Simple Exercises to Manage Knee Pain - krsna physio plus

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Simple Exercises to Manage Knee Pain

knee pain


The pain of Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) or the pain after Knee Replacement Surgery can never be described in words. To make the knee move is probably the last thing a person wishes to do when his knee is in pain. But the fact is that only knee movement can help keep the knee pain away.

To improve knee functioning&flexibility, an individual suffering from knee pain needs to do exercises that target quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.

Individuals who have higher chances of Knee OA symptoms:

  • Women, as compared to men
  • Overweight individuals
  • People with a history of trauma to the knee
  • Whose jobs require heavy kneeling or squatting

Simple Stretches to Help Ease Knee Pain

Knee Exercise #1: Standing Quadriceps Stretch

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

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How to do Standing Quadriceps Stretch?

  1. Stand straight (place your hand on the wall for support) &feet spread hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your right knee and hold the top of your right foot with your right hand.
  3. Bring your right heel as close as possible to your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the left leg.
  4. Do 3 times once in a day.

Why do this exercise?

To ease tension in knee joints

Knee Exercise #2: Standing Calf Stretch

Standing Calf Stretch

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How to doStanding Calf Stretch?

  1. Stand with your right leg in front of you and your left leg behind (you can place your hand on the wall for support).
  2. Slowly bend your right front knee and lean forward, pressing the left heel towards the floor to stretch your left calf muscle.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly relax.
  4. Repeat the stretch twice more before switching sides and repeating. Do 3 times daily.

Why do this exercise?

To increase flexibility in leg muscles and knee joints

Knee OA patients who performed standing calf stretches as part of an overall exercise routine experienced improved function and reported less pain and stiffness than those who did not

Knee Exercise #3: Seated Leg Raise

Seated Leg Raise

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How to do Seated Leg Raise?

  1. Sit up straight on a chair with both legs bent at 90°.
  2. Keeping your left foot on the ground, slowly raise your right leg (making it parallel to the floor).
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly return to normal position, and repeat on left leg.
  4. Do it 10 times twice a day.

Why do this exercise?

To strengthen muscles around your knees

Knee Exercise #4: Step-ups


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How to do Step Ups?

  1. Stand in front of the stair (or stool) with feet spread shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step onto the stair with your right foot, and then with your left foot (similarly like you climb stairs), step down in reverse with the left foot first touching the floor, followed by the right foot.
  3. Do this for about 20 seconds at a time and repeat it 10 times a day.

Why do this exercise?

To strengthen your legs, making everyday things like climb stairs easier

Knee Exercise #5: Reclining Hamstring Stretch

Reclining Hamstring Stretch

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How to do Reclining Hamstring Stretch?

  1. Lay down on your back on a mat with straightened legs.
  2. Lift up your right leg, and pull it toward your chest with your hands until you feel a comfortable stretch (you may take help of a strap).
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat with other legs.
  4. Do it 3 times once in a day.

Why do this exercise?

To alleviate hamstring tightness and control knee pain

Did you know?

A 2010 study in the journal Physiotherapy found that doing hamstring stretching significantly increases knee extension range of motion in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

Knee Exercise #6: Seated Hip March

Seated Hip March

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How to do Seated Hip March?

  1. Sit up straight on a chair with feet relaxed on the floor.
  2. Bending your knee, lift your right foot off the floor and hold it in the air for 3 seconds (if it pains, use your hands for support). Slowly lower your foot to the ground.
  3. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Switch legs after each set.

Why do this exercise?

To strengthen your hips and thigh muscles and make walking or standing up a smooth task

Knee Exercise #7: Pillow Squeeze

Pillow Squeeze

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How to do Pillow Squeeze exercise?

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent.
  2. Place a pillow between the knees.
  3. Squish the pillow by squeezing your knees together. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Why do this exercise?

To strengthen the inside of your legs & support your knees

Knee Exercise #8: Static Quadriceps Exercise

Static Quadriceps Exercise

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How to do Static Quadriceps Exercise?
How to do Static Quadriceps Exercise?

  1. Sit straight on a flat surface and keep a towel under your thighs.
  2. Tighten the muscle at the front of your thigh (quadriceps) & push your knee down into a towel.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain-free.

Why do this exercise?

To reduce swelling in the knee joint

Knee Exercise #9: Cycling Exercise


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How to do cycling exercise?

  1. Sit on a stationary exercising cycle and slowly start peddling.
  2. At the bottom of the pedal stroke, the knee should bend at a 15-degree angle.
  3. Start with 10 minutes and gradually increase time.

Why do this exercise?

To increase knee strength & range of motion

Do’s and Don’ts of Knee Exercises

Dos of Knee Exercises

  • It is important to do exercises consistently and correctly.
  • Walking is a good exercise but not a substitute for stretching and exercises.
  • If pain doesn’t go away with an exercise program, consult the doctor.
  • You can take painkillers before performing the exercise to ease pain and stay active.
  • Do take the advice of a physiotherapist

Don’ts of Knee Exercises

  • Don’t set unrealistic goals. Gradually increase exercise reps.
  • Don’t bend the knees excessively.
  • Never push through pain while exercising. You may be doing your joints more harm than good.
  • Don’t overlook your weight. Do not risk a fall.
  • Don’t bounce when you stretch.
Content Reviewed by – Dr. Parmila Sharma