The Best and Worst Exercises for Sufferers of Knee Pain

September 17, 2018

For knee pain sufferers, getting regular exercise may seem out of the question. However, when performed properly, some exercises can actually decrease pain and stiffness in the knees by bringing blood and nutrients to the area and strengthening the surrounding muscles. Here are the best exercise tips to try, and a few things to avoid, when suffering from knee pain.


Rules to Begin With

Pain sufferers should consult with a chiropractor when starting any new exercise routine. It's also important to remember that exercise, when performed properly, should not make pain worse or cause any new pain. Knee pain sufferers, in particular, should never allow their knees to extend past their toes during exercises or stretches.

The Best Exercises

  • Partial squats: This is an easy, low-impact way to get the knees bending. Standing about a foot in front of a chair with your toes pointed forward and your feet even with your hips, slowly bend at the hips about halfway down to the chair. Keep your core tight and avoid letting your knees extend past your toes.
  • Side-lying leg lift: Begin by lying on your left side and supporting your head with your left arm. Keeping both legs straight, raise the right one to about shoulder height, bring it back down, and repeat. Remember to switch legs once you've finished a set, and for added resistance, wear an ankle weight above the knee on whichever leg is being lifted.
  • Safe stretching: To give your legs and knees a good stretch, lie on your back with one leg flat on the floor. Using a towel or rope around your foot, pull the other leg as far as it can go comfortably toward your chest, keeping a slight bend in the knee. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, rest, and then repeat a few times with each leg.

Exercises to Avoid

A list of exercise tips wouldn't be complete without a few warnings. These exercises are more likely than others to be done improperly and can lead to injury, increased pain, and more time spent in chiropractic care. Common exercises to avoid include the following:

  • Full-arc knee extensions.
  • Deep squats and lunges.
  • Intense stretching.

High-impact aerobic exercises like running can also be hard on the knees, especially on harder surfaces and without proper footwear. If you are facing knee injury, Dr. Scott Nissenbaum will be glad to talk with you about specific exercises and proper chiropractic treatment for knee pain. To learn more about how a visit to our office can help you, fill out our online form or call 650-226-8348.