Knee pain can be debilitating; if left untreated, it can seriously impact your health and daily lifestyle. Fortunately, simple physical therapy exercises are a great way to help reduce knee pain and improve mobility. And while a physical therapy plan designed by a medical professional is the best way to get relief, the truth is that home exercises are a great compliment to help improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles around the knee joint for better stability and pain relief.
Below are six easy exercises you can do at home to help reduce knee pain.
Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises are a great way to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles that support the knee joint. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your legs bent at the knees and feet flat on the floor. Keeping one leg bent, extend the other leg out in front of you until it is straight. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower the leg back down. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg, keeping your hips and abdominals pressed firmly into the ground.
The bridge is another great exercise to strengthen the muscles of the knee. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at your side. Push down through your heels and lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down to the starting position. Perform 10-15 reps for a full set.
Prone Straight Leg Raises
The prone straight leg raise is a great exercise to target the hamstring muscles. Begin by lying face down on an exercise mat with your legs extended behind you and arms at your side. Slowly lift one leg as high as possible without arching your back, squeezing your glutes, and keeping your abdominals pressed firmly into the ground. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times per leg for a full set.
Wall squats are a fantastic exercise to target the quadriceps muscles. Stand against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly out from the wall. Bend your knees to about a 90-degree angle, keeping your back flat against the wall and your abdominals pressed firmly. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times for one set.
Step-ups are an excellent exercise for targeting the quadriceps muscles. Stand on one leg in front of a step or bench and place your opposite foot on top of the step or bench. Push up onto your stepping foot, keeping your abdominals pressed firmly into the ground and pushing through your heel as you lift yourself up. Hold this position for a moment before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times for one set.
Lunges are another great exercise for targeting the quadriceps muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward with one foot. Lower your body straight down until both of your knees form right angles, with your front knee directly over your ankle and your back knee almost touching the floor. Push up through your front heel to return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times for one set on each leg.
Benefits of Working With a Physical Therapist for Knee Pain
While the above exercises can be beneficial for strengthening the knee, working with a physical therapist at USA Sports is important if you experience chronic or acute knee pain. Our physical therapists can help diagnose the cause of your pain and develop an individualized treatment plan that may include exercises, stretching, manual therapy, dry needling and more. They will also teach you how to correctly perform the exercises to get the maximum benefit for your time and effort. Additionally, our physical therapists can provide you with education on how to modify your daily activities to keep the knee pain from returning.
If you are in South Florida and are looking to take a more proactive approach to managing your knee pain, stop searching for “knee pain physical therapy Ft. Lauderdale” or “knee pain meniscus treatment Miami” and contact USA Sports Medicine today. Our experienced and knowledgeable physical therapists can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to address the underlying causes of your knee pain, help reduce your current symptoms, and help prevent them from returning. We are committed to helping you achieve optimal health and function so that you can enjoy life without worrying about knee pain.