Yoga is a low-impact exercise with countless benefits for the whole body and mind, and intensity levels can be adjusted to fit individual needs, so anyone can participate in this activity to help their joints. When you move through and hold the postures and poses in yoga, it strengthens muscles and bones which benefits joint health. Healthy bones and strong muscles support the body and take the stress off of joints. Participating in yoga and doing certain poses can help relieve pain by taking the strain off of the joints and increasing flexibility, range of motion, and stability. But it’s not just for getting rid of preexisting pain… even if you’re not already experiencing joint pain, these poses and strengthening measures can help prevent developing problems in the future.
Some poses to help strengthen and relieve knee pain include:
It is important to develop the surrounding muscles to relieve knee pain and protect the joints to prevent future problems. The quads and the hamstrings are the main muscle groups surrounding the knee joint. Muscles of the calf are also important to strengthen and to protect the knees because all of these major muscle groups work together to extend and stabilize the knees. Twisted Monkey is a quad stretch, Standing Forward Bend is a hamstring stretch, and Downward Facing Dog is a calf stretch. When these muscles are stretched and lengthened it takes tension and pressure off of the joint.
Your hip flexors, glutes, and core even play a role in knee health. Stable hip flexors take the stress off of your quads which means it is also helping take excess stress off of your knee. Tight or weak glutes can place more tension on the hip flexors and quad muscles which can lead to knee pain. Lizard Pose is great for stretching the hips and glutes. Lastly, a strong core plays a role in keeping your hips in alignment which has a major impact on knee stability. Boat Pose strengthens and stabilizes the core muscles as well as hip flexors. When you think of surrounding muscles of the knee, the first thought is usually the major muscle groups of the leg, but this shows the way everything in the body is connected and there are even more areas that you can strengthen to help with knee pain.