Physical Therapy for Knee Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you some physical therapy stretches for knee pain. so let’s
get started. so for knee pain, a lot of times the muscles that cross the knee joint are the ones
that are causing the pain. so your calf muscles, your quad muscles, your IT band,
your hamstrings, and then even your hip flexors even though it doesn’t cross the
joint, tend to cause a lot of problems. so we’re gonna stretch all of those out.
we’re gonna start with the calf. the calf is a pretty easy one to stretch. you can
do it in a whole bunch of different ways. I’m just gonna show you when you’re
sitting down. I like to put a little roll or roll up a towel and put it just
underneath the leg so your so your heel can move because you can do it flat on
the ground, but you’re gonna get a little bit better stretch if that heel’s not
touching because then it gets a little bit more movement in the ankle. then
you’re just gonna take a strap or if you don’t have a stretch strap you can use a
dog leash. you can use a belt, but you want it to be something firm. so not the
resistive band. something that’s not really gonna give. I like these just
because they have the loops in them. so what you’re gonna do is just put it
about at the ball of your foot. you don’t want it too low because you’re not gonna
get a good stretch, and you don’t want it high up on your toes because it might
slip off and hit you. so just relax your leg .you’re gonna let the strap do all
the work and then you’re just gonna pull your foot towards you this way. and you
should feel that stretch in your calf muscle right in there. and sometimes
people feel it right underneath their knee and that’s because those calf
muscles, those tendons, cross at that knee joist. so that’s why it’s so important to
stretch and that’s why sometimes people feel it under their knee versus in here.
so with the stretch you want to hold it for about 30 seconds, and you want it to
be slightly uncomfortable but not painful. you know stretching shouldn’t
hurt, but it shouldn’t really feel good either, so it’s that kind of combination
of hurt so good kind of feeling. so then take a little break and then you’re
gonna do that a total of three times. so 30 seconds holding that 3 times. but it’s
really that foot is relaxed. you’re not actively pulling it towards you you’re
pulling it towards you with the strap. so then we’re gonna go in
to a hamstring stretch. and again there’s a whole bunch of ways to stretch the
hamstrings, I got a couple other videos that show different ways to do it, but I
like the one lying down because then your back is supported and you don’t
have to worry about keeping your back straight. so what I’m gonna do is just
kind of lie down, and I’m gonna take the strap now and just again put it at my
foot, but it doesn’t have to be at the ball of the foot this time. I like to
kind of prop up the other side just because that takes pressure off your
back, and then you’re just gonna again relax that leg. the strap is gonna do all
the work, and you’re just gonna pull your leg up. try and keep your knee as
straight as you can. if you’re starting to do this, then that hamstring is
really really tight, then bring it back down and try and straighten out the knee.
you want to keep that knee as straight as you can, and then just come up as far
as you can. if you’re having knee pain, you’re probably not going to be able to
come up as far as I am, so even if you’re right here that’s fine. but again try and
hold that stretch for about thirty seconds. if you want to activate the calf
as well, you can pull your toes towards you, but if you really just want to focus
on those hamstrings, just kind of let that foot relax and use that strap to
pull it up. and this time you should kind of feel that stretch here. again
sometimes people feel it in the back of the knee because those hamstrings cross
the knee joint the other way, and the hamstrings come all the way up and
attach up here, so you might feel it here. you might feel it here, and you might
feel it there. so again holding it for 30 seconds, doing it three times. and you can do this a couple of times a day. so then we’re going to do the IT band. so the IT
band is the same concept where it comes all the way up and attaches at the hip
up here, and then crosses that knee joint. so if it’s tight, it’s putting pressure
on that knee joint causing knee pain. so it’s very similar to the hamstring
stretch except this time when you come up, you’re keeping that leg straight. now
you’re just going to go till you feel a little bit of tension and then you’re
going to cross it across your body. so sometimes people like to put the other
leg straight out so the knee doesn’t get in the way, and that’s okay as long as
it’s not hurting your back. but again you want to keep that leg as straight as you
can. you don’t want that knee to be bend because then you’re not stretching that
IT band anymore. so keeping it straight, and then
just drop it across your body until you feel a stretch through here. sometimes
people kind of feel it in the bottom area there. sometimes people feel it on
the outside of the knee, sometimes people feel it in the middle, so just depending
on where your tightness is, that’s where you’re going to feel it. and again if
this one isn’t the best for you I have a video just for a whole bunch of
different IT band stretches, and you can just find the one that’s best for you.
you don’t have to do a particular you know one just because I’m doing it, you
do the one that feels like you’re getting the best stretch for that. so
again 30 seconds three times for that. so now we’re going to go into a quad
stretch. I’m going to switch legs because you’re gonna roll over onto your stomach
and I just want you to be able to see what I’m doing here.
so this time the strap is going to go all the way up around the ankle. so
you’re going to kind of put it here and and having something that’s a little bit
longer works best because you want to kind of wrap it around your shoulder and
the reason for that is because you want the upper part of your body to be pretty
relaxed. so you can prop up like this, or you can lie all the way down because you
don’t want to end up hurting something else by doing the stretch. so just take
the strap kind of around your shoulder and start pulling and try and bring your
heel towards your bottom as much as you can. so again if your knee is really
hurting you might only be able to get to here, and that’s okay. you don’t have to
get that heel all the way towards your bottom, but you want to go as far as you
comfortably can until you can tolerate it, again the stretching should be
slightly uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be so painful that you can’t hold it for
30 seconds. so again holding that 30 seconds doing that three times. this time
you should feel that stretch in the front of your leg and again sometimes
people feel it at the knee. sometimes people feel it in the knee joint itself, if you
have some tightness in that joint versus in the muscles, but this is a great
stretch for that as well. and then the last one is going to be for your hip
flexors. now the hip flexors don’t cross the knee joint, but a lot of times if
they’re tight, you’re kind of leaning forward and then
you have to kind of bend your knees to kind of even yourself out, so if they’re
tight they can cause pain all the way down the chain. so I think
they’re really important to stretch out as well. so again there’s a couple ways
you can stretch it out. one of my favorites is kind of getting into a
lunge position. make sure that you’re protecting your knee because if you’re
in the lunge position your knees gonna be on the floor. so when you come up into
the lunge position. make sure to put that pillow underneath the knee that you’re
going to be leaning on. so the knee that’s going to be down is going to be
the side that you’re stretching. then you’re just going to kind of come up
into a lunge position. and what you want to do is keep your upper body upright, so
a lot of times people kind of try and stretch like this, but I’m still not
stretching my hip flexor if I’m leaning forward. so keep your upper body upright
and then push your hips forward, and you should feel a stretch right through
there. and that’s in that hip flexor area. so again this stretch is just a
30-second stretch, doing that three times. so once you get all of those stretched
out your knee should feel a little more loosened up and then some of that pain
should get out of there. so those were your physical therapy stretches for knee
pain. I want to give a quick shout out to my wall of thanks. so I want to thank
Jazz C., Andy R., Mark, and Will R. if you’re interested in being on the wall of thanks, make sure you check out my patreon page by clicking on up
there, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down there. and remember be safe (keep that knee loose), have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

11 comments

  1. Dr. Joe can you do a video on distaste recti please. 3 months pp and my back is killing me from my recti muscle being separated.

  2. Hi dr. Jo the right side of my knee hurts after playing sports and I can not bend after sitting for an hour. What is the problem? And what stretching or exercises can I do. Thank you so much

  3. Hello, Doctor Jo! Question: if a person with left knee pain received a diagnosis of Lateral Patellar Compression Syndrome, does one take the other leg (right) on the journey? In other words, the prescription is at-home therapy for 4-6 weeks (16 exercises/stretches)….and just wondering if it’s common practice for ONLY the injured leg to go through the process OR both legs. Logic tells me both?

  4. Hi Dr. Jo! I have been struggling with knee pain for about a year due to a bone bruise. I was told that with time and physical therapy it would get better but it hasn't. I was wondering if you could do a video on that I would really appreciate it. By the way totally love your channel keep up the GREAT work! β€πŸ‘

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