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5 Physical Therapy Exercises for Knee Pain

Knee pain afflicts over 25% of Americans.

As one of the most debilitating musculoskeletal conditions out there, knee pain not only causes discomfort, but also takes a toll on a person’s mobility, flexibility, and accessibility.

If you’ve been experiencing mild to severe knee pain lately, we’ve rounded up the top physical therapy exercises to help alleviate pain and regain knee strength.

1. Heel and Calf Stretches

Ideal for people with persistent knee pain that sporadically comes and goes, heel and calf stretches help relieve tension and stiffness in/around the knees.

Start by standing upright and facing a wall. Extend your arms and place them on the wall. Move one foot back and slowly bend forward, as if kneeling down but not completely.

Repeat this motion for 30 seconds and switch legs.

2. Clamshells

Clamshells are easily one of the most popular and effective physical therapy exercises for knee pain.

Lay on your side and place a pillow to support your face. Partially bend your legs. Start by extending one knee upwards while the other remains firmly in contact with the ground.

Repeat the motion 10 times on each side.

3. Half Squats

patient with knee pain performing half squats to alleviate pain

They’re easy. They’re quick. They’re effective.

Half squats relax your knees while strengthening your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Consistent half squats go a long way in relieving knee inflammation and soreness.

Unlike regular squats, opt for “halfway” squats by lowering your upper body by approximately 10 inches. Feel free to experiment with different heights depending on what suits you best.

4. Straight Leg Raises

Lie down on the floor and bend one knee while ensuring your foot is firmly in contact with the ground. With one knee bent, raise the other leg. Make sure you don’t bend your knees when raising your leg.

Repeat 10–15 times for each leg.

5. Lateral Walks

Lateral walks have become an easy go-to for people with knee pain. Start by tying a resistance band around your ankles. Squat ever so slightly and start stepping sideways.

Take big strides to create resistance and strengthen the delicate structures around your knee.

Lateral walks are extremely effective in improving knee flexibility and enabling patients to easily bend their knee without experiencing discomfort.

Struggling to effectively manage knee pain? We can help.

At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we offer expert diagnostic and treatment plans for knee pain, including physical therapy, knee replacement, arthroscopic surgery, injections, and more.

Call (281) 729-6270 to find a knee doctor who’s right for you in Houston or Webster, TX.