We use our knees with every step we take, which makes knee pain something that should not be ignored or go unchecked. Listening to your body and the signals it sends can make the difference between recovering from a knee sprain versus a ligament tear and surgery. While physical therapy is an excellent option to help improve the symptoms of your knee pain, there are exercises that you can do on your own to help build strength and stability in your knees.
Before you begin
If you have suffered any kind of traumatic knee injury, get the okay from your doctor first to make sure you will not cause further damage to the joint. Once you are medically cleared, it is important to warm up before beginning any workout or exercise routine. This could include a few minutes on a stationary bike, the elliptical machine or a brisk walk, depending on what your knee pain allows. This will improve blood flow, circulation and lower your risk of injury.
Straight leg raise
With your back on the floor, bend one knee and place your foot flat on the ground. The other leg is kept straight and raised to the height of the other knee. Try for three sets of ten reps each leg. This exercise is great for strengthening the quadriceps and puts very little strain on the knee.
Prone straight leg raise
The prone straight leg raise will help strengthen the hamstrings and should not exacerbate your knee pain. To perform this exercise:
- Begin with your stomach flat on the floor and your legs straight out behind you.
- Flex the muscles in your glutes and hamstrings of one leg.
- Lift the leg towards the ceiling and hold for five seconds.
- Slowly lower the leg while taking care to keep your leg straight
- Repeat 8 to 12 times per leg.
You should not feel any back or knee pain, but if back discomfort is felt then limit how high you lift your leg.
This exercise is great for strengthening the lower leg calf muscles. Begin with your toes on the edge of a step or stair. Make sure you have a rail or other support for balance if needed. Slowly raise your heels as high as you can so that you are balancing on your toes and then slowly lower your heels back. Repeat eight to ten times. Once your calves get stronger and your knee pain is better, try balancing all your weight on one foot for an extra challenge.
Knee pain treatment with Arrow Physical Therapy
It is important to help strengthen the muscles around the knee if you suffer from knee pain. However, if you suffer from chronic knee pain, physical therapy may help relieve your symptoms. Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.