Effective Exercises for Knee Pain Relief

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You should feel this exercise at the back of your thigh. You should feel this exercise mostly in the front of your thigh. Talk to your doctor or therapist if you have any pain or are unsure of how many exercises to do, or how often to do them.

“You want to make sure you’re stretching your hamstrings, quads, calves and hip flexors to help address any stiffness you might feel,” says Dr. Orlandi. Physical therapy is a great tool to help you improve your range of motion and reduce pain. Your doctor may recommend some of these exercises as part of your knee surgery recovery. This is a staple for knee strengthening exercises because it’s easy, effective, and doesn’t need equipment. Try one set with legs straight and the other with a bent knee.


Knee pain can be a common issue that limits mobility and affects daily activities. However, there are a variety of exercises that can help to alleviate this discomfort and strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can improve flexibility, reduce pain, and enhance overall knee health.

You should feel this exercise in the front and back of your thigh, hip, and buttocks. You should not feel serious pain during an exercise. You might feel discomfort because you are challenging your muscles, but not pain.


So, she’s adjusted her exercise routine, doing cardio and strength training videos, and adding yoga to the mix. “I figure if I build up the muscles around it, then that will be kinder to it, and it does seem to have helped,” Volkers says. She also wears a knee brace while playing soccer and ices her knee afterward. If the pain persists, she says she will take up her physician’s offer to refer her for physical therapy. To ensure you’re doing this stretch properly, keep your standing leg (the leg not being stretched) straight with a slight bend in the knee. If you feel pain in your back while doing this, let off the stretch somewhat.

1. Quad Sets

Quad sets involve tightening the muscles at the front of your thigh while sitting or lying down. Hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times for optimal benefits.

If you are suffering from knee pain that ranges from mild to moderate pain, then you will want to seek medical advice before hitting the gym. Certain strenuous exercises could aggravate the situation, so you’ll want to take it slow and easy in order to avoid a serious knee injury. See a physician to determine the possible cause and treatment for you.

You should feel hamstring curls at the back of your thigh. Sit up tall with both legs extended straight in front of you. Your feet are neutral — not pointed or flexed.

2. Straight Leg Raises

Straight leg raises target the quadriceps and hip flexors. Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight. Lift the straight leg to the height of the bent knee and hold for a few seconds before lowering. Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per leg.

Stretches can loosen tight muscles on the side of the knee that may be pulling the kneecap out of its groove as it moves. Strengthening weak hip muscles or stretching tight muscles in the front or back of the legs can also reduce discomfort. These exercises strengthen the quads (which straighten the knee), the hamstrings (which help bend the knee), and the glutes and hips (which help stabilize the knee). They also help with balance by helping to stabilize the knee and improve important functional activities like walking over uneven surfaces. All the moves above can be modified so you can achieve the gradual progression that builds the knee’s tolerance to stress without aggravating pain. A comprehensive exercise program should combine cardiovascular endurance plus flexibility and strength exercises, Orlandi says.

3. Hamstring Curls

Hamstring curls can help to strengthen the muscles at the back of the thigh. Stand behind a chair for support and bend one knee, bringing your heel towards your buttocks. Slowly release and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Can exercising with knee pain make it worse?
  • A: It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen to ensure that you are doing the right exercises for your condition.
  • Q: How often should I do these exercises?
  • A: Aim to do these exercises 3-4 times a week, gradually increasing the intensity and frequency as tolerated.
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