The Best Stretches for Knee Pain

Knee pain can have its roots in sudden injury, overuse injury, or some other condition, such as arthritis. If you have knee pain, you might experience swelling and stiffness in addition to the discomfort or pain. There are stretches that can help improve your knee pain, as well as stretches that could help prevent knee pain from developing in the first place.

Basic knee stretches

Familiarise yourself with somebasic knee stretches that can improve or restore your range of movement and boost the flexibility of muscles in the knee area.

  • Bend and straighten – Lie on your back and bring one knee up to bend as far as you can before straightening.
  • Quadriceps stretch – Hold onto a chair or table and bring your heel backwards until it touches your bottom before holding for 15 seconds.
  • Hamstring stretch – Put your foot on a step or chair, and lean forward at your hips while keeping knees and back straight. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Knee pain-stretch – Tip Hero suggests this stretch if you have knee pain: Fold a dish towel in half and sit down on a couch where you can rest your foot. Place the towel behind your knee and bend your knee up to have your foot resting flat on the couch. Wrap your hand around your shin and give it a little tug.

Runner’s knee pain

If you run, you’ve probably heard of or even experienced runner’s knee. Runner’s knee involves pain or inflammation in the area around or under your kneecap, and it’s typically caused by tracking issues with the knee cap, issues that lead to the bony groove being irritated.

These four exercises and stretches could help you minimise runner’s knee pain or even prevent it.

  • Wall sit – Wall sits are convenient stretches to keep in mind as they can be done anywhere, and they can help you strengthen your quads. Sit with your back against the wall and your feet out in front, while keeping them hip-width apart. Bend your knees and slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90-degree angles, while keeping your thighs parallel. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, and stand up before repeating three times.
  • Tip-over-tuck hamstring stretch – Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and interlace your hands behind your back. Bend forward at the hips while keeping your chin tucked in and bringing your hands over your head. Relax the back of your neck then release your hands and place them on the back of your thighs before softening your knees. Hold for 30 seconds and slowly return to standing position.
  • Calf stretch – Start by standing a little less than arm’s distance from the wall. Step your left leg forward and keep the other back, but keep your feet parallel distance apart. Bend the left knee and press through your right heel. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating for the other leg.
  • Side lunges – These lateral lunges boost the muscles surrounding your knee joints. Start by standing with your feet directly aligned with your hips before stepping your right foot wide to the left into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Make sure your right knee doesn’t go beyond your right toes, and keep your chest lifted and your weight on your heels. Return to standing by pushing on your right foot, and then do the same lunge on your left side to complete the rep.

Cycling knee stretches

If your knee pain has its roots in cycling, there aremore specialist stretches that could help. In addition to the hip flexor and cyclists quadriceps stretches, try the gluteal stretch. Lie on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees, then bring your right knee to your chest with your right hand on the outside of the knee and your left hand on top of your right foot. Pull your foot towards your chest and push your knee across your right shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds each time.

Stretching to reduce knee pain

Stretching can have a beneficial impact on knee pain, or allow you to reduce the risk of developing knee pain. If you have any doubts, however, always check with your physiotherapist or healthcare provider about whether it’s appropriate for you to perform certain stretches.

All information presented on the Herron website is meant for general knowledge and never meant as a diagnosis of prescription. Please always contact your doctor for health related matters.