Weakness of the knees is a common complaint especially among the elderly population. However weakness of knees can affect individuals of any age. While there are a host of causes for weak knees which range from aging related wear and tear to injury among athletes.
Weak knees can be quite distressing, since the knees are important weight bearing joints and weakness may in turn comprise the ability of the person to walk or move around with ease.
Common Causes Of Weak Knees
Weakness of the knees tends to affect individuals of all age group and is closely linked with either aging or injury. Here are some of the causes associated with weak knees.
- Injury, especially sports injury among athletes is one of the most common causes of weak knees. The injury may involve damage to the knee joint or the patella or a stretch or pull of the surrounding muscles or tendons supporting the knee joint.
- Age related wear and tear may also result in weakness of the knee joint. Osteoporosis, results in weak bones, while osteoarthritis results in inflammation of the knee joint, which in turn reduces the mobility of the knee joint.
- Sprains of the hamstrings or the quadriceps muscles, especially while walking, running, etc are also linked with weakness of the knees. Nerve root compression, of the nerves supplying to the muscles of the legs can also lead to weakness of the knee joint.
- Other conditions like obesity, menopause, nutritional deficiencies, etc can also lead to weak knees.
Symptoms Of Weak Knees
Some of the common symptoms associated with weak knee include the following,
- Restricted mobility and severe pain in the knee joint on every attempt to move.
- Swelling and edema of the knee joint may be observed in some cases, especially when associated with an injury.
- Muscular wasting especially of the thighs and the hamstrings may be observed, especially linked with disuse atrophy.
While the severity of the symptoms may vary depending upon the individuals’ condition, the above mention symptoms are observed in most cases of weak knees, with differing levels of intensity.
Exercises For Strengthening The Knee Muscles
Here are a couple of exercises that can help strengthen the muscles of the quadriceps and help in management of weak knees,
- Modified Squats: Stand with both your feet about a foot apart, with your toes pointing in the front. Fold your arms around the chest. Now gradually try to lower yourself into a squatting position. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise about four to five times a day. As your ability and strength of the muscles supporting the knee increases, you will be able to lower yourself for longer duration.
- Single Leg Dip: Stand in front of a wall and place both your hands on the wall in such a way that your arms are a little bit behind you. Now lift the right leg from the ground a few inches, while making sure that the left knee doesn’t bend. Hold this position for a few seconds and then return back to standing. Repeat it with the left leg. This exercise will help strengthen the hamstrings and the quadriceps muscles.