Suffering from knee pain can hugely impact on one’s quality of life. Sometimes, the pain can be acute or get worse, then it is a good idea to see a physical therapist. Other times, the pain can be caused by tightness in the muscles which can be dealt with by a few stretching exercises.
Start these stretching to take better care of the knee, strengthen them and potentially save oneself from years of daily pain and discomfort.
Straight Leg Raises
This is a simple strengthening exercise to work the quadriceps, the muscles in the front of the thigh. This move has very little to no strain on the knee.
- Lie on your back on the floor or another flat surface with your arms at your sides, toes up.
- Bend one knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Keeping the other leg straight, lift it to the height of the opposite knee.
- Hold and count to 5, then lower your leg as slowly as possible.
- Repeat 10-15 times for three sets. Then switch to the other legs.
This stretching works the muscles along the back of your thigh.
- Stand straight using a chair to support you.
- Lift one leg at a time. Support the weight with one leg straight, slowly bring the heel of the other leg as close to your butt as you can, and hold that position.
- Do three sets of 15.
- If this becomes easy, you can add ankle weights, slowly increasing the weight from 1 to 3 to 5 pounds.
- Switch to the other leg and repeat.
Prone Straight Leg Raises
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight.
- Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling.
- Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength.
You shouldn’t feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.
This is a more advanced move. You’ll keep your feet on the floor.
- Stand with your back against a wall, your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees, and keep your back and pelvis against the wall.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds. Don’t bend too deeply. If you feel pressure or discomfort in your knees, change your position.
- Repeat the exercise, and try to hold the sit position a few seconds longer each time.
Side Leg Raises
- Lie on one side with your legs stacked.
- Bend the bottom leg for support.
- Straighten the top leg and raise it to 45 degrees.
- Hold for 5 seconds, lower and relax briefly, then repeat 10-15 times.
- Switch sides and start over. Want to try a bit of a different spin on the move? Point the toe of your upper leg slightly toward the floor as you raise it.
Winderl, A., (19 Apr 2017), The 7 Best Stretches for Knee Pain, Self, viewed 26 Nov 2019 <https://www.self.com/gallery/best-stretches-for-knee-pain>
Easy Exercises for Knee Arthritis, Healthline, viewed 26 Nov 2019, <https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/easy-excercises-knee#other-exercises>
6 Simple Moves for Knee Pain You Can Do Anywhere, Greatist, viewed 26 Nov 2019, https://greatist.com/move/knee-pain-relief#exercises