3 Exercises That Help Reduce Knee Pain

While the knee is a fairly strong joint, it is also very complex. Since the knee is comprised of multiple components, it is easy to injure. Possible knee injuries include sprains, ligament tears, dislocations, and fractures. Many knee injuries can be treated by simply applying a brace and using rehabilitation exercises. 

One of the best ways to heal sore knees and prevent future injuries is to build strong, flexible muscles around the knees and in your legs. If you’ve had knee pain, even if it’s been bothering you for some time, you can start adding knee stretches and targeted exercises to your daily routine.

Many people worry that working out can cause even more pain and damage to their knees, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, strengthening the muscles that support your knee will keep them flexible and keep you active. 

Of course, always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have been experiencing pain. These stretches and exercises can help you improve your current situation by strengthening your knees, if your doctor approves.

What Exercises Are Best for Knee Pain?

There are several exercises that are effective in strengthening the knee if you are experiencing knee pain. Before beginning, always warm up.

You can do any sort of light exercise to warm up, such as five minutes on a stationary bike, a brisk two-minute walk, or 15-20 wall push ups followed by 15-20 calf raises. Warming up prepares your body for exercises and reduces your risk of injury.

Knee Exercise 1: Knee Extension

  1. Sit on a chair or table, preferably in a situation where your legs can hang freely. 
  2. Place a towel beneath the knee you will be working on so that the knee is slightly higher than the hip. 
  3. Keeping the foot flexed, extend the leg until it is parallel with the ground. 
  4. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower the leg. Do not let it just drop down, keep control of your leg through the whole movement.
  6. Repeat 10 times and then complete the exercise with the other leg, even if it is not bothering you. Always exercise both sides of your body evenly. 
  7. Do 2-3 sets.
  8. You can add weights to your ankles if this begins to feel too easy. 

To see this exercise, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuJZ6dqMf8M.

Knee Exercise 2: Hamstring Curls

  1. Stand up behind a chair, holding onto the back of the chair for support.
  2. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and placed flat on the ground.
  3. Lift one leg up toward your butt while keeping your thigh perpendicular to the ground.
  4. Slowly lower your leg back to the ground.
  5. Do 15 reps and repeat with the other leg. 
  6. Do 3 sets.
  7. You can add weights to your ankles if this begins to feel too easy.

To view this exercise, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWu8RxtWdGE.

Knee Exercise 3: Alternating Heel and Calf Raises

  1. Stand barefoot or in socks with your feet shoulder-width apart. Alternatively, you can stand on a 2-inch board or an aerobic step with the balls of your feet on the board and your heels on the floor. 
  2. Hold onto a wall or another sturdy surface if you feel that you might lose your balance. 
  3. Raise your body as high as possible onto your toes and then slowly lower back down.
  4. Then lift your toes off of the ground and rock back onto your heels before slowly returning to the starting position.
  5. Do 10 repetitions and 2-3 sets.

Watch this exercise here https://www.youtube.com/shorts/pHj7Tt1A_Pw.

How Can A Chiropractor Help With Knee Pain?

Chiropractors treat over 27 million Americans each year, but you may be surprised that they treat more than just back pain. Your chiropractor may be able to help alleviate some of the knee pain you are experiencing. In some cases, chiropractic care can lead to a complete elimination of the pain you are feeling. 

When visiting your chiropractor for the first time, they will complete a thorough exam, looking not only at your knees, but also your spine, neck, and hips. Why? Since our body parts are connected through a series of systems, such as our nerves, a problem in one part of the body could affect you somewhere else. So, a misalignment in your spine could cause pain in your knee. 

One example of this is if your spine is misaligned, it can cause you to lean when you walk. Your hip then will rotate to compensate, causing your knee to adjust to a new angle. Each change and adjustment your body makes leads to your knee pain. A simple spinal alignment by your chiropractor can straighten your spine, returning your hip to normal, and reducing or eliminating knee pain.

Chiropractors can also suggest at-home treatments, including heat and ice therapies, and other stretches and exercises which can help ease your knee pain and strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting your knee.

Dr. Tim Swift proudly serves San Clemente, San Juan, Dana Point, and the surrounding areas of Orange County, California.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.

Picture of Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift combines his chiropractic expertise with regenerative medicine to bring a passion for restoring health, mobility, and vitality to help his community feel and function better.


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