Knee pain? Strengthen Your Knee and Alleviate the Ache with These Tips
Dr. Coy Wright is an orthopedic surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – College Station and Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Brenham.
Knee pain can be frustrating and prohibitive. It can keep you from participating in your normal daily activities that bring you joy or keep you living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s recurring pain from a previous injury, or pain from something recent, it is possible to alleviate most knee pain.
While the initial thought may be to rest and restrain from putting any weight on your knee, the best way for you to recover is actually to keep moving. Motion can help decrease pain, and if it’s something you’ve been dealing with for a while, strengthening your knee may be the right treatment for you.
Here are five recommended exercises to strengthen your knee, and alleviate aching pain. Practice each exercise five days a week, for four weeks straight. For each exercise, perform three sets of 8-15 repetitions, resting for 15-30 seconds between each set.
5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Knee and Alleviate Pain
Seated Knee Extension
- While sitting down, legs uncrossed, sitting up tall, straighten your right knee all the way and tighten your thigh muscles.
- Hold three seconds, then bring your leg down.
- Repeat on both sides.
- Sit on the edge of a seat with knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Push your body weight through your heels and stand up.
- Slowly lower yourself back down to the seat.
Standing Hamstring Curls
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lean your body weight towards your left side and curl your right lower leg up towards your buttock.
- Slowly lower back down towards the ground.
- Repeat for both sides.
Single Leg Balance
- With feet shoulder-width apart, lean your body weight towards your left side.
- Lift your right lower leg off the ground and bend at 90 degrees.
- Stand on your left leg for 15-60 seconds.
- Repeat on both sides three times on each side.
- Balance on your right leg while lifting your left leg slightly off the floor in front of you.
- Squat on your right leg, pushing your right buttock behind you and bending at the knee.
- Simultaneously, your left leg is lowering toward the floor in front of you.
- Touch your left heel to the floor in front of you.
- Once it touches, rise up to your starting position, pushing through your right heel and straightening your right knee and hip.
- Lowering your body and raising your body in this exercise is controlled by your right leg.
- Repeat on both sides.
If you try these exercises five days a week for four weeks and still experience knee pain, you may need to see an orthopedist for specialty treatment.
Special thanks to Jennifer Gyldenege, a physical therapist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – College Station, for reviewing the exercises shown above.