Knee pain can range from being a nuisance to a debilitating condition that millions of Americans deal with every single year. With compounding factors including obesity and other health concerns rising amongst the general population, knee pain continues to rise as a painful condition for many. Physical therapy can be a beneficial treatment option for individuals who deal with knee pain, and we’ve identified some of the best stretches and exercises that can help to alleviate knee pain. Before beginning any exercise or stretching routine, consult a qualified healthcare professional such as a physical therapist who can guide you on the proper ways to perform these exercises and stretches. Take a look at some of the best stretches and exercises for knee pain.
Physical therapists often use stretches, exercises, and other manual therapy techniques to help address knee pain. Stretches and exercises can help to address muscular imbalances that may impact the flexibility, range of motion, and function of our lower body.
Consult with a qualified healthcare professional like a physical therapist who can guide you on the proper way to perform and implement these stretches and exercise into your routine. As you work to incorporate some of these stretches and exercises into your routine to alleviate your knee pain, focus on gradually increasing the duration, frequency, and intensity of each exercise to progressively challenge your body and continually make gains in strength and flexibility. Focus on getting your body used to the movements first at a comfortable pace and intensity before increasing the difficulty over time.
To perform this exercise, you’ll want to find a comfortable surface on the ground that you can lie down on your back and extend your legs out in front of you. With your legs straight out in front of you on your back, place your hands flat on the sides of the floor parallel to your body. Squeeze your quadricep, the muscle in front of your thigh, and slowly raise one leg above the ground into the air and pause at the top, then return slowly back down to the floor. Repeat for ten repetitions. Switch to the opposite side and repeat the exercise for the opposing leg.
A bridge stretch is an effective way for you to strengthen your glute, hamstrings, and improve core stability. To begin this exercise, you’ll want to find a flat surface you can lie down on your back. With your arms at your sides, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground. Begin tightening your abdominal and buttock muscles, and then slowly raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your core at the top and hold the position for twenty to thirty seconds. Slowly return to the starting position.
This exercise will help you work to improve your hamstrings. To begin this exercise, assume a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and find a sturdy surface you can steady yourself against. Whether that’s a wall, countertop, or a sturdy chair. With your feet firmly planted on the ground and while steadying yourself, flex your left leg up to a ninety-degree angle by raising your foot behind you. Hold this flex for ten to fifteen seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position and planting your foot onto the ground once again. Perform ten repetitions on one leg and then swap to the opposing leg.
Calf raises are an excellent exercise to help you strengthen your lower legs. To begin this exercise, you want to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Find a sturdy surface to once again steady yourself if you need it. A wall, counter-top, table, or sturdy chair may provide support. At a controlled pace, lift both of your heels off the ground by flexing your calf muscles to stand on the balls of your feet. Gradually return to the starting position and repeat for ten repetitions.
To begin this exercise, you want to find a comfortable spot on the ground where you can have enough room to raise and lower your leg. When you’re ready to begin, lie on your side with your legs outstretched, straight, and stacked on top of each other. Bend your elbow closest to the ground and hold your head in your hand on the ground for extra support so you’re not straining your neck. While keeping your legs straight, slowly raise your top leg towards the ceiling. You should feel the muscle on the side of your hip working. Briefly pause at the top and then slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat for ten repetitions. Adjust positions and repeat for the opposite side.
The next beneficial stretch for knee pain is the hamstring stretch. To begin this exercise, you’ll once again want to be lying flat down on your back with your legs outstretched in front of you and your hands at your sides parallel with your body. When you’re ready, grab one leg with your hands behind your thigh and gently raise your leg into the air while keeping the leg straight without locking the knee. Hold the stretch at the top for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Knee extensions can be a great way for you to work on improving the range of motion in your knees. Find a sturdy chair that you can sit in and position yourself in an area where you can comfortably extend your leg in front of you. When ready, extend one leg in front of you while keeping the other planted firmly on the ground at a ninety-degree angle. Slowly raise your extended leg until it is parallel to the floor, hold for five seconds, and then slowly return to the ground. Repeat for ten repetitions, then repeat for the opposite leg.
If you have persistent knee pain and are looking to find an effective treatment method to address and alleviate knee pain, physical therapy is an option you should consider. Our nationwide physical therapists are experts at addressing the underlying cause of your knee pain and will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan for your needs and goals. Request an appointment today at a nearby physical therapy clinic and see how our expert physical therapists can help you address and alleviate knee pain with physical therapy.