So maybe you’ve been running, doing an HIIT or kettle bell class, or maybe you’ve gotten into cross fit, and now your knee hurts.

What do you do about knee pain?

I’m so glad you asked!

The causes of knee pain can be quite varied and range from poor ankle/foot mechanics, wearing the wrong shoes, and performing exercises incorrectly to just plain old muscle imbalances.

Most often in my job I see that people with knee pain present with some degree of muscular tightness where they shouldn’t have quite so much and muscular weakness in areas that need to be strong.

The forces created by activities such as walking, jumping, and jogging must be dealt with somewhere. If some muscles are too tight and others are too weak, then the muscular system isn’t capable of handling all those forces appropriately, and the joints suffer.

I want to share with you a very basic starting program so you’ll know what you should do about your knee pain.

Granted – this program won’t address every possible causative factor, but it’s a great start!

1.  Piriformis Stretch

What do you do about knee painLie on your back with your left knee bent and your foot on the bed/floor. Now place your right ankle on your left knee and, using both hands, gently pull your right knee toward your left shoulder until you feel a gentle stretch in the outside of your hip/buttocks.

Hold 30 seconds. Do 2 times each leg.

2.  Hamstring Stretch

what do you do about knee painLie on your back with your left knee bent and your foot on the bed/floor. Place a belt/towel/dog leash around your right foot (arch area). Keep your right knee straight, and use the strap to gently lift your leg up from the bed until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your thigh.

Hold 30 seconds. Do 2 times each leg.

3. IT Band Stretch

what do you do about knee painIf you want to be technical, this stretch is really for a muscle called the tensor fascia latae (TFL), but that sounds like something you’d order from a coffee shop, and you’ve probably actually heard of the ITB.

Lie on your back in the same position as the hamstring stretch. Now when you pull your leg up from the bed, as soon as you start to feel a gentle hamstring stretch, slowly bring your leg across the front of you until you feel a stretch along the outside of your hip/thigh.

Hold 30 seconds. Do 2 times each leg.

4.  Quad Stretch

what do you do about knee painStand near a wall or a sturdy table/chair. Stand on your left foot and bend your right knee behind you. Use your Right hand to grab your right ankle and gently pull your ankle closer to your back until you feel a gentle stretch across the front of your thigh. Make sure you keep your knees close together.

Hold 30 seconds. Do 2 times each leg. 

5. Straight Leg Raise

what do you do about knee painLie on your back with your left knee bent and your right knee straight. Tighten your quad (the muscle on the front of your thigh) and pull your toes up toward your nose. Keeping your right leg completely straight, slowly lift it to the level of the other knee and then slowly lower it back down. Repeat.

Do 10 repetitions. Do 2-3 sets.

6. Side Leg Raise

what do you do about knee painLie on your side. In the same manner as with the straight leg raise, tighten your thigh and bring your toes toward your nose. Keeping your leg straight, slowly lift your top leg 6-8 inches off the bed/floor and slowly lower back down. Repeat.

Do 10 repetitions. Do 2-3 sets. 

7. Backward Leg Raise 

what do you do about knee painLie on your stomach. Keep your thigh tight and slowly lift your leg 4-6 inches off the table. Don’t lift your leg high enough to rotate your pelvis off the bed or cause low back pain. If you do experience back pain, lie with a pillow under your stomach. Slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat.

Do 10 repetitions. Do 2-3 sets. 

8. Clam Shells

what do you do about knee painLie on your side with both knees bent. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee off the bottom knee without rotating your trunk backward. Lift your knee only as high as you can without rotation. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat.

Do 10 repetition. Do 2-3 sets. 

There you go!

Now you may read other articles that tell you these aren’t “functional” exercises. Those articles would be correct, but we’re just trying to start with a basic foundation that you can build from later.

Stick with it, and hopefully you won’t have to deal with knee pain again.

Let’s Get FIT Together!

 

 

*Remember as with any program, consult your physician before beginning to avoid further injury/symptoms.