Article credit Mathew Foster
Did you know that knee pain is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in America, with more than one third of people in this country suffering from it? Fortunately, there is a way out. In this article we teach you how yoga of all things can help you deal with knee pain, both preventing and helping you recover from injuries to this crucial joint.
Typical causes of knee pain include injury to a ligament like your ACL, weak hamstrings or quadricep muscles, or chronic conditions like arthritis. Perhaps more than anything it is our sedentary lifestyles that tend to weaken the leg muscles and make the knees more susceptible to injury. When your quadriceps for example are weak and under-developed, there arises a misalignment between your knee and the thighbone or femur, in which your knee fails to track properly and is pulled to the side. This sideways force weakens and wears away the cartilage supporting your knee.
Yoga, meanwhile, is about mindfulness and deliberate, thoughtful action. By training you to learn to pay attention to your body and what you're doing NOW, yoga therapy can help you become aware of the leg muscles that need work and provides you with the poses needed to strengthen them. It is also a great way of becoming aware of leg misalignment issues (another source of knee trouble), and correcting these. Here are the best yoga poses for your knees and how to do them: