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The knee joint is primarily a hinge joint. Simplified, the quadriceps, a group of muscles along the front of the thigh, work to extend the leg at the knee joint (straighten it) and the hamstrings, a group of muscles along the back of the thigh, work to bend the leg at the knee joint. One cause of imbalances of musculature around the knee could be caused by injury to those muscles or damage to other tissues such as the ligaments or meniscus. Sedentary lifestyles, poor posture and resulting poor flexibility, mobility and balance may also create knee issues and tissue damage. Conversely, repetitive strain of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in high activity levels such as netball may cause pain and dysfunction.
Can remedial massage help strengthen the knee joint? | Knee Exercise
Remedial massage and myotherapy will not strengthen the knee. However, remedial and myo treatments may help improve range of motion in the knee joint by easing tightness in surrounding tissues. Often these tight muscles are under greater load as they compensate for inadequate strength in other muscles. Massage to release trigger points might help to decrease pain and may also help to reduce inflammation around the knee which also causes pain. Additionally, heat and cold applications may relieve symptoms of inflammation and pain. However, as with all injuries, regardless of how they occurred, behaviour modification and the inclusion of specific strength exercises are likely to get the best results with regards to recovery.
Simple strength exercise for beginners
The following simple exercise for strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joint is called a leg extension. There are plenty of progressions for this exercise and this is just a starting point.
Sitting tall onto a standard chair where your knee is bent at approximately 90 degrees
Continue to sit tall and straighten the knee joint so that your leg is sticking out in front of you
Hold for a few seconds. You should feel contraction in the muscles down through the front of the thigh and above the knee cap
Return with control back to the starting position
Take care not to lean or roll backwards at all during the movement
Perform 10+ repetitions on each leg as a starting point
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