When someone injures their knee, the most common response is to lay low and rest for an extended period of time. But what so many people don’t realize is that inactivity may actually prolong the knee pain and discomfort that comes with an injury.
Now, we aren’t saying that running five miles or completing a high-intensity workout is good for an achy knee, but there are some gentle exercises you can do at home to help relieve some of that soreness.
We’ve compiled a quick rundown of three gentle knee exercises that don’t require any expensive equipment or a visit to the gym for you to use as a resource on the days you need a little knee pain relief.
The word alone is enough to make anyone’s legs tremble, but we promise that these squats lack the aggressiveness that you might have experienced in the past. To start, you should grab a desk or kitchen chair and set it behind you as if you were going to sit down.
Place your feet shoulder-width apart, engage your core and squat until your backside touches the seat of the chair. As you go down, raise your arms up until they are extended and even with your shoulders. With your chest facing forward, be sure to keep the weight in your heels and your knees behind your toes. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
Squats should improve the strength of your glutes (your backside), quadriceps and hamstrings. By strengthening these muscles that work in tandem with the knee, you can reduce undue pressure off the knee joints and hopefully alleviate knee pain .
For this exercise, you should begin on your back on the floor with your knees bent and arms either at your side or across your chest. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips up, creating space between the floor and your backside. When this exercise is done correctly, there should be a diagonal line that includes the knees, hips and shoulders. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
Also known as a hip bridge raise, this exercise again targets your glutes because of its close connection to the knee.
Doorway hamstring stretch
You’ll remain on your back for this next exercise, but you should position yourself inside a doorway with the leg to be stretched closest to the doorframe. Lift your leg and place it along the doorframe, gently applying pressure to straighten the knee completely. If you’re performing the move properly, you should feel a satisfying stretch in the back of the thigh and the knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat as needed.
To take the exercise up a notch, you can always scoot closer into the doorway. Want to dial it back? Just position yourself farther away. This exercise should improve your hamstring muscles’ strength and flexibility, which play an important part in the flexing of your knees.
These exercises and stretches are all basic movements that should help to alleviate at least some of your knee pain. However, if you fail to see any improvement after several weeks of exercise, you may need physical therapy from a provider like Agile Virtual PT.
We make the process for our patients as simple and convenient as possible with virtual physical therapy that is completed from the comforts of home with video chat. While our trained providers won’t physically be with you, you can rest assured knowing that the tailored treatment plan you receive will be similar to what someone with the same injury would undergo inside a clinic.
If you’re interested in learning how our virtual physical therapy can reduce your knee pain, schedule your appointment with an Agile Virtual PT provider today.