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Joint-Friendly Stretches to Do If You Have Knee Pain
Joint-Friendly Stretches to Do If You Have Knee Pain

Knee pain resulting from arthritis is not an uncommon occurrence, especially among older people. A body of research, including a study published in the July 2015 issue of the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, indicates joint-friendly stretches can help reduce knee pain.

Read on as the trusted medical professionals of Joint Preservation Institute describe some of the best stretches you can use to alleviate knee pain.

Understanding the Basics

Osteoarthritis occurs when the articular cartilage in the knee joint wears down. The resulting bone-on-bone friction causes pain, swelling and stiffness.

Exercising and stretching the muscles surrounding the knee helps stabilize the knee joint. With the right exercises, you can transfer some of your weight off the knee joint and onto a stronger muscle.

Hamstrings Stretch

The hamstring is the large muscle located on the back of the leg. The hamstrings are used to flex the knee — weak or tight hamstrings can place painful pressure on the knee joint.

To perform a seated hamstring stretch, do the following:

  1. Sit with one leg extended in front of you and your back straight.
  2. Rest the sole of the other foot against the mid-thigh of the leg extended in front of you.
  3. While keeping your knee, neck and back straight, reach your arms toward the ankle of the foot extended in front of you.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps - the large muscles at the front of your thighs - attach to your knee joints. Strengthening and stretching the quadriceps keeps the knee joint protected.

To perform a standing quadriceps stretch, do the following:

  1. Stand on one leg. If you need help balancing, hold on to a chair or a fence for support.
  2. Bend the other knee, bringing the heel toward your buttock. Try to keep both knees next to each other.
  3. Reach for your ankle.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Gently lower the leg to the floor and repeat on the other leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Your hip flexors help move your leg forward. Tight hip flexors place pressure on the front of the knee joint and may cause knee pain.

To perform a hip flexor stretch simply:

  1. Place a pillow or mat on the floor. Kneel and place one knee on the pillow or mat.
  2. Reach your opposite foot in front of you and try to form a 90-degree angle at the knee.
  3. Sit upright or stretch your torso back to get a better stretch on the hip flexor.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds before switching sides.

By opening up your hip flexors, you reduce the amount of pressure on the knee joint.

Contact the Joint Preservation Institute Today

While the above stretches will reduce your knee pain, nothing beats professional help. If you have any questions about managing pain caused by osteoarthritis, contact our office today.

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