Knee & Leg Pain

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

10 Best Knee Arthritis Exercises for Pain Relief

 

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These knee arthritis exercises help the knees become stronger which can help with knee arthritis pain. They might be hard or painful in the beginning, but the stronger you get, the less pain you should have.

The first exercise is a quad set. This helps strengthen the quadriceps muscles in an isometric way. Next is a bridge. Bridging helps strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and low back. Then you have hip abduction and hip adduction that work the outer and inner muscles.

Straight leg raises (SLR) and clamshell exercises are often thought more of hip exercises, but they are great for the knee as well. 

Now sitting in a chair, you will do hip flexion and knee extension or long arch quads (LAQ). These are also easy to do if you work at a desk all day.

Finally, standing up, you have heel/toe raises and mini squats. These will not only help with knee arthritis pain, but they will also help with balance and gait.

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Knee Arthritis Stretches & Exercises

10 Best Knee Arthritis Stretches

These knee arthritis stretches will help stretch out the muscles above and below the knee joint to help relieve knee pain from arthritis.

The first few knee arthritis stretches are for the calf, which crosses the knee joint, stretching the joint itself with a heel slide, and stretching the quad. Since the quad tendon is connected to the patella (kneecap), it is very important to stretch.

The next knee stretches are the hamstring and IT band stretch. Both these cross the knee joint, so when they are tight, they can put a lot of pressure on the joint causing pain.

Then there is the piriformis/gluteus stretch, groin stretch, and hip flexor stretch. Although most of these muscles don’t actually cross the knee joint, they have a lot to do with how it works, and they help keep the hip flexible as well. This all will help relieve the knee arthritis pain.

The last two stretches for knee arthritis are standing up. For the adductor muscles, some do cross the knee joint, but others will put pressure on the knee joint if they are tight. And finally, the anterior tibialis muscles have a lot to do with pulling our toes up when we walk. So if the knee is not working how it’s suppose to, these muscles can get overworked and very tight.

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How to Use a TENS / EMS Unit for Knee Pain Relief

Sponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to Healthmate Forever for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free T12AB TENS/EMS Unit to use. If you purchase a product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Click here and use code DRJO to get 10% OFF a Healthmate Forever TENS/EMS Unit!

A TENS / EMS Unit can be a great tool for helping to reduce and relieve knee pain. Here are some pad placements to relieve different types of knee pain.

Some common knee and leg injuries that may benefit from a TENS/EMS unit include things like bursitis, tendonitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, quad strain, hamstring strain, acl tears or sprains, meniscal tears, knee replacements (TKA) and arthritis pain.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is used to help reduce pain and increase circulation. Basically the vibration of the TENS follows the same pathway as the pain pathway to the brain and helps cancel it out. It is a great alternative to pain medication. A TENS uses two or four electrodes with cross currents to surround the area. The deep vibration/massage helps relax the muscles and allow for healing. You should not get a muscle contraction when using TENS.

EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) is designed to treat more of the muscle area than the nerves. It helps activate the muscles to help healing, and regain strength in that muscle. EMS is uncomfortable, and you should get a contraction with this. To help with elbow strengthening, placing the electrodes over the wrist extensor muscles is a great option.

Healthmate Forever has a wide variety of TENS/EMS Units and pads. The unit I'm using in this video is the T12AB.

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Physical Therapy for Knee Pain Relief

Physical therapy stretches for knee pain can help relieve muscle tightness that often causes pain in the knee. These stretches may help with general knee pain, arthritis pain, & strains & sprains around the knee.

Many of the muscles in the leg cross the knee joint, and when they are tight, the put extra pressure on the knee joint. Some of the main muscles that cross the knee are the calf muscles, hamstrings, quads, and IT band. Also, the hip flexors are important to stretch as well even though they don’t cross the knee joint.

There are many ways to stretch these muscles, and you can do the one that works best for you.

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5 Best Sciatica Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome

Sciatic pain can be caused by a few different things. These are my 5 favorite exercises for sciatica from a tight piriformis.

The first sciatica exercise is hip abduction in hooklying with a band. This is good to strengthen your hip abductors as well as your hip external rotators.

The next exercise is bridging with a band. A bridge is great for the gluteus maximas and hamstrings, and when you add in the band, it gets your piriformis and gluteus medius as well.

Then there is the clamshell exercise. This one is harder than it looks, and it’s best to start out without the band until you can the correct technique. It strengthens all the glute muscles.

Now you will roll onto all fours, or quadruped. This exercise not only uses the muscles to stabilize one side, but it also uses the muscles on the other side to move the leg.

Finally you have squats with a band. Squats are a great lower body work out, and by adding the band, it makes all the muscles work together including the piriformis.

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Piriformis Syndrome Stretches & Exercises

Sciatica - Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?

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