Kneecapping pain can leave you unable to move, let alone think about going for a walk. Knee pain is often triggered by strains and sprains, which can leave you unable to even climb stairs. But knee pain also has other sources, like osteoarthritis or gout. We’ll focus on tips to manage the pain and get back into action as soon as possible.
Knee massage is a simple way to reduce knee pain and soothe your aching joint. It feels strange at first but with time it gets easier and makes a big difference in how you feel. The challenge is finding the right spots — there are plenty of places where we don’t want to have knots! How do you find them? Let’s take a look.
What Causes Knee Pain?
It might seem obvious, but knee pain can be triggered by an injury or strain in the knee. If you have recently done a lot of high-impact sports or exercise, this could be the cause. However, knee pain can also be caused by a knee joint problem that has been present for some time. There are several diseases or conditions that can lead to knee pain, including arthritis, osteoporosis, gout, and knee tendonitis.
Most often knee pain is caused by a combination of these factors, rather than just one. Knee pain can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, like diabetes. When you experience knee pain, it’s important to get it checked out by a doctor to rule out serious underlying causes.
There’s a huge range of problems that can cause knee pain, from sprains to conditions that lead to arthritis. It’s important to see a doctor if you’re worried about knee pain. They can make sure there’s no serious underlying cause that requires treatment.
Depending on the type of knee pain, your doctor may recommend exercises or other treatments. If you have chronic pain in one knee, it’s important to pay attention to the other knee and take steps to prevent knee injury and pain. Knee pain can often be treated with over-the-counter medications, rest, ice, and other self-care. Your doctor can help you decide if these treatments are right for you.
The Basics of Knee Massage
First, a word about technique. A knee massage is basically a full-body massage that targets the knee joint and the surrounding muscles. You can use massage oil to help warm up the skin, but don’t use anything that will clog pores (like coconut oil). Heavy pressure is not recommended — it might be too painful. Instead, you want to maintain a light pressure throughout the massage to help increase blood flow to the tissue. When you massage around the knee joint, you trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions. This can help reduce pain, boost metabolism and relax the body overall.
Knee massage can sound complicated but it’s actually very easy. All you need is a softball, a tennis ball, or a soft foam roller. Roll the ball or the foam roller up and down your leg — starting at the foot and working up to the knee.
Massaging the tendons and soft tissue around the knee helps to break down any swelling or excess fluid. It also increases blood flow to the area which helps to ease pain and discomfort. If you find the ball or the foam roller too firm, you can use a piece of clothing like a scarf or a soft T-shirt.
If you find massage painful, make sure you roll or massage very gently. You also don’t want to apply pressure directly to the knee joint as this could make the pain worse. Also, avoid doing a knee massage if you have recently had surgery — it’s best to talk to your doctor first.
What is the Best Massage for Knee Pain?
For knee pain, a general massage is the best option. You can use the tips below to target the kneading points.
- Quadriceps: The quadriceps muscles are on the front of your thighs. They are responsible for extending your knee joints and helping you walk upstairs, sit down, and climb ladders. Knead the quadriceps muscles at the front of your knees to ease knee pain.
- Hamstrings: Bromley- Heel-to-buttocks massage helps with knee pain. These are on the back of your legs. Knead the hamstring muscles to relieve knee pain.
- Calves: The muscles on the back of your legs (the calves) are connected to your knee. Kneading them is a great way to relieve knee pain.
There are a few different ways to massage the knee but they all aim to do the same thing — find the knots in the soft tissue and break them down. You can use a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball, or a foam roller to do this. There are other options, but these are the most common. When you find a knot, you want to push into it with your body weight — and then move on. The goal isn’t to stay in any one spot for a long time — instead, you want to move along your leg and find the next spot. This keeps things from getting too intense and gives your knee a thorough massage.
Why Does Knee Massage Help?
Knee massage works because it helps break down micro-tears in the muscle tissue. This triggers a healing response that repairs the tissue, reduces inflammation, and eases pain. After injury or strain to the knee, inflammation is a natural response to repair tissue and fight infection. While this is a good thing, too much inflammation can cause pain. Massaging the knee helps reduce the amount of inflammation in the area, which helps with the pain and swelling.
The best way to understand why knee massage works are to understand the anatomy of your knee. There’s a layer of tissue between your knee cap and the bones — this tissue is called the joint capsule. Knee massage helps to break down adhesions and break up any excess fluid in the joint capsule. This can reduce knee pain and help you to move more freely. A Knee massage is also a great way to warm up the joint before you go for a walk or hit the gym. This can help to reduce the risk of injury before you even leave the house.
Benefits of a Knee Massage
Knee massage can help to relieve knee pain and discomfort. It also improves blood flow, which can help to ease swelling and discomfort. It’s also a great way to warm up the joint before you start moving around. This can help you avoid injury and pain before you even leave the house.
1. Relaxes the muscles - A knee massage helps relax the muscles, including those around the joints. This can ease pain and improve mobility.
2. Reduces swelling - Reducing inflammation in the knee can also reduce swelling. This makes it easier to walk, climb stairs, and do other activities.
3. Improves circulation - The increased blood flow from knee massage can help reduce pain and improve metabolism.
4. Reduces stress - Like many other types of massage, knee massage can reduce the level of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in the body. This can help you to relax and sleep better.
Knee massage is also a great way to improve your range of motion. You can do this slowly or you can do it quickly to get through a lot of reps in a short amount of time. You can also try a tempo-based knee massage — this is where you move quickly through the whole knee, spending only a few seconds on each spot.
3 Stretches for Knee Pain
These are perfect for when you want to really target the muscles around the knee. They are best done when you’re sitting down or lying down.
1. Quadriceps Stretch - This stretch is great for knee pain. Stand up straight. Place your left foot in front of your right foot. Put your hands behind your head. Bend your right knee slightly. Put your left heel as close to your buttocks as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch feet.
2. Hamstring Stretch - This stretch is great for knee pain. Sit on a chair. Put your right foot on the seat of the chair. Put your left foot behind you. Bend your left knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs.
3. Calf Stretch - This stretch is great for knee pain. Stand up straight. Put one heel in front of you and the other behind you. Bend your knees slightly. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch feet.
A Simple Way to Do Knee Massage
While knee massage is best done by someone else, you can also do it yourself — with some modifications to avoid overdoing it. Place a pillow or towel on a smooth surface like a table. Put your knee on the pillow or towel. Use your hands to move along your knee, applying pressure as necessary. Repeat on both sides of your knee.
You can also do a quick knee massage when you’re taking a break from work or you’re on your commute — it doesn’t take long and it can make a big difference to the way you feel. It’s best to start with the top of your knee and make your way down. It’s a good idea to spend a bit of time on your quadriceps, too. This is where your IT band sits — and this is a common source of knee pain. Massaging the IT band can make a big difference in how you feel. Start at the bottom of your quad. Push in with your thumb or fingers, moving up towards the knee.
How to Find the Right Spots for Knee Massage
Where you should be massaging depends on what’s going on in your knee. If you have knee pain, you may have adhesion in the joint capsule. This can cause knee pain, particularly at the front of your knee. You can target specific areas by finding the kneading points along the knee.
- Front of the knee - The quadriceps muscles lie on the front of the knee. Knead this area to reduce knee pain.
- Back of the knee - The hamstrings are on the back of the knee. Knead this area to reduce knee pain.
- Side of the knee - The calves are on the outside of the knee. Knead this area to reduce knee pain.
- Kneading points - Use your fingers to massage the kneecap, quadriceps tendon, and inside edge of the knee.
A tennis ball or a lacrosse ball are great tools for finding knots in the joint capsule. You can also use a softball if you find a tennis ball too harsh. If you have knee pain towards the back of your knee, you may have adhesion in the hamstrings or the IT band. You can roll a softball or a scarf up and down your leg to find the knots and break them.
3 Simple Exercises for Knee Pain Relief
These exercises are best done when you’re sitting down or you’re lying down. If you have knee pain, you don’t want to be standing up and putting more strain on your knee joint — so take care of yourself. Try to do each of these exercises 3 times a day — it’s a great way to ease pain and feel better on a daily basis.
1. Squat - A squat is great for knee pain. Stand with your feet placed slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, and lower your hips as if you’re sitting down. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
2. Wall Sit - This exercise is great for knee pain. Stand facing a wall with your feet at least 12 inches away from the wall. Bend your knees, and lower your hips toward the floor. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Wall Walk - This exercise is great for knee pain. Stand facing a wall with your feet at least 12 inches away from the wall. Put one foot in front of the other. Bend your knees, and lower your hips toward the floor. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
How to Perform Knee Massages at Home to Reduce Pain?
A knee massage is a great way to relieve knee pain. It also increases blood flow to the area and relaxes the muscles. To perform a knee massage at home, follow these steps:
1.- Place a pillow or towel on a smooth surface like a table. Put your knee on the pillow or towel.
2. Use your hands to move along your knee, applying pressure as necessary.
3. Repeat on both sides of your knee.
4. Remember to use light pressure and don’t massage for more than a few minutes.
If you feel pain, stop immediately. And if you’re looking for a more advanced massage, you can book an appointment with a massage therapist.