Workout with a worn-out knee

Meyken Houppermans
Founder and Head Coach
Knee pain can make it hard to exercise, although exercise is crucial for recovery. What to do and what to avoid?

Many people suffer from what they call a “worn out knee”. A collective name for various symptoms such as pain, a limited range of motion, stiffness and instability. A common cause is osteoarthritis which concerns about 760.000 people in the Netherlands, most of them women in their forties, fifties and above. The most common sports injury is to the knee, in about 26% of cases, with field soccer as the major cause.

Knee pain can make it hard to exercise, although this is crucial for recovery. What to do and what to avoid?

Exercise strengthens the muscles and tissue around the knee. This can prevent and sometimes cure symptoms and pain. Fear of making the symptoms worse, can hinder people with knee pain from staying active or starting sports. when in fact, inactivity will make the situation worse especially at an older age. An active lifestyle and regular strength training and balance training are crucial for treatment and to maintain and improve the qualityt of life. In case of osteoarthritis, exercise does not harm the knee, although sometimes thought otherwise.

A training program designed around strengthening muscles and increasing endurance, with focus on excellent execution of the movements is key. Also, coaching on how to perform daily tasks in a safe manner can be beneficial, as well as knowledge on how to make smart adjustments such as wearing proper foot wear; avoiding shock movements or sitting a lot during the day; integrating more walking and taking the stairs during the day; and havcing a healthy diet and enough sleep.

A professional specialised Personal Trainer or example a sports coach specialised in injuries and exercise with rheumatism can be the right coach in case of knee issues. NL Actief Prevention Centers, such as CrossFit Eudokia in Rotterdam, offers coaching for people with injuries or chronic diseases by certified professional trainers.

References Sportblessures. 2023. Artrose. Leeftijd en geslacht. 29 november 2022.