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5 Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain

5 Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain

It is important not to overuse or abuse your knees. Cross-training, stretching, and strength training can all help knees stay pain-free.

 

If you are experiencing knee pain, try these exercises to help relieve your pain. Remember to always see a orthopedic doctor if you experience knee pain that is not relieved by several days of rest, ice, massage, and elevation.

Hamstring stretch: Standing, put one foot in front of you, toes up. With hands on the small of your back (or one hand holding a chair for balance), bend the opposite knee and hip (not your lower back), until you feel the hamstrings stretch. The upper body comes forward at the hip. Hold for 5 -10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Lying Hamstring Stretch: Lie flat on your back. Bend the knee on the leg to be stretched and hold the back of your thigh with one hand and the back of your calf with the other. Use your hands to pull the leg towards you keeping the knee bent about 20° until you feel a strong stretch in the middle of your thigh (at the back). Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise. Tip: If you can’t reach your leg to pull it, hook a towel around your leg and pull that instead to achieve a good hamstring stretch.

Knee flexion: Sitting in a chair, loop a long towel under your foot (resting on the floor). Gently pull on the towel with both hands to bend the knee, raising your foot 4 – 5 inches off the floor. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Straight Leg Lift: Begin lying on back with right leg straight and extended; left knee is bent, with left foot flat on floor. Contract right thigh muscles to straighten (but not lock) the knee. Slowly raise leg until knees are parallel, then lower. Repeat 8 to 12 times, working up to 2 sets on each side.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring one knee into your hands and gently let your arms pull your knee toward your chest. Hold, then lower your bent leg. Repeat with other leg.

If you are suffering from shoulder pain too, try these Top 5 exercises to relieve shoulder pain quickly. And if you’re looking for more stretches to try for pain relief, explore the stretches below for additional help.

1. Quad Stretch Sideways

  • Lie down sideways on your left, with elbow bent on the ground, supporting the head with the palm.
  • Inhale and bend your right leg, toes pointing backward. Grab the ankle with the right arm and bring the heel as close to the buttock as possible. Hold it for five seconds, and exhale release.
  • Turn to the opposite side on your right.
  • Inhale and bend your left leg, toes pointing backward. Grab the ankle with the left arm and bring the heel as close to the buttock as possible. Hold it for five seconds, and exhale release.
  • Make sure to have a good round grip around the ankle—fingers together, thumb apart.
  • Complete five rounds with right and left, together making one round.

2. Figure 4 Stretch

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground, hip-distance apart.
  • As you inhale, place your lower right leg on the left thigh, crossing the ankle over. At this point, your right knee should naturally be pointing sideways, creating a figure 4 shape.
  • Interlock your fingers behind your left thigh and gently begin to draw your legs closer to your body, lifting the left leg away from the ground until it becomes parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your spine stretched and tail bone tucked touching the floor, relax the shoulders.
  • If your neck, shoulders, and upper back are tight, you may keep a pillow or a blanket under your head and neck. Count to five and then interchange the feet.
  • Complete five rounds with left and right foot, together making one round.

3. Leg Extension Sideways

  • Lie down sideways on your left, with elbow bent on the ground, supporting the head with the palm.
  • Inhale and lift your right leg, keeping the knee straight and toes pointing diagonally. Exhale and bring it down. Repeat five times at a medium speed. Do not use jerky movements, and do not do it too slowly.
  • Turn to the opposite side on your right.
  • Inhale and light the left leg up, exhale down. Repeat the same exercise five times.
  • Make sure that the core is engaged for better results.

4. Tiger Stretch

  • Come down on the ground on all fours—knees and palms. Ensure that legs are hip-width apart and knees in line with the hips. Also, ensure that wrists and shoulders are in one line. Relax the toes.
  • As you inhale, lift the right leg, toes pointing up. Try to bring your toes as close to the head as possible. Let the back arch naturally. Lift your neck as if trying to meet the toes.
  • As you exhale, bring your leg down bending the knee, and sliding it from under the body to meet the forehead. Drop your neck looking down trying to meet the knee.
  • Repeat the stretch from the left side—both times slowly and mindfully.
  • Complete five rounds with right and left together, making one round.

    Note: You can keep a towel and anything that gives slight support to the knee while you place them on the ground in case you need more support.

 

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