Why do your knees pain?


Having pain in the knees is a common thing that affects most people at least once in their lifetime. Right from the ligaments, cartilage, or tendons to the kneecap or the bones of the knee joint, including tibia, femur, or fibula, knee pain can occur anywhere. 


Besides the palpable feeling of pain and discomfort, here are some other signs and symptoms that indicate a problem with your knees:


  • Popping noise in the knee area
  • Redness or warmth
  • Weakness or inability to carry weight on the knee
  • Inability to strengthen or flex the knee
  • Redness, pain, or swelling
  • Fever


Here are some of the most common causes of knee pain:


  • Being overweight
  • Lack of muscular strength and flexibility
  • Participating in sports such as skiing and baseball
  • Injury to the bones, cartilage, or ligaments in the knee
  • Medical conditions such as gout, arthritis, osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, etc.
  • Not doing knee pain exercises or staying active


Which are some of the best knee pain exercises?


If you have any of the above-mentioned knee pain symptoms, your doctor may advise a physical examination, imaging tests, or blood tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other overlapping conditions. 


Once diagnosed, knee pain is usually treated through:


  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Corticosteroids injections and lubricants.
  • Knee surgeries range from arthroscopic surgery to partial or total knee replacement depending on the severity of your condition. 


While all these treatments are effective, they either have side effects or are painful and invasive. One of the best holistic methods to treat this condition is knee pain exercises.


As the name suggests, knee pain exercises are those that aim to strengthen the joints and muscles in your knees and improve their range of motion. 


Before we talk about the most effective exercises for knee joint pain, here are some benefits of these exercises:


  • By making the muscles surrounding your knee such as the hamstrings and quadriceps stronger, knee pain exercises not just reduce knee pain but also prevent it. They do so by making your bones more stable and improving their ability to bear more weight.


  • One of the best benefits of knee pain exercises is that they make your knees flexible and active by improving your range of motion.


  • Knee pain exercises help you achieve your optimum weight, which not just reduces the pressure that your knees endure but also prevents other serious obesity-related health concerns.


Here is a round-up of some of the best exercises for knee pain that help stretch and strengthen your knee muscles:


  1. Quadriceps stretch: This is an excellent exercise for knee joint pain that helps in improving the flexibility of your quadriceps and hip flexors. 


  • Stand straight while keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend one knee and lift your foot up to your glutes.
  • Grab your ankle and pull it inward as far as you can.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the alternate side.


  1. Heel and calf stretch: This is a great lower body workout that strengthens your calves and heels. It also works as a very effective exercise for knee pain and swelling


  • Stand straight and face a wall.
  • Place your hands on the wall and move a foot backward while bending your knees slightly.
  • Lean into the stretch and hold the pose for 25-30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.


  1. Calf raises: This is a great exercise to cure knee pain that works by strengthening your calf muscles. 


  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift both your heels off the ground and stand on the balls of your feet.
  • You can stand next to a wall or hold the back of a chair to balance yourself.
  • Slowly lower your body to the starting position. 





  1. Straight leg raises: One of the best physiotherapy exercises for knee pain, this works by strengthening your legs and restoring their range of motion.


  • To start this knee pain exercise, lie on your back with your legs laid out in the front.
  • Bend one knee at an angle of 90-degrees while placing your foot flat on the ground. 
  • Contract your quadriceps in the straight leg and raise it around six inches of the ground.
  • Hold the pose for 5-6 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.


  1. Prone straight leg raise: An excellent physiotherapy exercise for knee pain, it works as a compound workout. It strengthens your knees, core, and muscles in the buttocks.


  • Lie on your stomach and stretch your legs out straight.
  • Gently squeeze your glutes and lift one leg up towards the sky.
  • Hold the position for 5-6 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side.


  1. Leg extensions: This is the best exercise for knee pain that uses your body weight to reduce pressure off your knees.


  • Sit comfortably in a sturdy chair.
  • Put your feet flat on the floor keeping them hip-width apart.
  • Tighten your thigh muscles and extend one leg as high as you can. Remember not to raise your hips off the chair.
  • Hold the pose for 5-6 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.


What else can help with knee pain and swelling?


Besides these exercises for knee pain and swelling, here are some other effective remedies to help you cure pain and discomfort:


  • RICE: A combination of rest, ice pack, compression, and elevation is one of the most effective ways to cure knee pain and swelling. 


  • Obesity puts additional pressure on your knee joints that leads to pain and discomfort. It is also said to add up to knee inflammation. Losing weight helps in curing pain in the long run.


  • Another great alternative therapy is knee massage. Applying rhythmic pressure on the affected area works wonders in reducing pain and inflammation. 



The takeaway


Before starting any exercises to cure knee pain, it is important to consult your doctor to avoid injuries. It is also essential to learn the proper knee pain exercise techniques to prevent muscular soreness. You can learn this from an experienced practitioner or join online fitness classes. Remember, your knees are what will keep you agile at all stages of your life and help you enjoy everything that you love doing. 


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