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5 Exercise Tips For Dealing With Knee And Hip Pain

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, details five expert-recommended exercises tailored to address and alleviate knee and hip pain.

“When confronted with joint pain, one’s first instinct might be to avoid movement. However, the right exercises can serve as powerful tools in pain management and joint health preservation,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Always remember, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to ensure exercises are done correctly and safely.”

 Understanding Knee and Hip Pain

The knee and hip joints are central to mobility, and pain or discomfort in these areas can drastically impact quality of life. Causes can range from arthritis, wear and tear, injuries, or age-related degeneration.

Signs and Symptoms of Knee and Hip Pain

Knee and hip pain can manifest in various ways, and the signs and symptoms can vary from person to person based on the cause, severity, and individual factors. Here are common signs and symptoms for both:

Knee Pain

  • Swelling and stiffness: The knee may appear swollen and stiff, especially after inactivity.
  • Redness and warmth: The skin around the knee can become red and feel warm.
  • Weakness or instability: Feeling like the knee may “give out” when you stand or walk.
  • Popping or grinding noise: When moving the knee, hearing or feeling a crunching or popping sound.
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee: This could be due to swelling or mechanical issues.
  • Pain when bearing weight: When walking, climbing stairs, or standing up from a seated position.

Hip Pain

  • Groin pain: Pain that radiates to the groin area or inner thigh.
  • Limping: Difficulty walking, generally due to pain or stiffness.
  • Joint tenderness: Feeling pain when you press on or around the hip joint.
  • Limited range of motion: Difficulty moving the hip to its capacity, especially in rotations.
  • Stiffness: The hip feels tight and isn’t as flexible as usual.
  • Radiating pain: Pain that spreads down the thigh and possibly to the knee.
  • Pain Intensifies with activity: Activities like climbing stairs, running, or prolonged walking can aggravate the pain.

Proper exercise, when executed correctly, offers a non-invasive approach to managing and alleviating pain.

5 Expert-Endorsed Exercise Tips for Knee and Hip Pain Relief

  1. Strengthen Your Core

Why: A strong core provides better support to the spine and pelvis, ensuring lesser strain on the hips and knees.

Exercise: Planks – Start on all fours and stretch your legs back, placing weight on your toes. Ensure your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position initially for 15-30 seconds, gradually increasing as your strength improves.


  1. Focus on Low-Impact Cardio

Why: Cardio exercises enhance circulation, aiding joint lubrication and reducing stiffness.

Exercise: Swimming or water aerobics – The buoyancy of water reduces the impact on joints, providing a safe environment to boost cardiovascular health while being gentle on the knees and hips.


  1. Prioritise Flexibility and Stretching

Why: Regular stretching maintains joint flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries.

Exercise: Quadriceps stretch – Bend one knee, bringing your heel towards your buttock while standing. Hold your ankle with the same hand and gently pull it closer, feeling a stretch in the front thigh. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch legs.


  1. Strengthen Leg Muscles

 Why: Strong leg muscles support and protect the knee and hip joints, reducing strain.

Exercise: Step-ups – Using a low step or platform, step up with one foot followed by the other, and then step down in the same sequence. This exercise targets the quadricepshamstrings, and glutes.


  1. Maintain Proper Alignment

Why: Correct alignment reduces undue stress on the joints.

Exercise: Hip abductions – Lie on your side with your legs straight. Slowly lift the top leg as comfortably as possible, ensuring you don’t roll back. Lower it slowly. Repeat on the other side. This exercise strengthens the outer thigh, promoting hip stability.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health cover provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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