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11 Exercises That Help Decrease Knee Pain

Need Pain-Free Knees? Start Here!

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Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. These exercises are designed to help, not hurt. If you experience pain at any time during the exercise, stop. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.

BONUS TIP: If you have increased soreness after doing these exercises, it may help to ice your knee or knees for 10 - 20 minutes. Place a bag of ice (or frozen vegetables) over the joint, with a towel between to protect the skin. Elevate your leg on a chair if ice alone is inadequate.
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and advanced health & fitness specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • I notice a comment about focusing on strengthening the quads. My understanding is that we don't want to work the quads and neglect the hamstrings, as this will in fact put uneven pull on the knee. We need to work both, so that both are equally strong. - 8/14/2014 8:44:27 PM
  • would like to see a video demonstrating these 11 tips. It's so much easier to do along with someone than written lists for me. But of course the written ideas are better than nothing. Thanks. - 8/4/2014 1:51:01 AM
  • Good exercise suggestions. Thanks - 7/22/2014 6:20:23 AM
  • Thanks so much for this info. I've had knee pain for years due to a previous injury about 20 years ago.

    Photos or a video would be a great addition so we know that we are doing them correctly! - 7/20/2014 12:54:51 PM
  • Thanks so much Jen!!

    This information will help so many! Great write!!!!

    Thanks again - 7/20/2014 10:53:24 AM
  • Mmm. Feeling great after these moves :) Thanks for the great tips! - 5/25/2014 12:17:04 PM
  • A video would be very much appreciated. :) - 5/19/2014 2:04:49 PM
  • GARRIE1
    Well, I'm afraid I'm one of the millions who suffer with knee pain. I'm always looking for good information and helps to keep my knees relatively strong. These exercises are really good. I agree, however, that some of them are a little bit confusing...the instructions for "knee flexion," "hamstring stretch," and "hamstring curl" were particularly hard for me to visualize. Most of them are fairly clear to me. (If I actually try to do them, they make more sense.)

    As an aside, I rediscovered bicycling...hadn'
    t done much since I was a kid...and I must say that my legs - knees included - are stronger than they've ever been before. I have a long way to go before my legs are Hollywood glamorous, but, well, I'm okay with that. :)

    - 2/19/2014 9:49:49 AM
  • I just had knee surgery, meniscus tear, MCL damage, bone spurs and cartilage lesions. Some of these exercises are in my routine to do but modified. However, that's all I can do no other exercises allowed surgeon is afraid if I turn or jerk wrong I could do more damage. Sad to say I gained 4 pounds since this all started and I cut my calories to 1000 a day I just lay all day except when I exercise then I am in a recliner supporting the leg. The key is exercise to strengthen the Quad muscle this helps to support the knee and keeps it strong. - 2/10/2014 10:18:34 AM
  • I have a real problem just reading how to do them; please let us know when a video is made. My knees will so thank you! - 2/4/2014 6:38:53 AM
  • Video would be great!! - 2/3/2014 11:26:31 PM
  • I agree that a video would help us do these right. I have both knees bone on bone on the inside. I find that walking on the treadmill at 1.8 mph or 2 mph helps with the pain.Then, I do 10 minutes on the recumbent bike. Ten minutes forward and 10 backwards. I always use ice after any exercise for my knees.
    Thanks, I think these will help - 2/3/2014 7:48:36 PM
  • This is so true. I've managed to strengthen my knees enough that after years of constant spraining I'm not spraining easily anymore and I rarely even fall all the way down if I slip (exercise has given me enough muscle control to catch myself most of the time). - 2/3/2014 3:09:40 PM
  • I can do these...thank you! - 2/3/2014 11:26:35 AM
  • SNOOKS2013
    Ditto a picture is so valuable - 2/3/2014 7:44:23 AM
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