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.

Runner's Knee Pain Exercises & Stretches

Runner’s knee, aka patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and chondromalacia patellae, is very common in runners. Runner’s knee symptoms often come from tight muscles causing knee pain and imbalances. This video has some runner’s knee treatment exercises and stretches.

So the first stretch is for the hamstrings. You can stretch the hamstrings in many different ways. It not only helps relieve knee pain, but it also helps relieve hip and back pain.

The next stretch is for the quads. If the quads are tight, it can cause extra pressure on the patelloemoral or kneecap area.

When you have a tight IT band, it can cause the kneecap to not track properly. Runners also tend to have a lot of IT band pain. This stretch will help relieve knee pain as well as hip pain.

Strengthening the outer hip muscles is just as important for runner’s knee relief. The gluteus medius is a very important muscle to keep strong. You can strengthen this area by doing sidelying hip abduction and clamshells exercises.

Other great strengthening exercises for the knee and hips are straight leg raises lying down on your back. Other great ones to help strengthen your gluteus maximus and your hamstrings are lying on your stomach.

Another very important muscle to strengthen is your vastus medialis oblique (VMO). The VMO helps keep the patella tracking properly. Squats with a ball squeeze are a great way to relieve runner’s knee symptoms. Also, side steps ups or lateral step ups can not only help heal a runner’s knee injury, but it can help prevent it as well.

Related Videos:

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Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to Thermotex for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free Thermotex Platinum and Knee Unit to use/review. If you purchase the products using the links/ads below, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Knee pain can be caused by many things like arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, or a strain. This video will show you 5 ways to help relieve this pain including using far infrared heat.

These are my top 5 ways to relieve knee pain and they should help get your knees feeling better.

First will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

The second way to relieve pain is to use Far Infrared Heat. Far infrared heats the area with light vs. actual heat, so it can penetrate deeper into the area. A traditional heating pad usually only heats about 0.25 cm, but far infrared can go up to 6 cm, or 2.36 inches. It helps increase the circulation to the area to provide temporary relief.

The Thermotex Platinum and Knee Unit are both great devices that use this Far Infrared heat therapy to help relieve pain.

Click here to watch my full review for the Thermotex Platinum, which also features more detailed info about far infrared heat.

Number three is a hamstring stretch. You can stretch the hamstring many different ways, and you can check them out in my hamstring stretching video. Today I will show you the stretch with a strap or belt. Put a loop around your foot, and use the strap to bring your leg straight up into a stretch. Try to keep your knee straight, and don’t let it bend. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

Now you will do an IT band stretch. There are also many ways to stretch the IT band, but if you are already using a strap, you can use it for the IT band as well. Use the same position as the hamstring stretch. Keep your leg straight and gently pull the leg across your body this time. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

The last stretch will be on your stomach, or in prone. You can also do this in sidelining, but on your stomach will help keep the thigh straight. This will stretch your quadriceps muscle. Take a belt or dog leash and wrap 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.

Related Videos:

Using Far Infrared Heat for Pain Relief

5 Ways to Relieve Peripheral Neuropathy Foot Pain & Other Foot Ailments

Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to For-Knees for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free knee sleeve to use/review. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

For knee pain exercises and stretches to work, you must work all the muscles around the knee. There are several that cross over the joint and help with movement. These muscles are the IT band, calf, hamstring, and quad muscles.

Use code AskDrJo1 to get 25% off the For-Knees knee sleeve featured in this video.

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

Next you want to move your kneecap, or patella around. This is important because your patella is attached to your quadriceps tendon and your patellar tendon. When those are tight, it is hard to bend your knee. Your leg needs to be straight and relaxed. You can push the patella up and down, superior and inferior, and side-to-side, medial and lateral. You can do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Also using a knee sleeve might help with your knee pain. They help provide compression and a little bit of support, but they don’t stop the muscles from doing the work like a brace.

Then you will stretch your hamstrings. You can stretch the hamstring many different ways, and you can check them out in my hamstring stretching video. Today I will show you the stretch with a strap or belt. Put a loop around your foot, and use the strap to bring your leg straight up into a stretch. Try to keep your knee straight, and don’t let it bend. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

Now you will do an IT band stretch. There are also many ways to stretch the IT band, but if you are already using a strap, you can use it for the IT band as well. Use the same position as the hamstring stretch. Keep your leg straight and gently pull the leg across your body this time. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

The last stretch will be on your stomach, or in prone. You can also do this in sidelining, but on your stomach will help keep the thigh straight. This will stretch your quadriceps muscle. Take a belt or dog leash and wrap 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.

Now for some exercises. The first exercise is a hamstring curl. Stay on your stomach after the quad stretch. This time you will actively bend your knee bringing your foot towards your bottom to strengthen the hamstrings. Start off with 10 controlled repetitions, and you can work up from there.

The last set of exercises will be in standing. Now you will do calf strengthening with heel raises. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, you can do one leg at a time.

Finally you will do squats. This will help strengthen your quads, hamstrings, gluteus muscles, and many others around the hip and knees. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes. Stick your buttocks back and keep your back straight. If this is too hard, you can put a box in the chair, so you don’t have to squat as low.

Related Videos:

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Shin Splints (Anterior) Treatment

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to Dollar Socks Box for providing Doctor Jo with free socks to use. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Anterior shin splints are usually felt on the outside of the shin where the anterior tibialis muscle sits. Shin splints are often caused by repeated trauma to the connective muscle tissue around the tibia bone.

Shin Splints usually happen when someone changes their running routine to a different surface or more intensity, or change the type of shoes they usually wear. These stretches & exercises should help.

Keep an eye on my socks in this video. Dollar Socks Box sent me a whole bunch of very stylish socks to wear!

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Place your foot on a roll or hang it off the edge of something to have free movement of your heel. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

Now you can roll over into the upward dog. Lie down on your stomach, and push up onto the top of your feet, and keep your arms straight with your head up looking forward and drop your buttocks down. If you can, hold the stretch for 30 seconds, doing it three times. If you can’t hold it that long, try for 15 seconds, 5 times.

Next, you will see some stretches with a noodle or foam roll. Place the roll on the top of your knee, and roll it down your shin or anterior tibialis. Apply more body pressure to get more of a stretch.

Now for some strengthening exercises. Start off my propping your ankle up or hang your foot off the bed or table so your heel doesn't touch the floor. Put the band around the ball of your foot for good resistance. First, push your foot down and up. This is called ankle plantarflexion.

Then you can use a table leg or heavy chair as your anchor. Wrap it around and pull the band towards you. Pull your foot up towards your head. This is called ankle dorsiflexion. Start off with 10-15 times. If you get to 20-25 and it is easy, increase the resistive band.

Now you will stand up and do some foot drags. Turn your foot slightly in to get a better stretch and to help strengthen the anterior area. Start off with a little bit of pressure, and add more when you are ready.

Finally, you will walk on your toes, and then walk on your feet. You can walk about 10-15ft for both.

Like the muscle model I used at the beginning of the video? Learn more about the company that made it.

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