Have you thanked your knees lately? This might sound like a weird question, but it’s worth thinking about — after all, you rely on them for a lot of things!
It’s those trusty knees that are responsible for everything from the most basic activities like walking to more exciting (and fun!) ones like skiing, hiking, running, and yoga (duh). Because our knees are key to many of the things we do physically, it’s really important to take good care of them, especially when they aren’t in the best shape.
Consider Yoga for Your Knee Health
Before we start breaking down why you should give yoga for knees a try, let’s talk a little bit about knee pain! If we’re going to ask you “Have you tried yoga for painful knees?,” you probably want to know more about that discomfort and why it’s so common before you answer.
The Basics of Yoga and Knee Health
According to Columbia University Medical Center,
“The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.”
See? They deserve a thank you!
But what about knee pain & why do we need yoga for knees in the first place?
That’s a longer story — and one that’s familiar to many, many people.
A lot of knee problems are simply a result of the aging process. As we get older, we put continuous wear and stress on these joints.
Arthritis is one of the more common problems, and its symptoms can be alleviated by yoga for knee pain. If you have arthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint is gradually wearing away. Arthritis often affects middle-aged and older people, but it can be made worse by repeated injuries or extra weight.
Don’t forget — yoga is an awesome exercise for losing weight, if that’s a priority for you!
Here are a few other common knee problems that may improve with yoga.
According to Columbia University Medical Center, these are the top 3:
Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the knee. People often develop tendonitis after prolonged use of a tendon during activities like running, jumping, or cycling. Basically, if you put enough pressure on your knees over time, you may have it! Yoga for knee pain and yoga for leg pain can be great solutions for tendonitis. (But more on that later.)
#2) Torn cartilage
This is exactly what it sounds like — a tear in the cartilage in your knee. Cartilage is supposed to act as a sort of shock absorber for your knee as it supports your bodyweight. When it tears, a brace is often required for stability. Some people even need surgery.
Knee pain or swelling and difficulty walking may all be symptoms of a knee strain or sprain. These injuries are usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist in the knee.
Obviously, if you’re experiencing chronic pain in your knee or if you know that you’ve sustained a nasty injury to the joint that’s causing acute pain, it’s a smart move to see a medical professional. But yoga for knee pain can be part of a comprehensive plan to improve your symptoms.
Tell me about yoga for painful knees
First off, we’re not just talking about yoga for knee pain or yoga for leg pain or yoga for pain in legs here. More and more people are actually using yoga for pain relief all over the body these days! No matter where you’re experiencing aches and pains, taking an online yoga class might be just what you need to feel better.
But let’s get specific about yoga for painful knees. If you’re reading this, we bet you’re looking to relieve those achy knees! Let’s get down to it.
A study from the American College of Rheumatology showed:
Yoga can be a great exercise for reducing knee pain. Participants in the study reported reduced pain and improved physical function after an eight-week course of yoga classes.
The numbers don’t lie — yoga for painful knees really can work.
Yoga for knee pain is also effective because of the way it impacts mobility. One of the more common symptoms that people with knee problems experience is stiffness in the joint.
According to Medical News Today, this can be caused by swelling, arthritis, a muscle imbalance, or an injury. Stiffness can also be caused by a basic lack of flexibility. We’ve told you before that improved flexibility is one of the many health benefits of online yoga classes, but if you experience stiffness in your knees, you’re probably more interested than ever in yoga for knee pain.
Don’t underestimate the power of some beginner yoga poses! Yoga for painful knees really can go a long way toward getting you more flexible and helping your body feel better.
Modify your poses to accommodate your aches and pains.
One of the best things about yoga for pain in legs and yoga for knee pain is that yoga poses can be adjusted so that they’re accessible to you, no matter what soreness you’re experiencing. After all, a workout to improve the pain in your knees can only work if you can actually do the workout in spite of that pain.
Per Harvard Health,
“One of the reasons that yoga is known to relieve pain throughout the body is because of the way it boosts mobility.”
One of the best parts of getting into a yoga practice is that it allows you to tailor your movements to your personal needs. Instructors in our online yoga classes, for example, will offer various options for many of the poses they hit in their flows.
If the pain you have in your knees makes it challenging to get into a certain pose the way you’ve seen it before, chances are that there’s a modification available for you that won’t be painful.
This takes a standard yoga class and turns it into yoga for painful knees.
When you’re able to actually do a yoga workout even with the soreness in your knees, you’re able to reap yoga’s health benefits. And that’s when yoga for knee pain actually starts to make a difference!
How to Decrease Your Knee Pain
As with anything, it’s best to start at the very beginning with yoga for your knees. We might be a little biased, but we’re pretty big fans of bulldog’s online offerings.
Our Activate classes are a great way to start waking up your body so you can get your blood pumping and reap the benefits of increased mobility and flexibility. Yes, beginner yoga can be yoga for pain in legs.
Don’t forget to touch base with your doctor or another medical professional before you begin to incorporate yoga as part of the pain management plan for any serious injury or chronic condition.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, at least when it comes to yoga for knee pain! Learn more about pain with our Yoga for Pain Guide.