Cartilage is the flexible substance that helps to cushion the joints so that pieces of bonecan't rub together as you walk. Unfortunately, there are many ways in which damage can happen within cartilage, and therefore contribute to chronic knee pain conditions.
One type of injury to the cartilage of the knee is known as a torn meniscus. The meniscus is the largest section of cartilage attached to the ligaments of the knee. Alternatively, your cartilage may just suffer from the constant wear and tear of everyday activity, or the long-lasting threat of osteoarthritis. Fortunately, regardless of what caused the problem, there are exercises for damaged knee cartilage that can help you to regain your strength, and range of motion.
Pro Tip: You may find that using your knee compression sleeve helps to give you some additional support during the following exercises. Remember to check with your doctor before you attempt a new workout however, to ensure that you won't make any existing problems worse.
Extend and Flex Exercises
Injuries to cartilage can create swelling and inflammation around the knee joint that limits your range of motion. However, stretching and extending exercises for damaged knee cartilage can help to reduce the swelling and promote proper healing.
Start by sitting on a chair - make sure that when you sit, you lift up your leg slightly so that your feet are hovering. Bend your knee as much as possible, then extend your leg outwards as straight as it will go to complete a single rep. Try to work up to three sets of twenty reps a day, but remember that you should stop if you begin to notice excessive pain.
Heel slide exercises help to strengthen the muscle around your knee, as well as those in your thighs. Over time, you will be able to add an extra challenge to this exercise by performing it on a wood or carpeted floor.
Lie down on your back with your foot against the ground and your knee bent. Carefully slide the heel of your foot inwards towards your buttocks as much as possible without causing extra pain to the knee, then slide it back outwards again. Work slowly to increase the number of repetitions you do each day, and try to move your heel closer to your body to regain a complete range of motion.
Finally, if you suffer from torn cartilage in your knee, then you might struggle to straighten the affected leg completely. Exercises for damaged knee cartilage that allow you to keep your leg still can also help you to increase your extension and range of motion.
Sit on a chair and situate a small stool far enough away from your feet so that you can rest your heel on it easily while you sit. Place a rolled-up towel beneath your heel, and let your leg rest, holding the limb as straight as you possibly can. You may only be able to tolerate this extension for a few minutes at a time at first, but you should work on extending the period up to fifteen minutes.