out straight. Tighten the thigh muscles in the straight leg and lift it slowly until it is 12 inches off the floor. Hold for three to five seconds, then slowly lower the leg to the floor. Repeat, then switch legs.
Stand between the backs of two chairs. Lift one leg slightly in front of you while planting your weight on the other. Slowly lower your body a few inches as you push your weight into the heel of your supporting leg. Hold for three to five seconds, then slowly straighten up. Repeat, then switch legs.
While holding on to the back of a chair, put your weight on one leg. Lift the other foot and bring your heel up toward your buttocks. Hold for three to five seconds, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat, then switch legs.
James R. Seeds, MD holds a double board certification in both Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. He was fellowship trained in Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute (Birmingham, AL) in the company of internationally renowned surgeons Dr. Lawrence Lemak and Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Seeds is a partner at the Midwest Bone & Joint Institute (Algonquin, Barrington, Elgin and Geneva, IL).