Knee Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Knee Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo. I’ve been
getting a lot of questions about knee pain. Knee pain is actually probably the second
most common thing that we see next to back pain. And that simply because you can get
that OA in there. And when I say OA I don’t mean old age. It actually stands for Osteoarthritis.
And you can even start getting that as early as 25 to 30 years old. So when you start feeling
some aching in your bones and your joints and your knee, these are some stretches you can
do to kind of work it out a little bit. And remember, once you stretch you need to strengthen.
Already let’s get started with some of the stretches. The first thing I’m gonna have
you do is I’m gonna have you straighten out your leg. We’re gonna work out the joint
a little bit, get some movement in there and get it loosened up. So we’re gonna bring out
our trusty belt, or dog leash if you have one, I usually take off my shoes for this
one casue it’s gonna help you slide a little bit. If you need a towel underneath you can
do that, doing it in bed seems to help a lot because it’s a little more slick on your
sheets so you’ll get a little more movement. I’m gonna have you put the belt around your
foot, anywhere that’s comfortable, and your gonna bring your knee up. If you need a little
help, a little over pressure stretch, that’s what the belt is for. So you’re just gonna
kind of slide it up, get a good bend in there. And just a little pause with this one, maybe
just a 5 to 10 second pause, and then you’re gonna come back down. But the movement in
the join is what’s gonna loosen it up, so you wanna do this continuously. A little pause
at the top, maybe you can go a little further the next time, and then come back down. So
you wanna do that about 8 or 10 times, really getting that joint moving. And then stretching
it as far as you can, and coming back down. Now we’re going to move the kneecap around
a little bit. This is your patella, they might call it a patella, you might say “say what?”,
but it’s basically your knee cap on top. The key to moving around your kneecap is that
your leg has to be relaxed. If you’re squeezing your muscles tight, that’s pushing it down
into your joint and it’s not gonna move, so you really want your leg to be relaxed,
you can kind of hit it a little bit that helps those muscles relax a little bit. And all
you’re gonna do is your just gonna start moving it back and forth, side to side. That’s
the first one. The first couple times it might be hard, it’s not knowing what’s going
on, so your muscles are tightening up a little bit, you can push pretty hard, getting that
movement in there. Go side to side a little bit, and you can go front to back a little
bit. You’re just moving it back and forth. If you have some osteoarthritis in there you
might feel a little bit of crunching going on. That’s ok. That’s what we call crepitus,
and that’s just that arthritis in there. You keep moving it as much as you can. This
importance of this is the patella is connected to your quadricep tendon up here, and your
patellar tendon down there. Those, if they’re tight, push that kneecap down and you’re
not gonna get as much bend in your knee. So the key here is to get that kneecap moving,
and then you’ll have more room to bend that knee if it’s feeling really tight. Back
and forth. Up and Down. Ok. So now we’re just gonna do some stretches of the muscles.
You’ve got the joint loosened up a little bit, no we’re gonna stretch out those muscles
a little bit. I’m gonna have you bring back out your belt, and we’re gonna this time
put it around the balls of our feet. So not your toes, but just below your toes, right
on the ball there, and you’re gonna keep your leg straight. This is gonna stretch out
our calf muscle underneath. The calf actually, those tendons kind of cross the knee so you
really wanna get those stretched out. You’re gonna relax your foot, and you’re gonna
pull it towards you as much as you can. Now if your knee starts bending a little bit,
then you’re pulling too hard and your changing the muscle your stretching. So you want that
leg to be straight. And you’re gonna pull. And of course this is a stretch so you wanna
hold if for 30 seconds and you wanna do it three times each. Ok. Just relax. And then
pull it again. The next one is a hamstring stretch. The hamstring has many different
ways that you can stretch it, so I’m just gonna show you one, but we do have a video
of hamstring stretches, a bunch of different ways, so if this one doesn’t feel comfortable
for you, or it hurts too much, go check out hamstring stretching and you can pick out
the one that’s best suited for you. Because it doesn’t really matter, they’re all
stretching the hamstring, so if you like one better than the other, you can do that one.
But what you’re gonna do, is your gonna bring the opposite leg up. And you’re gonna
keep your leg straight. The key here is you don’t want to curl your back. If you’re
culing your back trying to touch your toes, you’re not really stretching your hamstrings
because your hamstrings are connected to your pelvis. So you really need to move your pelvis
when you’re going. You wanna keep your back straight, and just lean forward. I’m getting
more of a stretch in my hamstrings here, than when I’m bending down to here. So remember
you wanna keep your back straight, and you wanna bend at your pelvis. And this stretch,
30 seconds, three times each. Ok. Now the last one I’m gonna have you do is I’m
gonna have you turn over onto your stomach and we’re gonna stretch out your quad muscle.
Alright? So where we go. I’m gonna have you take your belt again and make a little
loop in it. Your gonna put the loop around your foot right here, and you’re gonna tighten
it up. And so what you gonna do is your gonna bring it around your shoulder, this is the
key, and your gonna pull on that strap until you feel a good stretch on the front thigh
part of your leg where that quadriceps muscle is. Now most people aren’t gonna be able
to touch their bottom like this, so you might be right here. That’s fine. You want that
stretch to be a good tension stretch, you want pressure, but remember you don’t want
it to be painful. So you’re gonna pull and your gonna hold it for 30 seconds, three time
each. Alright, so there you have it those are your knee stretches. And that’s to help
out with that OA, not old age, but osteoarthritis. So if you like those stretches, please click
the “like” button and leave us a comment. And if you’d like to see some more exercise
videos or some educational videos, please check me out at and remember:
Be Safe. Have Fun. And I hope you feel better soon!

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

  1. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Check out more of my Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches in this video:

  2. Mae Starr Post author

    Thank you so much Dr. Jo for this. I have chondromalacia patella and these seem like some great stretches for me!

  3. Cesar Zepeda Post author

    I had a knee subluxation 6 months back playing soccer. I also had a full dislocation 10 years back…

    Working through my recovery I went away from jogging lightly to swimming. I workout my legs and for a few weeks now began working on my stretching. My question is why is that if I’m walking on my feet too long the back muscles calf and ham close to the back of my knee tend to feel a tad bit stiffer? And if I sit down to rest and get up later some of those symptoms are gone? If I could get past this stiffness or swelling maybe? I’d like to think I would almost be back to 100%. Prior to this years and years back I could tell that when I would do the stair master the bad knee side of my body the same glute muscle just felt tighter. Lately I began on stretching that as well. Thanks in advanced.

  4. 4ever16c 4ever16c Post author

    at lower pole of patella in my knee do you think this could be a problem because I don't have knee pain it just I did xray only because my left knee made sounds sometimes?

  5. 4ever16c 4ever16c Post author

    Do you think xray damaged my knee ? Do you think that the lucency happened after I did leg workout the same day I did the xray?

  6. Fariha Wafa Post author

    Hi, Miss doctor Jo , could you pleas help me , i am working kang fu sport and on that legs have more work out , now my knee is aching when i bended after 3 or 4 or 6 minute exactly the front of my knee feel pain ?

  7. 4ever16c 4ever16c Post author

    Hi Dr jo I want to ask you how I stop my left knee from making sounds sometimes if I stand up I'm the one that I told you before a bout my knee xray but the doctor said there's nothing to worry a bout but I don't know how to stop it Do you have specific sterching to stop the knee from making sounds?

  8. Jet Clifford Acapulco Post author

    Helo doc! I have knee pain after my running session, what is the best solution for this doc?

  9. Captain Cool A.K.A The Faceless Drummer Post author

    Dear Dr. Jo,
    My name is Adam, and I have been playing the drums for the majority of my life… really can't imagine my life without music and my drum set. Which has resulted in me getting ulnar nerve entrapment a few years ago, which is why I first started watching your videos. As someone who has always had to be my own Doctor (America's Healthcare system is SHIT) I really appreciate everything you have done for me, even if you don't realize. You are amazing! Thanks so much!

  10. Doug Wagner Post author

    Thank You Dr. Jo! My right knee has been bothering me. Sore and hurts to move it. I just completed these stretches and feel a big difference. Thank you again. Douglas

  11. 2perfectcontortionists Post author

    Moving around the knee cap really helped my knee pain. It started Yesterday and now it’s fine

  12. Kaitlynn M Post author

    Hi Doctor Jo😊 I'm a 15 year old and I have a question so the outside of my knee hurts. Really badly it hurts to bend it and I did some of these stretches and it still hurts. I hurt it earlier today at softball practice. What should I do for it?

  13. Ansil Powell Post author

    Hey doc so I did a knee surgery almost a year ago.. can I get a few points on how to strengthen my knee . I'm also not able to flew my knee like I use to before the surgery. .. any pointers…

  14. VEE R Post author

    Had medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction surgery 2 years ago. I feel like it never did get any better. I don't know how to describe it but when i bend my knee it feels like i have maybe pressure and it almost feels like its going to brake if i bend it far enough, I also cant run because it starts hurting and feels like its going to dislocate. I was told i needed to do more therapy on it that it might help and honestly i dont want to have another surgery. Would these exercises help with that as well? or what would you recommend?Thank you

  15. Archana Patil Post author

    Hello doctor. Can you just tell us how to walk after medial meniscus surgery without crutches or knee brace ?

  16. Ddstairclimber Post author

    I have knee pain which is a tribute to having a job in which which I had to stand up all day long. Are this exercises still okay

  17. Asif Pathan Post author

    hello Dr I from India unfortunately I broken my patella after operation I am bending my leg but still I am not success to bend it and my leg gone slim also
    so plz give me good advise plz 919829788930

  18. Avinash Gupta Post author

    Thank You DoctorJo 🙂 Will it help me to get rid off from hiking knee pain as well?

  19. lok teja Post author

    madam i got an acl surgery last month on may 13th and doctor told me takes rest 3 weeks on bed .
    and when i go to review about my leg he suddenly bent my knee joint and he says do physio therapy and some exercises
    still no flex improvement on my leg please help me madam ..
    thank you

  20. Saif Din Post author

    doctor i was having ABC in my knee and having surgery my knee bends up to 100 degrees and it has been 3 months after surgery now and it pains me a lot plz reply what to do now can i have a pain killer before exercise

  21. El Barto Runner Post author

    I am 42 now. I am experience pain on my knees should I stop doing plyometrics exercises? I did that as a part of my marathon running strength and conditioning training? should I avoid too much jumpings or skippings?

  22. keshav narayan singh Post author

    Dear Dr Jo,
    Yours' tutorials are certainly helpful.
    It helped me to gain quadriceps strength. Unfortunately even after 1.5 years of my left leg transverse patella fracture surgery, I m not able to run .
    Please guide me to the exercises and habits I need to add to my regime ,so that I can start running .
    Thanks .

  23. Latha Pai Post author

    Dear Dr Jo I have knee injury just now what is the best treatment for this,please tell me

  24. Iranian Mujahid Post author

    Dear Dr. Jo- My hamstring muscle is stiff in my left leg. I can't spring up my body by using the left foot. Please propose me any exercise. Best regards,

  25. mizzstar21 Post author

    My kneecaps will barely move! How can I fix this? I know when I was younger I used to be able to do this

  26. tanja lapalm Post author

    Ya I have OA in both knees one is to to injury and the other is because I was standing on it more then the injured.knee

  27. Johnny Salter Post author

    Thank, you Doctor I had no idea I held so much tension in my Quads. So relaxed need to go to bed.

  28. Jason Karn Post author

    Wow, this really worked for me. I had a hard time squatting on my leg, I just did the routine one rep as I watched the vid, and I can now squat pain free, and my knee wasn't nearly as tight.

  29. Mehfooz Husein Post author

    Dear Doctor,

    I am 8 weeks post ACL surgery now unable to reach full flexion. Which exercises do you recommend?

  30. khayal Afridi Post author

    hi doctor I am Abu Baker Pakistan national under 19 plz help me arthritis patient my knee joint pain

  31. Shreya Gupta Post author

    I started morning walk since September 2018 but few days before i started feel pain in my knees and feet can you tell me what to do and should i continue my walk…..pls reply Dr

  32. Frank Aldea Post author

    Doctor Jo , if after full knee replacement you have pain at the back of the knee. Almost like a baker's cyst. Why is it happening and what exercises should I do?  Thank you.

  33. kim hamel Post author

    I had in July repaired meniscus both lateral n medial. While doing that excise with the strap laying on the floor on stomach. Inside my knee clicks and very painful. I'm going to have a revision knee surgery (arthroscopic). ,1st surgery didn't help me any, any suggestions here. Btw my knee has been popping n following painful MRI came back negative?! My PT felt n heard it popped too thanks love the video here

  34. Ryan Sellars Post author

    This lady definitely knows her stuff! I watched her rotor cuff video – had no idea the bicep tendon could affect the supraspinatus👍😀

  35. Mary Jane Wolfe Post author

    Thank u because have bad knee pain it seems to be getting worse instead of better, I will practice the exercises that u have shown, thank u for being so helpful God bless u.

  36. Ziggy and me Post author

    I have no rotation in my right hip, no cartilage and bone spurs, result of a fall years ago. Patella on both knees don't move anymore and are painful at times. I hope these excercises will loosen things up a bit. Are there any exercises to help o a of the hip? Thank you.

  37. Bronwen Hook Post author

    Would you explain why you use a belt to work the knee and ankle joints? Why could one not just bend them with one's muscles, pulling the heel towards one's butt, for instance, or the toes towards one's knee? Thanks for this, and the hip bursitis video – very helpful!

  38. SmellsLikeMeltingPlastic Post author

    Thank you so much Joe. My knee has been grinding for the longest time. I haven't been stretching at all after graduating highschool so I think my tightness is playing into the grinding. Thanks!

  39. lolit laborte Post author

    Helli! Could you pls. Discuss about osteoarthritis with fluid in my left knee, what to do and causes of fluid retention in my knee? Thank you.

  40. timotrio Post author

    My knee collapses occasionally. I wear a stretch brace which stops it from happening, but I can't wear it all the time. I am trying these exercises and will see if they help.

  41. Wavy Alan Post author

    My left knee the bottom part hurt because I jump so hard playing basketball and I’m trying to see how I can stretch it, help please?

  42. Sara R. Post author

    That was incredible! I am starting to train for an A.T. section hike next year and I've gone from being relatively sedentary to fairly active pretty suddenly. I have noticed some relatively intense pain in my right knee after even mild work, and when I started this series of stretches and you mentioned the crunching in the knee (and here is my right knee crunching away) my mind was blown. This video has been very helpful in helping me plan my physical prep routine for my hike. THANK YOU!!!

  43. Bearded Ninja Post author

    I just got into powerlifting. I hsve had knee pain my whole life. Squatting has really made my chronic knee pain worse. I hope these things help

  44. Rebecca Trost Post author

    I used to run a lot, but have switched to more heavy lifting. Barbell deadlifts, back and front squats, etc. I still do run or do some sort of cardio but not as much. I was having bad side knee pain and I was pretty positive it was from tight muscles from not stretching properly. I just this this whole workout On both my legs and the sore knee feels so much more lose and less sore! I added a little to the pull back going from side to side slow. Thank you for sharing!! A like and subscribe from me for this!!

  45. Breanna Barnes Post author

    I over extended my knee while running to first base and my knee has been sore for a couple of days, I'm glad I found this 😅

  46. Hande Gokbas Post author

    Should one do these every other day, once everyday, or multiple times a day? Thanks Dr Joe!

  47. Oh eLuL di sini Post author

    I just got accident with both leg are broken.. Luckily my left leg is already cure where only my thumb toe are broken… Mbut my right leg.. With is the knee.. Have a serious problem.. My patella tendon are broken.. So, i already having an operation on my knee.. Sadly.. My knee cannot bend like usual.. Do you have any tips how to bend my knee.. Now, i only manage to bend my knee until around 85 to 90°..

  48. B A Post author

    knee pain and exercises took time from me 3 lectures in university. you dimostrated it in 7 minuts.

    like usual you are Amazing.

    thanks a lot,,,,


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