Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m going to show you some stretches and exercises to relieve knee pain. So let’s get started. When you have knee pain the main muscles that you want to stretch are the ones that go around the knee joint. So that would be your calf muscles underneath here cuz they cross up on top your quad muscle because it’s attached to that knee cap or patella, your hamstrings which come and cross the other side, and your IT band on the side which also crosses the knee. So since all those muscles cross the joint when they’re tight, they can cause pain in the knee. To start off we’re going to stretch the calf muscles. There’s a lot of different ways to stretch them, but I like to use a stretch strap and when you’re stretching your calf or down at your foot, I like to have it propped up a little bit, or if you’re on a couch or a bed make sure your heel is off the edge because that will just help you stretch a little bit more. So I just kind of like to prop it up, that’s just a pool noodle, just so you have some extra movement there and it’s not rubbing on the floor. If you’ve got a stretch strap, that’s great if you don’t, you can use a dog leash, you can use a towel, or you can use a belt, but you want it to be something firm not one of those resistive bands. Place it about at the ball of your foot, and relax your foot and then pull towards you. So you’re not actively moving it towards you, you’re pulling with that strap towards you. So just go till you feel that stretch underneath there. You want to feel tension, you want to feel pressure, but you don’t want it to be painful because you’re going to hold it for 30 seconds, so if you’re like this and it hurts the whole time, you’re pulling too much so then take a little bit of pressure off of it because you want it to be that hurts so good not just hurt so hurt. So after the 30 seconds, give it a little break maybe a 10 second break, and then do a total of three of those. So just a nice pull, get that stretch in there, you might feel it underneath the knee, you might feel it right here, or you might feel it all the way through, so again holding for 30 seconds doing that three times. While I’m sitting here what I also think is really really good for the knee especially if it’s painful is to move that kneecap or that patella around to mobilize it because a lot of times this is tight and if it’s the quad muscle’s tight, and just that whole joint is tight, that kneecap pushes down into the femur bone and causes a lot of pain too, so having extra movement there really helps. So with the patella mobs, what you want to do is just kind of grab that kneecap, sometimes it’s hard to find, people have smaller ones people have bigger ones, but try and just place your fingers all the way around it, and then just start off moving up and down. So you don’t want to push downwards while you’re doing it you just want to move it this way because you don’t want to push it into that joint. It might be really hard to move it at first you might feel a little bit of grinding or some crunching noises, I even have a little bit in mine and that’s called crepitus. As long as it’s not painful, that’s pretty normal. This feeling for some people is kind of icky, some people have that feeling, so if you can do it that’s great, if you can’t that’s okay, but I really think it helps loosen up that whole kneecap in that joint. You want your muscles to be completely relaxed while you’re doing this. If you’re if your quad’s tight, you can’t really move that kneecap because it pulls it tight, so make sure you’re nice and relaxed. After you go up and down, then you’re going to go side to side. I usually just place my fingers on the side and then push back and forth like that, so you can see mine moves pretty well. If you have knee pain or joint issues, it’s not going to move quite that easily, but you want to do a firm push, but again not painful, so if it’s painful, don’t push quite as hard because the more you stretch, the more that’ll loosen up. So just do that for about one or two minutes, you can alternate going up and down, side to side back, and forth. Another great way to help relieve knee pain is to get a knee sleeve like a compression sleeve. The folks at For-Knees sent me their knee sleeve, and what’s great about knee sleeves is when you put it on, there’s some compression in there. If you have a little bit of swelling in your knee, this helps work that swelling out of the knee, that compression gives, I like to call it like a little hug. It just gives that nice compression feeling, it makes everything feel good in there, it helps keep stuff staying in place a little bit, but it’s not a brace where it does all the work for the muscles, so it just helps it out a little bit. And if you are into alternative medicine, this sleeve is extra special because it has magnets in it, so it’s really nice if you’re into that stuff. This is a great sleeve to have because it has that extra component in there and you can see that, you know, it stays in place because it’s got a little more elastic here to keep it in place, so that’s nice. So go ahead and lie down. The next one is a hamstring stretch and again there’s a lot of ways to stretch your hamstrings, and you can check out my hamstring video if you want a different way, but the one that I like the best is again using a stretch strap, so using the dog leash, a belt, a long towel, but something that’s nice and firm. Take the loop, put it around your foot here. You can go a little bit lower for this one because this is stretching the hamstring and not necessarily your calves. You want to relax your leg, you’re not actively lifting your leg up, you’re using the strap to lift the leg up because it’s a stretch so you want those muscles to be as relaxed as possible, so just start pulling it up, try and keep that knee straight. It might be hard if it hurts, but you want to keep it as straight as you can because that’s going to help stretch those hamstrings. If you can only go to here, that’s fine get that stretch where you need it, you don’t want it to be painful, you want that tension to be in there where you’re feeling a good stretch, but no pain. The further you come up, the more you’ll feel the stretch but if your knee starts to bend as you come up, take it back down. You want to keep that knee as straight as you can. If you want to stretch your calves while you’re stretching your hamstrings, you can pull your toes up, and that will stretch the whole leg, but if you want to focus on those hamstrings just relax that whole leg and then hold that stretch for 30 seconds, come back down, give it about a 10-second break, and then come back up. So do three of those hamstring stretches for thirty seconds. The next one is an IT band stretch. The one on the side, and so again there are several ways to stretch the IT band, but I like the strap because it’s easy and if you’ve already got the strap on your foot you can just continue to stretch and not have to really change anything. I like to put this one down because you’re going to come up kind of into that hamstring stretch, but don’t go quite as high, you don’t want to start feeling a big stretch, and then drop it across your body until you feel that stretch on the side. Some people will feel it in the butt area, but that’s because the IT band kind of comes all the way up into that hip, so you’ll feel that stretch, and the lower you go the more stress you feel. If it’s more in the back, try coming forward again bringing it up just a little bit more and then come over again, and you might feel it all the way down in the knee, anywhere here or up in that hip area or all at one time. If it’s really tight, you’ll feel that a lot, so again holding that for thirty seconds, coming down, taking a break, and doing three of those. So come up first, and then across your body, and just let that hang for that stretch. And then the last stretch is going to be for your quad muscle. Again there’s a couple different ways you can do it, you can stretch on your side you can stretch on your stomach, I like stretching on my stomach because then it holds your quad in place because you want it to be a pretty straight line position. So this time, I like if you have a loop on your strap to put it all the way around your leg down at your heel, and then take this or the strap before you, turn over, and bring it up high because what you’re going to do is when you turn over, you’re going to have it around you like this. Again just relax that leg, and start bending at your knee, and then pull it up towards your bottom as far as you comfortably can. So again you might be here, and you’ll feel that stretch, but the closer you can get to your bottom, the better it will stretch, but again don’t don’t force it don’t go so hard that you can barely hold it for five seconds, you want to hold that stretch for about thirty seconds, and then relax it, and then do that three times. Come in all the way up and holding that stretch. After you do those stretches, if you want to strengthen your hamstrings you stay in the same positions, and then this time it’s the active movement, so you’re strengthening the hamstrings. So not the quads but you’re kind of doing the same movement, so when it’s active, you’re strengthening the hamstrings, and you’re just bringing it up now as far as you can and slowly coming back down. If you have a lot of knee pain, I would start off not with any resistance or any weights, but if you can do 20-25 of these, and that slow controlled motion, not fast, but nice and controlled little push on the end there, then you can add a 1 pound ankle weight and work your way up from there. The last exercises are going to be standing up. For calf strengthening you can do a simple exercise of just going up on your toes or a heel raise. If you’re a little bit off balance, make sure you hold onto something like a sturdy chair or countertop, and then just lift up on your toes, whoa!, and come back down. A little bit slower than that, so coming up and then nice and slow coming back down, so again if you feel like you’re popping it back down, make sure that you’re holding on to something, and then nice and slow coming back down. Just start off with ten of those, if it feels okay then the next time, do two sets of ten, and then work your way up to two sets of 15 or 20. And then the last one is going to be for the quads and the hamstrings, and it’s a simple squat. Squats work great for the legs, knees, hips, all that to keep it nice and strong. Again if you feel a little off-balance, or if your knees are really bothering you, make sure you put a chair behind you, and use the chair so if you get down then you can’t come back up you can just sit down into the chair, and you can also use it as a target, but then as you get stronger, you can take that chair away and use nothing behind you, but make sure that you start off with that so you have support. You want your feet to be about shoulder width apart, and you want your toes pointing forwards. Make sure you bend at your hips and your knees, and keep those knees behind your toes, so it’s not going forward like that because that’s putting a lot of pressure on your knees, if you have knee pain that’s going to hurt. Make sure you stick that booty back behind you, keep your back straight, and bend at your hip so you’re coming back this way, and coming back up. If you want to use your arms as a balancer, you can. Coming back up. You don’t have to go super deep to start off with, you can do a little mini squat, come back up, but if you have that chair behind you, use it as a target. If you don’t feel your butt tapping onto that chair, you’re probably going too far forward. If you can’t see your toes, then you’re probably going too far forward, so make sure you can see your toes as you go down. Your weight is even on your feet, so even on the front and the back, they’re not shifted forward or shifted back on your heels, so just nice and smooth down and up. So again just start off with 10 of those, and same thing, work your way up from there. Those were your stretches and exercises for how to relieve knee pain. If you’re interested in purchasing the For-Knees compression sleeve, you can click up here, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel clicking down here. Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

100 thoughts on “Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Hello dr jo i am 26,i started exercise for losing weight that included dancing along with some other exercises. I had a pain in my left knee that must be because of some wrong posture,i quited exercise and give it a rest. As I give it a rest i dnt feel anything but when i start exercise again i feel some pain. I did your above mentioned exercise just now and it feels like a relief and knee is like relaxed now . what should i do. I am not overweight i am 57 kg or 56 kg but my lower body is heavy as compared to upper body and my height is 5'6"

  2. Doctor jo i have a one question with you. So i have a knee pain but i don’t get crunch in my knee when i rub it. I got this pain when i started my exercise. It knee was still hurting even though i took a break 3 times. I released I would not have great exercise if it kept hurting so I stopped exercising and decided to give it a break and do my exercise next day. I don’t know why my knee hurts even though I exercise 3 times a week. Plz can you tell me what can i do to stop the pain in my knee while exercising.

  3. These stretches and exercises are great! I did them yesterday for the first time, but only had time to do the first two exercises. Still, I was able to walk around like a normal person, with no knee discomfort. Just now, I did them all and my knees feel great. I’m looking forward to starting my day, walking around and seeing how it feels to get me legs and stride back. Thanks Dr. Jo 🙂

  4. Hi doctor. I'm 14 years old. I'm having pain around sometimes at the back of patella since 3-4 days. I play football and I didn't hurt my knee. A few days ago when came back home after playing I felt pain in my left knee when I was standing on my left leg. The next day I felt better. But now it is not that better. I've been watching videos for around 3-4 days. I've found that flat feet can cause knee pain, ankle pain and lower back pain as well. I have flat feet and I think my knee pain is because of flat feet. It hurts only when I straighten my leg tight and try to move my patella and also when I fold my legs for a long time. I hope it is not an acl tear or something worse either. What should I do doctor? Please please help me. Those YouTube videos has increased my fear.😭😭Please help me. 9523075387

  5. I could not do squats my leg was shaking ?I was playing foot ball something happened extreme pain started I could not take it any more went to Dr he cast my leg for six weeks but still hurt keen to ankle what should I do plz help

  6. My mother have artheratis and she feels lot of pain in walking, are these exercise helps in this case. She is 55…

  7. Hello dr. I dislocated my knee 9 weeks ago. I went to hospital and they gave me brace and crutches. I had mri scan and I’m waiting for result.
    I can’t lift up my leg I’m so worried please help!😭

  8. If hyper-mobility/Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is the cause for knee pain and weakness, is massaging the patella still a good idea? Multiple patella subluxations in the past are concern.

  9. Hi Doctor Jo, three ago I was doing body weight squats and i did 50 without doing any warm up .
    Next day my left knees was feeling wobbly when I try to walk or just standing ..it wasn’t painful , it just felt unstable and wobbly ..there is no inflammation or bleeding .
    Slowly I feel lot better and now wobbly feeling is almost gone but it’s still not feel the same ..something is off and still feel tender and unstable .( I am wearing knee sleeves ).
    Again , unstable feeling is gone quite a bit .do you think I have minor tear ? Or it just inflamed ? I am not doing any squats now but I do go to work and I have stopped jogging .
    I was doing Asian /Hindu squats which. Tends to be heard on knees.
    Please advise . Thank you ?

  10. Hello Doctor Jo – thank you very much for sharing this great video of exercises. I have a horizontal tear of the posterior horn of medial meniscus in my left knee. Could you please suggest what kind of exercises will help me to treat my problem?

  11. Hi.i am 25 years old.nw I am running for job selections.i was started newly.foot to knee pain heavily started when I start running.plz give any remidy for my prblm

  12. Excellent stretches

    exercises especially

    you show actual pain places

    Joints + muscles

    Madam

    Doctor Jo

    I am 50 and feel severe

    pain in right leg – calf which

    SOMETIMES becomes

    unbearable I use Olive Oil daily

    before sleeping Is it ok Dr.

    Or you advise another one

    Oil or multi vitamins etc.

    which gives sufficient relief

    Thanks for your extra

    ordinary friendly channel !

    Stay Blessed, throughout!

  13. hi doctor , i have a back pain and i got to know that problem in limb 4 and 5 on left side , so i am having lower hip pain on left side and muscles in tights is paining also and keen too . Please advise me if that above Exercises will get relief . or recommend me if any other to be followed

  14. doctor, i got injured on my knee at the right of my leg.. Now i can walk and jogging, but i can't play football. its hurt when i kick the ball.. what kind of exercise i should do.

  15. I have arthritis in my knees and I Wear Knee sleeves I usually use the Mueller brand. I also wear knee strap on top of that. My sports medicine doctor said to wear both. I walk one hour each morning with my neighbor Monday through Friday and then sometimes I'll go out later on and do some walking and you know bus riding. If I start out walking and I'm a little pain it goes away while I'm walking. I read online that I don't know if it's true that walking forces synovial fluid into your knee joint.

  16. Hello Dr. Jo… I experience severe pain on the sides of my hips and thighs while walking….please advise how I can be relieved of this pain? Thank you so much.

  17. I have a question. I have trouble with squatting. I have a right knee which seems to enflame after bodyweight squatting. It causes some pain at times, even if I don't exercise it. It has been like this for more than a year. If my right leg is curled, like when sitting, when I go to get up, it is tight, and doesn't want to straighten out right away. A few seconds later it is fine. But also if I squat down, when I go to get back up again, the outside right of my right leg hurts. Sometimes it is very painful when squatting down to work on something, or getting up, or maintaining a squat. I have looked into the possibility that it is a tendon or such, that goes through a hole in another tendon on the right of the leg. Based on your description in the video, I would describe it as the bottom of my right I.T. band. Weird things is that my Mom has the same problem. Do any of you have any ideas as to what to do? I thinking turmeric helps it. I have been taking bone broth and it helps, but has not cured it yet. I have only taken about 1 month's supply, though. Thanks.

    "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

    "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

    "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

    “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

  18. Your video on stretching for sciatica, which I may or may not have had, helped me so much! I went from sometimes walking around like an old, stiff man, to feeling great, all in a few seconds or minutes of stretching. Thank you soooo much!

    "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

    "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

    "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

    “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

  19. Doctor im suffering from knee pain in 2days im having events(running,long jump) can i able to get fast relief and attend the events?

  20. Hello I have knee pain because of calcium and Vitamin D deficiency it really hurt ☹️ will this help with the pain.

  21. Dear Dr.Jo . I am 65 years old . I have some pain on my 2 knees when walking or walk up the stair . This pain get worse if I bend my knee backward or when I try to sit on the floor or try to get up from sitting on the floor . Will these exercises help me ? Should I keep walking on the treadmill or doing the Elliptical ? ( The X Ray shows My knees rare with Thanks

  22. Hi Doctor thanks for your this video also. Just quick question that my Mom she is almost 78 years old & she is having really hard time to walk or any movement involving knees or hips! can she do these exercise with someone help?

  23. @AskDoctor Jo I had severe knee pain few years ago, so took more calcium supplements. Has been fine, but suddenly I felt as if the kneecap locked though i just sit a few minutes at my sofa! the pain so acute i could not stand up for a while Scary

  24. Hi Dr. Jo, how often do I or should I do these kind of knee strength exercises? Is this something that should be done every other day or should I be doing these every day?

  25. Doctor this is great. I am osteoarthritis patient for 6 years knees swollen and painful with sore muscle spasm. Please guide me.

  26. Hello dr JO
    I suffering knee pain .pain particular middle of knee of left leg,when i fold my knee.pl help me

  27. Right but what do you do if your knee pain is so bad you can't do any of those? Especially w/o insurance it's next to impossible to fix my husbands knees. He lost his job b/c of them and subsequently his insurance. Rock and a hard place. Good video though.

  28. Thanks! I play basketball with knee pain all the time, so it adds up and the pain was so bad. This helped so much.

  29. Thank you for this great video, really informative and I think this is really going help me after years of ongoing knee pain, thank you x

  30. I never use to have knee pain until meditation posture, now I can no longer sit cross legged. Any suggestions?

  31. Thank you for these videos! I am 33 and trying to lose weight and get in shape to join the Air Force. Your videos are a life saver. Been dealing with knee pain off and on for years.

  32. Hi doc ..I had messaged you before . I had injury in nov 2018 while doing body Weight squats . My left was giving up /Woobly feeling for long times and I had 99% recovery from last month . I would only get pain when I turn around abruptly on my left know ( my right knee was ok ).
    I went for a long hike yesterday for about 3 hours and i was having paint in both my knees for last one hour of hiking . I made it after taking several stops .
    When I got home from hike yesterday , my exterior /lateral knee cap was hurting And I could barely go up and down stairs ( no pain while resting /sitting ).
    I have same issue today . Right side of knee is hurting on both knees when walking . It’s only lateral side of both knees .
    I know v hard to tell without looking ..there is no visible inflammation and only when I press lateral knee cap it hurts .
    Any Idea what’s going on ? This is so frustrating! I Had barely recovered and was enjoying little of riding bike and this happend .
    Please advise .

  33. Hi Dr Jo, the link for the knee sleeve isn’t working. Could you please let me know the brand name so I can search for it? These exercises are very helpful for my injured knee, thank you!

  34. I have concerns with the moving of the knee cap. I do not have an acl.. is this something I can still do without harm to function?

  35. Hi Dr. Jo could you help me take a look at my Mon's Knee x-ray please? She is in China now, I don't trust the Drs there.

  36. great videos! im going to try this.. Ive started to exercise (play soccer) after almost 2 years of not doing so and ive gained over 40 pounds (110-150) ive been experiencing knee pain/weakness and some swelling. so you have any other videos or advice on why i may be experiencing this discomfort ?

  37. Hi there Dr Jo, I know I'm supposed to get a proper diagnosis, but I wanted to hear what you have to say? I sprained my ankle some time in Feb and after the ankle healed, my right knee started hurting. The pain would become more intense after exercise. There are times the pain would be acute and I actually have to prevent myself from falling down. I usually wait it out before heading to the gym again. I am just wondering if my knee is permanently damaged 🙁

  38. Great video. thanks for saying why and not just giving directions. Really useful. I'm having a lot of knee pain from MTB Racing so will be incorporating this exercisise/stretches into my daily plan

  39. i`m a martial artist and got a knee pain after learning some backflip. thank you Doctor Jo for this video

  40. i've knee pain in my one knee since 2 weeks used a lot of pain killer but my doctor don't suggest me to do exercises and stretches i can do that or not i think i will helpfull for me ?

  41. After a cardio and strenght workout i feel some pain right under the kneecap, can this mean that I am doing some things wrong during my workout or just that my knee is not that strong yet and it will get better overtime?

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