The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates that 20% of adults in the United States suffer from some form of knee pain. What's even more surprising is that 50% of us will have arthritis in our knees by age 85, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After spraining the ligament on my right knee a few years ago, I have first-hand experience of just how debilitating the pain can be. Even after receiving physiotherapy, I still had to take medication to manage both the pain and inflammation.
For others, knee problems are brought on by other factors like aging, arthritis, obesity, or maintaining a poor form while exercising. If left untreated, even the simplest tasks, like walking or crossing your legs, can become an agonizing ordeal.
Weak joints and lack of flexibility play a big role in knee pain, so while seeking professional help is the best way to determine how you can fix the issue, it's also important to move often and stretch at home.
There are dozens of stretches you can do to reduce the pain in your knees, but there's one very simple move that many people find works wonders for them.
While on the OWN Show, Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up and author of The Roll Model, demonstrated an easy stretch that will improve your knee's range of motion and alleviate the pain.
The best part is you don't need any fancy equipment, just a towel and a chair will do the trick.
The rolled towel is placed directly behind your knee "as high into the joint as you can," then place your heel on the chair and squeeze by contracting your hamstring and calf muscles for 10 seconds. For the best results, repeat the stretch several times before switching legs.
Some people, like Miller, instantly noticed that the knee felt less tight. This is because the towel forms a gap in your knee joint, which stops the bone and cartilage from rubbing, hence reducing the pain.
“I did that and I just heard a little bit more space show up inside my knee, and I have totally healthy knees,” Miller points out. “Proper form on this is really important to protect your knees — forever.”
Miller's video has been watched by over 2.5 million people, many of whom said it has been really helpful. Check it out for yourself:
Try incorporating this stretch into your daily routine and hopefully you'll start to notice some improvement.
If you're someone with severe knee problems, just remember to always let your doctor know before you attempt a new stretch or workout.
Let us know how this stretch works out for you in the comments!