Exercises for Knee Pain

The knees are prone to pain, but we can remedy this with a series of exercises that'll alleviate and strengthen the area. Of course, this is providing that the pain wasn't caused by something more serious.
Exercises for Knee Pain

Last update: 24 January, 2021

Have you ever suffered from knee pain? It’s about one of the most uncomfortable affections and it affects practically all of our daily activities. But not all is lost: there are exercises that can help to soothe and even prevent it. In this article, we’ll tell you more about these exercises.

Knee pain isn’t something exclusive to the elderly. Nor is it something that only affects those who do sport or physical activities. In fact, there are many different causes and consequences.

Most common causes of knee pain

The origin of knee pain can derive from different causes. You can divide these into two types; it can occur as a result of an injury or overwhelming the joint, or as a result of a medical condition or genetic predisposition.

Injuries that can cause knee pain

  • Bursitis: an inflammation in the bursa, a bag of liquid that acts as a shock-absorber between the bones, tendons, and muscles. Generally. this type of knee pain is caused by applying repetitive pressure on the knee.
  • Ligament rupturethis type of accident causes bleeding, swelling, and inability to use the knee.
  • Dislocation of the kneecap.
  • Fracture of the kneecap or other bones.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome: the iliotibial band is a tendon that runs down the external part of the leg from the pelvis to the knee. When this elastic tissue becomes inflamed or irritated by making contact with the bone, it causes the individual pain.
  • Worn cartilage (or breaking the meniscus)the meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage located in the knee used to cushion the joints at the ends of bones. There are two in each knee. If they become worn down, they can cause pain.
  • Muscular strain or sprains: more commonly known as ‘tears’, muscular strains, such as sprains, are common causes of knee pain.

Medical conditions that make may you more susceptible to knee pain

  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Infections in the knee bones
  • Infections in the knee joint
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Osgood-Schlatter illness

Exercises to prevent knee pain

The first method that you can try when facing knee pain, is to visit a specialist. They’ll be able to evaluate the causes and create a treatment plan you can follow.

However, we should also take action to avoid and alleviate the pain. Although it may seem contradictory, staying active is one of the best ways to avoid annoyances in the knees. With that in mind, here are five extremely useful exercises that you can include in your daily practices:

1. Leg raises: exercises for knee pain

The objective of this exercise is to strengthen the knees, and also the muscles in the knee. Lie down face up and keep your back straight with your legs outstretched and gently lift them from the floor. Hold this for a few seconds and then rest. Repeat this three or four times a day.

2. Face down

With this exercise you’ll work the hamstrings. To do it, lie face down with your hands to the side of your body.

Then, without forcing your spine too much, lift an outstretched leg and leave the other stretched on the ground. Hold this for ten seconds and then swap legs. We recommend you do five repetitions for each side.

3. Stretching the quadriceps: exercises for knee pain

Stretching helps to relieve tension and improves the flexibility and resistance of the muscles that surround the knees. This, of course, allows for better stability and reduces the risk of injury.

A classic exercise performed by supporting yourself with a wallRaise your heel towards the glutes, supporting the ankle with your hand. The knee should move backward, providing you maintain good posture. Hold this position for ten seconds and then change legs. You can do up to three series.

4. Rear calf stretch 

This position is similar to the one above. To do it, you have to support yourself with both hands using a wall. One leg should be bent in front of the hip and the other should be straight and behind you.

Then, you should move your hips forward to feel the stretch in the calf of your extended leg. The heel should still be touching the ground during the ten seconds of your stretch. We advise that you repete this between seven and ten times for each leg.

5. Walking: exercises for knee pain

Walking at a steady pace – not strolling – is one of the best ways to combat a sedentary lifestyle. This is due to the fact that it keeps the muscles active and favors stability in the knees.

Ideally, we should walk for at least half an hour a day. That way we’re able to burn excess fat – or at least in part – and contribute to improving our health.

Home care

It’ll also be necessary to take certain precautions to avoid suffering from knee pain.

For example, it’s important to warm up before you do the physical activity and stretch after. You should ensure you rest, avoid overwhelming yourself or putting excess weight on your knees, and use a support bandage to increase stability.

If the pain suddenly appears, it’s best to visit a specialist. It’s likely they’ll advise you to apply ice to the area, take painkillers and antiinflammatory medicine, and take other measures to reduce the swelling.

As always, prevention is the best route to take. If you want to keep your knees healthy, or at least reduce annoyances, exercises that favor resistance and flexibility are a good option. Finally, remember the importance of a good diet, a healthy lifestyle, and sufficient rest.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.