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4 Knee Stretches and 7 Strengthening Exercises to Decrease Pain

Need Pain-Free Knees? Start Here!


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  • As an advanced practice OT working in an orthopaedic hospital, I am constantly shocked at how many people I assess whose GP's have discouraged or just not recommended exercise. Thanks so much Jen for writing this article & helping to get the word out about exercise for knee pain!!!

    When you have hip or knee arthritis - get out there & keep moving!

    I have seen many patients with severe arthritis on x-ray who are functioning well & have no pain because they keep their muscles strong! Do these exercises, and get on a stationary bike or into a warm pool to keep your general fitness level up. **Just don't add ankle weight to the knee extension exercise (this can irritate an already irritable knee) and when doing the wall sits be sure you can see you toes! When in doubt get some help from a prefessional (eg. physiotherapist or personal trainer) and for unrelenting pain, head back to your physician for a referral to a specialist.**

    A good link with more info for people with arthritis is the arthritis society - their information is great because they aren't selling anything! (this is a Canadian site, but I'm sure the American version is just as good).

    Thanks again Jen!
    - 9/25/2009 12:33:02 PM
    I have been doing some of these exercises for several years and they do make a difference. - 9/25/2009 11:33:44 AM
  • I started to have pain in my knees in my mid-30's. here's what my doctor told me:
    1. No high heeled shoes.
    2. Avoid being on your knees.
    3. Do 200 leg extensions every day.

    He said to do the leg extensions without weights. When I'm watching TV or sitting at a meeting, I do leg extensions. Now, 30 years later, my knees look pretty good, and I haven't had a problem with pain. - 9/25/2009 11:25:42 AM
  • I thought I might have arthritis at age 48 but didn't realize there was anything I could do to help it til I hurt my knee at age 49 and had to go for Physical Therapy.

    These exercises are some of the ones that were given to me and if I use them daily I have no pain and great mobility. leave them go for a week and I get my pain again.

    If you can't visualize them, check out the list against the list in the Spark people exercises list and you might get a visual there, or try your gym instructor or trainer. - 9/25/2009 10:14:16 AM
    MANY Thanks to the author. I have been told that both knees are bone on bone. I started PT but had to give it up because of $$. But these I can do at home and that's wonderful. Pics would be helpful but I think I can figure it out.
    I just want to walk like a lady again and not like a sailor on a rolling sea! - 9/25/2009 9:03:51 AM
    A video is necessary, I'm afraid I will do them improperly, which could be worse than not doing them at all. - 9/25/2009 7:08:08 AM
    I would like to reiterate what other have said about illustrations - I cannot work out how to do these exercises from the descriptions! - 9/25/2009 3:56:28 AM
    I could really use a video demo of these exercises. They sound great though! - 9/11/2009 10:34:27 AM
  • I agree the pictures would be very helpful. - 8/29/2009 12:57:10 PM
  • I wish this very helpful article would be illustrated with pictures of the exercises.
    I would ask the author to rewrite and post it accordingly.
    Thanks! - 8/16/2009 8:45:46 AM
  • Wow! Talk about good timing! I've decreased my exercises to allow my knee to heal and still it hurts alot every day no matter what I do so obviously I am needing special exercises for my knees. Thanks, SparkPeople for being one step ahead of us. Now to try these exercises that some are having difficulty following... - 6/10/2009 8:28:54 PM
  • This is great! I have been having problems with my knees for the last couple of weeks and try to avoid lunges as that can REALLY cause pain. I will try these excercises in hopes of buidling stronger muscles in and around the knee.

    I love to walk and if I couldn't do that.....aggghhh! - 6/10/2009 12:14:08 PM
  • KAY287
    Appreciated this article. My kneecap hasn't been tracking properly for the past six months. Massage and physio therapy have helped but I need to constantly exercise to increase strength. The exercises in your article can be done anywhere at anytime. As I'm working full time this gives me the flexibility of exercising even at the office. It is important to be informed about osteoarthritis but one "specialist" simply told me diet, exercise, get a cane and come back in two years when it gets worse. Not very helpful and no guidelines on how to accomplish this. Thanks to Spark People for keeping us informed! - 6/5/2009 3:00:24 PM
  • See, I'm not the only one who couldn't understand those directions! GAW! - 4/7/2009 10:19:29 AM
  • I'm afraid that I have to say that I do have lost of knee pain. And as much as I like the knee stretches and exercises, whoever wrote those directions needs to get help, cause I did not understand them! - 4/7/2009 10:18:30 AM

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