How to do a knee bending stretch safely after after knee injury or knee pain. Great knee flexibility exercise specially after acute knee injury or arthritis. If you have knee stiffness due to swelling, arthritis or guarding after an injury…you want to do a non-weight bearing stretch to improve knee flexibility. This exercise also improves circulation and lubrication of to the knee joint without putting pressure on the joint unlike other weight bearing stretches like squatting, etc.
How to do a knee bending stretch safely [Click To Tweet]
Knee Stretches: Reduce Knee Pain and Prevent Injuries [Click To Tweet]
Exercise that Improves Circulation and Lubrication of Knee Joint [Click To Tweet]
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So in this video I’m going to show you knee flexibility or knee bending stretch I’d like to show a lot of my patients. So especially after acute injury of the knee, if you’re missing that range of motion or just want to start getting that joint moving a little bit, a little bit of lubrication, and to facilitate circulation and get rid of the swelling, it’s a good way to stretch out that knee joint. So especially after an acute injury as I’ve mentioned in some of my previous videos, we want to do non-weightbearing, non-loading activities for flexibility, so obviously squatting, kneeling, those kinds of things are not going to be good because it’s going to compress and load the tissues, often causing more pain.
So using a ball, you can even use a basketball, soccer ball, essentially anything, any of those balls to work on this exercise. So what we’re going to do is I’m going to show you on my left leg lying down. What I’m going to do is—my other leg is straight—so just getting used to rolling that ball back and forth first, getting that bend. You might be restricted up to here, so you work at going back and forth till you start feeling some stretching. Even after quadriceps tendon injuries or the quadriceps injuries, you might be missing some bending at that knee because that muscle is just so bound up and tightened up.
So this is a good way to just oscillate back and forth, move back here a little bit. So now I can really work at stretching it out. The ball’s good because there’s friction with the ball, so it allows you to glide a lot easier. So you’re just rolling back and forth nice and easy, oscillating for a few minutes. Now, as you get better at it and you want to get a bit of a stronger stretch, you can start to bend the knee, pull it towards you a little bit more. You can get to the end range, you can hang off for 10, 15 seconds, stretch it, and then go back out. And you can even do full extension. So you get to the other direction, make sure you’ve got full extension or straightening of that joint.
So if you wanted a bit of a stronger stretch at that joint, you can use a belt, a towel, rope, anything you can find basically, loop it around the lower part of that shin. And I can use my hands. If pulling it back and forth bothers you or you’re not able to do that, you can always use your hands to bend that knee and stretch out that joint. So again, I can bring it all the way back and I can bend that knee and I can stretch it. This is non-weightbearing. It really allows that joint to stretch but also facilitates circulation and just working at getting rid of some of that swelling and prevents soft tissue thickening and adhesions that form immediately after an injury.
So spend time, a few minutes doing that, and then reassess and see, how does the joint feel? Does it feel better? Does it feel worse? And usually this should not cause you pain, and if you’re doing this and you start having a lot of pain, obviously you’ve got to either not push as hard or don’t go as far, or if there’s something more serious going on and it’s not letting the joint bend, you’ve got to get it checked up.
So I hope you find that useful. Good early-acute-stage-of-injury flexibility exercise. And make sure you leave a comment.