Aching Knee Pain

4 exercises for aching knees

This may sound counterintuitive, but medical experts agree — if you have aching knees, sitting on the sidelines might not be the answer. Getting out and exercising may be the best way to get rid of your knee pain.

Sacheen Mehta, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, spoke at a “Finding Your Fit” seminar and discussed how to overcome past sports injuries, joint pain and back pain to find the right exercise routine for you.

Download the treatment guide for hip and knee pain.

One of the areas that Dr. Mehta addressed was knee pain, a common area of concern that he sees in his patients. Dr. Mehta said that many times, patients come into his office with knee pain because the muscles around the knee are not as strong as they could, or should, be.

While it’s always important to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, Dr. Mehta offered some advice on the types of exercises that can help strengthen the muscles around your knees, thereby reducing knee pain.

1. Wall sits

  • Sit with your back against a wall and your legs at a 45 to 50-degree angle. Dr. Mehta doesn’t encourage going to a 90-degree angle because this can put too much pressure on your kneecaps and cause knee pain.
  • When “sitting,” make sure your knees are behind your toes.
  • Sit and hold this position for 1 minute, then rest and repeat.
  • Bend the knees and lower down into a squat position. You should work to maintain a tall spine and proud chest.

2. Standing leg extensions

  • Standing with one hand on a table, chair or wall for stability, take the leg opposite of your stabilizing hand and lift the outside leg off of the floor in front of you.
  • When lifting your leg, bend the knee at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Straighten the leg in front of you and bend back to the starting position.
  • Do 10 repetitions of these, then rest and repeat.

3. Leg lifts

  • Lie on your back with your hand by your sides.
  • Lift both legs 6 inches off of the ground, making sure to keep your legs straight.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat.

4. Straight-leg raises

  • Lie on your back with one leg straight out and the other bent at the knee with the foot pressed flat against the ground.
  • Contract your quadricep on the straight leg and raise approximately 8 inches off of the ground.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat with the other leg.

Watch this video from Dr. Mehta for more details on treatment options for knee pain:

Because it removes gravity, another great exercise option for knee pain is water exercise. If knee pain persists, try these additional knee strengthening exercises from the comfort of your home.

Discover how you can move better today.

About the author

Kayci Prince
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Kayci is the marketing and PR manager at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. She's a native Texan, an SMU alum, loves running, volunteering and spending time with her family.

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5 thoughts on “4 exercises for aching knees”

  1. I do martial arts and have weak knees, what type of exercises can you recommend to strengthen them?

  2. I’ve recently started exercising. I thought that my knee was bruised, but there is no swelling or discoloration. I noticed after today (leg day) my knee was hurting worse. Same feeling of being bruised, but again no swelling or discoloration. Any ideas?

  3. I am a 60 year old runner who needs a hip and knee replacement on just the left side my right knee and hip are in great condition my question is after I receive my replacement will I be able to run .bike and swim again or should I just come to terms with my injuries

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4 exercises for aching knees