4 exercises for aching knees

Joint Health

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Aug 16, 2021

It may sound counterintuitive, but medical experts agree that sitting on the sidelines might not be the answer to relieving your aching knees. Getting out and exercising may be the best way to get rid of your knee pain.

Overcoming knee-related pain starts with finding the right exercise routine fit for you, said Sacheen Mehta, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano

People often experience knee pain because the muscles around the knee are not as strong as they could, or should, be.

Dr. Mehta offers some advice on the types of exercises that can help strengthen the muscles around your knees to reduce knee pain.   Remember: it’s essential to always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

1 . Wall sits

  • Stand with your back flat against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slide your back down the wall and bend your legs at a 45 to 50-degree angle while keeping your core engaged. Avoid sliding down too far. It can put pressure on your kneecaps and cause knee pain.
  • Make sure your knees are directly above your ankles, not jutting out in front of them.
  • Sit and hold this position for 1 minute, then rest and repeat.
  • Bend the knees and lower down into a squat position. You should work to maintain a tall spine and proud chest.

2 . Standing leg extensions

  • Stand with one hand on a table, chair or wall for stability.
  • Lift your leg off the floor in front of you and bend the knee at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Straighten the leg in front of you and bend back to the starting position.
  • Do 10 repetitions on each leg, then rest and repeat.

3 . Leg lifts

  • Lie on your back with your hand by your sides.
  • Lift both legs 6 inches off the ground, keeping your legs straight.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat.

4 . Straight-leg raises

  • Lie on your back with one leg straight out, and the other bent at the knee with the foot pressed flat against the ground.
  • Contract your quadriceps on the straight leg and raise approximately 8 inches off the ground.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat with the other leg.

Because it removes gravity, another great exercise option for knee pain is water exercise. If knee pain persists, try these other knee strengthening exercises from the comfort of your home.

Download the treatment guide for hip and knee pain.

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