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Knee problem:what physical activity to practice?

To be healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and practice regular physical activity. This must of course be adapted to our state of health and therefore to our possibilities. This is why some people have intense activity while others bet on moderate activities. What to do when you have knee problems? Here are some recommended activities.

Understanding the different pathologies of the knee


Knee pain is often embarrassing and sometimes disabling. In the vast majority of cases, it is caused by inflammation. Fall, blow, "false movement", the causes are numerous. To relieve yourself, all means are good:we put ice, heat, ointments and we take analgesics (Paracetamol or Ibuprofen). Be aware that persistent knee pain must imperatively lead you to the doctor. If the pain is severe, a rest period should be observed.

Tendinitis and tendon pathologies

Knee pain can be caused by tendon pathology. These connect the muscles to the bones. The most common disease is tendonitis. It is characterized by inflammation of the tendons. It can also be:

  • tendinopathy, a progressive deterioration of the tendon,
  • tendinosynovitis, an inflammation of the tendon membrane (synovial sheath),
  • a ruptured tendon.

The windshield wiper syndrome

Little known, windshield wiper syndrome does not only affect the knee. It is also linked to a problem of the fascia lata, the outer part of the knee joint and inner thigh. Wiper syndrome is an inflammation. It most often occurs during a running session, when the movement performed is repetitive.

Arthrosis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee is also called gonarthrosis. It is caused by wear, and ultimately by the destruction, of the articular cartilage present at the level of the knee. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease. Seniors are the most affected. The origin of osteoarthritis is not determined. The disease is debilitating and causes pain.

Know that it is quite possible to play sports with a knee prosthesis. However, the activity must be adapted. The medical and paramedical teams will give you valuable advice on how to resume physical activity as soon as the rehabilitation following the surgery is over.

Should you continue to practice physical activity with knee pain?

In the event of a knee problem, the continuation of physical activity depends on the type of pain felt. If the pain is temporary, it is advisable to rest for a few days and then resume sport gently. If the pain is significant or even disabling, advice should be sought from a health care professional. He may prescribe additional examinations in order to make his diagnosis but also to propose an appropriate treatment. Never go against your doctor's advice! You risk making your condition worse.

What activity to choose when you have knee problems?

Nordic walking

Nordic walking is a physical activity that anyone can do. If you have knee problems, it remains accessible. The principle is simple, you walk outdoors with sticks. Practiced by skiers in summer, Nordic walking allows you to move without getting too tired. The activity is excellent for the heart, joints and morale. It must be said that it allows you to go out and sometimes discover new landscapes. The Nordic brand can be practiced everywhere, solo or in a group. The walking technique is easy to learn but requires at least one session with a trainer. Remember to stretch before and after the session, but also to hydrate yourself well.


In the water, our body is lighter, it seems supported. This is why rehabilitation often takes place in the pool. If you have a pathology in the knees, swimming will be recommended to you because it does not exert any pressure on your joints. You swim at your own pace, without forcing, and you enjoy all the benefits of a physical activity session.

Water aerobics

Like swimming, aquagym is an activity that is practiced in the pool. It consists of making movements in the water to strengthen your bones, muscles and joints. This sporting activity is gentle. There are even courses for seniors.

The bike

Cycling can be practiced if you have knee problems. On the other hand, it is better to seek the advice of a doctor before starting. Cycling is not for everyone. The advantage on a bike is that the physical activity is self-supporting. In other words, the weight of your body is not on your legs and therefore partially on your knees. Free and outdoor activity, cycling is fun whether you are alone or in a group.


Stretching is a gentle form of gym that aims to strengthen muscle tone. If you have knee problems, you must tell the trainer who will then guide you through the exercises. Thanks to stretching, it is possible to strengthen the muscles around the knee and therefore relieve this part of the body. Stretching is also part of the session. They allow you to become more flexible.

The Pilate

Another form of soft gym, Pilate is more and more practiced in France. It is inspired by yoga, which is also recommended if you have knee problems. Pilate is practiced on the ground with small equipment. Physical exercises are associated with breathing exercises.

Know that sport helps keep your knees in good shape, even if you have problems. Having a physical activity also allows you to age better, to remain independent longer, to maintain a healthy weight and to be in good physical and moral health. You must not deprive yourself of it! In any case, do not hesitate to seek advice from your doctor or physiotherapist.