Medication & Exercises

Knee Exercises

There are three general categories of exercises to improve knee function, strengthen the knee and build endurance. They are:

  • Range-of-motion exercises.
    These exercises help maintain or increase flexibility. They also help relieve stiffness in the knee.
  • Strengthening exercises.
    These exercises help maintain or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints with arthritis.
  • Aerobic or endurance exercises.
    These exercises improve heart function and blood circulation. They also help control weight. Some studies show that aerobic exercise can reduce swelling in some joints.

Your physical therapists will custom design a program for you.

Here are some basic exercises that may be helpful, but be sure to check with your provider or therapist before starting any new activity.

Click here for a printable Knee Exercises PDF


 
Quad sets example

Quad Sets:

Laying flat on a bed, hold your injured knee straight. Flex your foot up, push the back of your knee into the bed and tighten the muscles on top of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.

 
Straight Leg Raises example

Straight Leg Raises:

Laying flat on a bed, hold your injured knee straight. Flex your foot up, tighten the muscles on top of your thigh and slowly raise your leg off of the bed approximately 4-6 inches. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.

 
Quad Sets with Stool example

Quad Sets with Stool:

Sitting on a chair, put your injured knee up on a stool or chair in front of you. Flex your foot up, push the back of your knee down and tighten the muscles on top of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.

 
Sitting Knee Flexion example

Sitting Knee Flexion:

Sit on a chair with your injured knee slightly bent. Slowly bend your injured knee back and at the same time, slide your buttocks forward to the edge of the chair. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.