10 Stretches to Avoid Knee Pain

knee injury for athlete runner. woman in pain after hurting her
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2017)

Knee pain is one of the most common medical conditions which occur due to regular wear and tear of the knee joint. Knee pain is experienced by young as well as older adults and children. Data depicts that women face knee pain more often than men. When one is facing knee pain for few days, it is ideal to consult a physiotherapist who could assess and treat the problem.

Besides, physiotherapy treatment, there are various stretches that can help one to stay away from knee pain. Here is the top 10 stretches that one can follow to avoid knee pain.

Few Things to Remember before Stretching

  • Stretch until you feel mild discomfort but not pain
  • Do not hold your breath while stretching
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and then relax
  • Do stretching at least 3-5 sets and 2-3 times a week
  1. Single Leg Hamstring Stretch


Position:  Lie supine with both legs on the table


  • Loop a towel around the foot and hold the ends of towel with your hands
  • Keep the knee straight and feet in dorsiflexion
  • Pull the leg up towards the ceiling
  • Pull until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg and sustain the stretch for 30 seconds
  • Relax and repeat
  1. Pelvic tilt hamstring stretch


Position: Sit on the edge of the chair with injured leg resting straight.


  • The uninjured leg is bent at 90 degrees.
  • With your back straight, bend forward at the hips
  • Rest yours hands on your thighs for support
  • Lean forward until you feel a stretch and then hold for 30 seconds
  • Relax and repeat
  1. Chair stretch


Position: Sitting with the leg to be stretched extended across to another chair or sitting at the edge of a treatment table, with the leg to be stretched on the table and the opposite foot on the floor.


  • Lean the trunk forward towards the thigh, keeping the back extended so that there is no motion at the hip joint
  • The stretching technique should not be used when one has low back impairment
  1. Standing quadriceps stretch


Position: Standing with the involved hip extended and knee flexed


  • Grasp the ankle
  • Maintain a posterior tilt and not let the back arch or side bend during this stretch
  • If it is too difficult, you may place your foot on a chair or bench located behind the body rather than grasping the ankle
  1. Gravity assisted supine wall slides


Position: Supine, with buttocks close to the wall and lower extremities vertically resting against the wall.


  • Hip flexed and knee extended
  • Slowly flex the involved knee by sliding the foot down the wall until a gentle stretch sensation is felt
  • Hold in a comfortable position, then slide the foot back up the wall
  1. Rocking forward on a step


Position: Standing with the foot of the involved knee on a step.


  • Rock forward over the stabilized foot, flexing the knee to the limits of its range
  • Rock back and forth in a slow, rhythmic manner or hold a stretched position
  • Begin with a low step or stool
  • Increase the height as more range is obtained
  1. Rectus femoris stretch


Position: Lie on your stomach on the edge of the treatment table.


  • Involved side leg on the table with knee flexed
  • Opposite extremity hip and knee extended
  • Grab the involved ankle and extend at hip
  • Hold the stretch
  • Alternatively place pillow under the involved thigh on the table
  1. IT band stretch


Position: Standing with the side to be stretched towards a chair and the hand on that side supports the chair.


  • Extend, adduct and externally rotate the extremity to be stretched and cross it behind the other extremity
  • With foot on the floor, shift your pelvis towards the chair, and allow the normal knee to bend slightly
  • There will be a slight side bending of the trunk away from the side being stretched
  1. Hip adductorstretch


Position: Sit on the floor with your knees apart and the bottom of your feet together.


  • Keep your chest up and your back straight
  • Bend forward at the hips while accentuating your lumbar lordosis (keep pelvis tilted anteriorly)
  • Apply gentle pressure to your knees pushing them towards the floor
  • Relax and hold this for the appropriate time
  1. Heel cord stretch


Position: Standing facing a stationary object with your feet apart and your toes turned in slightly.


  • Place your hands on the object and lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your leg
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Do not bend your knees or allow your heels to come off the floor

Want to know more about knee pain and treatment? Download Portea’s Mobile app and chat with a doctor for free. You can also book physiotherapy sessions via our app or through the website; visit: Physiotherapy at Home

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S.Senthil Kumar is a BPT and has completed his studies from Jaya College of Physiotherapy, Thiruninravur. He has over 6 years of experience in Physiotherapy and has previously worked with Rotary Hospital and Fit-line Clinic. He is certified in myofascial release techniques, therasuit for cerebral palsy, acupuncture and varma therapy.


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