Preventive and Curative Exercises for Knee Pain 

Osteoarthritis affects about 8 million people in United Kingdom and nearly 27 million people in United States and became the most common cause of knee pain. The other causes of knee pain includes injury (strain, sprain, tear, fracture) due to accidents, sports injury, obesity, repetitive stress injury and other mechanical or pathological problems. Knee pain is a very common condition and a frequent problem presenting to general practitioners. The overall prevalence of knee pain in the population is approximately 19%. The incidence increases steadily with age. It is estimated that the overall prevalence of knee pain for men of all ages is between 15% and 20%. A study in the US showed that approximately 18% of men aged 60 years or more reported knee pain and increases steadily with age. The incidence of knee pain has been found to be slightly more common in females compared to men approximating to 20%. A study in the US showed that approximately 23% of women aged 60 years or more reported knee pain. Knee pain, particularly chronic knee pain is less common in children due to reduced incidence of degenerative joint disease. The total prevalence of chronic knee pain in adolescents is around 18% compared to approximately 4% in children. There is no significant difference in the prevalence of chronic knee pain between boys and girls in these age groups. This very common conditions are treated using Analgesics, Postural Care, Electro-therapy and Exercise-therapy mainly.

Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises

To begin with, the following basic quadriceps strengthening exercises should be performed 2 to 3 sets and 10 repetitions per set, daily. You can start with less repetitions and  as your quadriceps strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Static Inner Quadriceps Contraction / Static Quadriceps Exercise 
You have to start this exercise while sitting on floor or bed with your legs straight. Roll a towel and place is just beneath your knee. Now tighten the muscle at the front of your thigh (quadriceps) by pushing your knee down onto the towel. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times in a pain free range. 

Quadriceps over Fulcrum / Vastus Medialis Oblique ( VMO ) strengthening exercises
Begin this quadriceps strengthening exercise lying on your back or sitting with your legs straight. Place a rolled towel under your knee. Slowly straighten your knee as far as possible while tightening the front of your thigh (quadriceps). Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly lower down your heel on the bed or floor. Repeat 10 times per set for 3 such sets.

 Knee Extension in Sitting / Quadriceps Drill
Begin this quadriceps strengthening exercise by sitting on a chair with your knees bent. Keeping your back straight, slowly straighten your knee as well as tightening the front of your thigh for 10 seconds(quadriceps). Then slowly return back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions daily provided it is pain free.

Patellar Mobilization Exercises / Patellar Drill

Hold your patella with your thumb and index finger at the base and apex of patella respectively, and move the patella upwards and downwards for 10 -15 times. Now place the same fingers at the lateral and medial side of patella and move them medially and laterally for 10 - 15 times respectively. 


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