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. If you have a question, just ask. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Knee Strengthening Exercises

This video will show you some very simple but effective knee strengthening exercises without having to go to a gym or buy weights. Knee pain can come from many things such as knee weakness, osteoarthritis (OA), tendonitis, or bursitis. 

The first exercise is a step up. You can use books or a step at home. The important part to remember is quality over quantity. Don't go fast with these exercises. Control the movements to make the muscles do the work instead of momentum doing the work. Also make sure with all these exercises that your knee does not go in front of your toes. This puts extra pressure on your knee and can cause damage. Just start with 10 and then work your way up. Once you can do 20-25 easily, add some height to the step. 

The next exercise is a lunge. You can use your books for a target now. Step over the books and try to touch them with your back knee. Once it becomes easy, then you can take the books away until you get to the floor. 

Finally, you are going to do squats. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. You can also put books on the chair if the chair is too low to start. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and again, make sure your knee does not go in front of your toes.

Here are some more Knee Stretches and Exercises.

Quad Stretches to Help Relieve Pain

When your quadriceps muscles or tendons get injured, it can cause pain in the knees as well as the hips. When you have a strain, sprain, or tendonitis, these quad stretches will help the recovery process.

The first stretch will be on your stomach, or in prone. Take a belt or dog leash and wrap it around your foot/ankle. Take the strap and gently pull your foot towards your buttocks until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, and do it 3 times. If it hurts your hips to lie on your stomach, you can do the same stretch on your side. Make sure that your hip does not come forward, or you will not get a stretch in your quad.

You can also try stretching your quad in a kneeling position. Place the knee of the quad you want to stretch on the ground, and take the opposite leg and bend it in front of you at a ninety-degree angle. You might want to place a pillow under your knee to protect it. You will be in a lunge position with the knee of your injured side on the ground.  Then grab the ankle of the side you want to stretch and pull it up towards your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds, and do it 3 times.

Finally you can stretch your quad standing. Hold onto something for support, and then grab the ankle of the injured side behind you. Pull your foot towards your buttocks. Make sure your hip is not moving and your knee is pointed downwards. If you are bending your hip forward, then you will not feel a stretch. If you need more of a stretch, pull your hip back behind you, into extension.

 

Going Up and Down Stairs with an Injured Leg

Steps can be a scary place when your balance is not good. It can be even scarier when you have a leg injury. When going up and down the steps with a leg injury, you want to use your strong side to do most of the work. In the rehab setting we have many sayings to help you remember what to do. "Up with the good, down with the bad" is my favorite. Another helpful one is "Good goes to heaven (up), bad goes to hell (down)."

When going up the steps, you want to step up with your uninjured side so you can power yourself up. This is using a "step to" approach where each foot touches each step. When you are going down, you want to lead with your injured side. This is because when going down, the leg staying on the step is doing all the work. It is the one lowering you down.

It is as simple as that! Take your time and be safe!

Inner Thigh Strengthening Exercises

Our inner thigh muscles are made of our hip adductor muscles and our groin muscles. These simple exercises will show you how to strengthen your thigh muscles. You can also see how to stretch these muscles in my groin stretches video.

First, using the resistive band, put one end in the door and close it tight. Wrap the band around either leg. You will do the exercises on both legs. The leg that has the band on it is working dynamically or with movement, and the other leg is working statically to keep you stable. You will keep your leg straight and try not to bend your knee. Pull your leg across your body into hip adduction.

Next, you are going to lie down on your back with your knees propped up in a hooklying position. Take a thick pillow or ball and place it between your knees. Squeeze into the ball or pillow and hold for 3-5 seconds.

Finally, you will lie on your side with the leg you want to work on the ground. Keep your body in a straight line, and bend your top leg in front of or behind the bottom leg. Keep the bottom leg straight and try not to bend your knee. Lift your leg off the ground only about 4-6 inches. Start with 10-15 and work your way up. If you have ankle weights, you can add those when it becomes easy. 

 

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