7 Asanas To Soothe Knee Pain
- Yoga helps increase heart rate while minimizing the amount of stress on the joints.
- Yoga reduce chronic pain and improves mobility and is greatly beneficial for those suffering from knee pain.
- Continuity is key in yoga, so make sure you practice yoga regularly.
Knee pain is a prevalent complaint that people from all walks of life often suffer from. There can be many reasons for knee pain – right from medical conditions such as arthritis, gout and infections, to simple muscle strains or tendonotis or injuries leading to chronic knee pain.
However, there are various ways to manage knee pain effectively at home. One way to do that effectively is through yoga.
This article throws light on the 7 asanas to relieve knee pain. Let us look at how yoga can transform your painful ‘aaa’ into fun ‘aasanas’.
Yoga to the rescue
Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise. It helps increase the heart rate while minimizing the amount of stress on the joints.
Yoga does wonders for people with knee pain as it helps reduce chronic pain and improves mobility, physical fitness and of course, quality of life.
As studies suggest, high-impact exercises when done frequently or repetitively can worsen knee pain. Activities like high-intensity sports are hard on the knee joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
Studies have shown that yoga has proven to be helpful for people with joint pain. Older adults who practice yoga daily has shown to improve mobility, walking speed and posture. Not to mention the increased flexibility of the knee flexors (the muscles responsible for bending and extending the knees).
What’s fascinating is that in people with chronic knee pain, yoga has been proven to reduce the stiffness and pain. In particular, it has resulted in decreased pain and improved mobility for people with knee osteoarthritis.
Thus, with regular practice of yoga can benefit those with arthritis making them more active, improving their quality of life. But, as with anything else, yoga will not help you unless you know what you're doing. In order to determine which will benefit you and which will not, you need to know and understand them.
7 yoga asanas for knee pain
1. Baddha Konasana (The Bound-Angle or The Butterfly Pose)
- A seated pose where the soles of the feet come together with the knees bent out wide.
- At first, try to avoid stressing the knees. Try to slightly bend the knees to avoid stressing the knees too much. Then slowly, take your feet closer to your groin only to your degree of comfort over time.
- If you are doing this pose for the first time, keep in mind that your bone structure and muscular development might prevent your knees from reaching the floor. But don’t think that will be of no use.
- Baddha Konasana, at the beginner level, will also help you in stretching your inner thighs while building strength in your back.
- You don’t have to force your knees down to the ground. What you can do instead is release the heads of the thigh bones towards the floor, and the knees will eventually follow.
- If you feel the too much pain in the knees, or have tender knees, move your feet away from the groin.
2. Uttanasana (The standing forward bend pose)
- A very effective stretch for the IT band.
- The iliotibial band, aka IT band, can be defined as a thick band of fascia running from the top of the outer hip to the outer knee.
- Many times, the hip muscles attached to the IT band become tight. This creates huge tension around the band – making the knees hurt. Uttanasana can be a very effective pose for you.
- It requires you to cross your ankles in a standing forward bend position. By doing this, you are able to stretch those very tight IT bands.
3. Ashta Chandrasana (The high lunge pose)
- Here, a variation of the bas pose is more effective – high lunge with arms extended forward pose.
- This pose helps stretch the hamstrings, thighs while putting a slight pressure on the knees.
- To perform this pose, take a high lunge position and tilt your chest 45 degrees forward. This variation of high lunge works on strengthening your quadriceps, a key factor in practising yoga for knee pain.
- Though this might look easy, you still have to take the right measures to prevent yourself from any injury.
4. Anjaneyasana (The low lunge pose)
- Similar to the one above, Anjaneyasana helps in stretching the quadriceps.
- If you feel any tightness in your quads, this is the first pose you should do.
- Studies say that to strengthen your quadriceps, one has to stretch them.
- Why stretching them is so important is because it can also cause some pressure and ache the knee – leading to damage.
- To perform this, take a low lunge stance with your one leg forward and one behind. Then raise your hips until they are directly above your knees or a bit in front of them.
- The base pose requires you to lean the pelvis forward and stretch the hip flexors. But in this variation, all you have to do is keep your hips over your knee.
- When you do this, you’ll feel this in the outer hip. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
5. Upavistha Konasana (The wide-angled forward bend pose)
- As we now know, it's very important to stretch the inner thigh abductors to keep your knees healthy. Why? Because if these particular muscles get tight, they will pull your knees inward. And trust us, you don’t want that.
- This pose helps you stretch your upper and lower body. You also feel good and relaxing from the forward folds. By lenghtening the hamstrings and stretching the back, thighs and calves it helps you relax your body and helps with your knee pain.
6. Virabhadrasana III (The Warrior III pose)
- If you are a beginner, this pose might be somewhat difficult for you at first.
- Virabhadrasana 3 requires your concentration and tests your stamina.
- In this case, you must maintain a thoughtful balance between push and pull.
- This helps in strengthening your abductors of your hip and gluteus medius – the abductors that are very important in strengthening the knees.
7. Supta Gomukhasana (Supine Cow Face Pose)
- This pose might look very complex to you in the beginning. But as every other pose, you can perform it easily with practise.
- The supine cow face pose helps with the itiotibial band syndrome. This helps in stretching the gluteus maximus muscles, helping the IT band to stretch and relax.
- The first step is to lie on your back, cross one knee over the other, and then hug your knees together.
- Feel free to stay here if you are feeling stretched.
- Pull your ankles toward your hips if you do not flex your feet.
- Hold this for a minute or so, then repeat it a few times.
Now that you know how all about yoga asanas to relieve knee pain, the key is to start practicing them regularly. For maximum benefits, make sure you are consistent with your yoga routine.
For better results and greater motivation, you can also ask someone to partner with you in your sessions. This way you will have a healthy and good time, and also effectively manage your knee pain better.
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- Kan L, et al. The Effects of Yoga on Pain, Mobility, and Quality of Life in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6016532.
- Haaz S, et al. Yoga for arthritis: a scoping review. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2011 Feb;37(1):33-46.