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Physical therapy can be a very helpful tool. Here are some of the best exercises to do if you have knee arthritis.

Best Physical Therapy Exercises for Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions and is more prevalent in older adults. But it can happen at any age. It is basically an inflammation of one or more of your joints, which makes it painful and stiff. Thus, it affects your mobility.

There are over 100 conditions that may affect your joints and cause inflammation. But the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (seropositive, seronegative).

Exercising can be beneficial to treat or relieve knee arthritis pains. As you read ahead, you will find the best knee osteoarthritis exercises. You can perform these knee exercises at home or at the gym at your convenience. 

What Causes Knee Pain?


It is the most common type of arthritis. It slowly wears away the cartilage of knee joints, causing it stiffness and pain. In some cases, OA has also caused disability and reduced mobility in patients. Some OA arthritis patients are even unable to perform their daily activities. 

Rheumatoid arthritis 

RA is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. It means that your immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy white cells, which causes inflammation and swelling.

RA can affect almost any joint, including your knees. RA can also affect different tissues of your body and can cause damage to other organs, including the lungs, heart and kidneys. Therefore, it is necessary that you see a doctor to detect whether the pain is due to RA.

Exercising can help you fight these pains. Knee arthritis exercises are basically non-surgical knee pain treatment that you can perform at your home or the gym. Now that you know your enemy, it would be worthwhile to try out these effective and easy knee exercises mentioned below. 

Best Exercises for Knee Arthritis

Exercises don’t have to be arduous to be productive. Exercising an arthritic knee may seem counterproductive, but it can soothe your pain if you do it daily. The best knee exercises are the ones that you can perform at home or during office breaks. They are effective, easy and convenient. Moreover, to perform these exercises, you won’t need any special equipment at all.

So, get ready! Here we present the best knee exercises for osteoarthritis.  

Hamstring Stretch 

Hamstring stretch (lying) is an effective exercise to relieve knee pain. It works on your hamstrings – the muscle on the back of your thighs, connecting your knees. So, how to perform a hamstring stretch lying down? 

  • Lie flat on the floor on your back.
  • Lift one leg. Keep it bent and bring the knee closer to your chest.
  • Join your fingers behind your thigh.
  • Now lift your leg straight and pull it to your head till you feel the stretch. 
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds. 
  • Bend your knee down and lay your leg flat on the floor as before.
Reps to Performs 

Do this exercise one with each leg.

Leg Raise

Leg raises are another effective exercise that works on your quadriceps. Quadriceps are the muscles on the front of your thigh, connecting your knees. Leg raises also work on your lower abdomen and help in weight loss. So, how to perform leg raises? 

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor.
  • Put your arms on your side and keep the toes up.
  • Keep your legs straight and tighten your leg muscles while lifting them up.
  • Lift them to a 90-degree angle and hold for seconds.
  • Gradually get them back down without touching the floor.
  • Take them up again.
Reps to Perform

Perform two sets of 6 reps

Side Leg Raise

Side leg raise affects the front and back muscles of your thighs, which connect your knees. It also works on your buttocks and side abdomen and helps in fat loss. How to perform side leg raises?

  • Stand straight with your hands on your waist.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Place your weight on one of your legs (left/right).
  • Lift the other leg on your side while keeping it straight and the muscles tense.
  • Hold it there for 3-5 second, and then bring it back.
  • Do it with the other leg.

If you face balancing issues while performing the knee exercise, you can hold a chair for support. 

Reps to Perform 

Perform two sets of 10 reps.

Heel Raise

Calf raises, or heel raises, work on the gastrocnemius muscles of your both calves. They strengthen your calves and relieve knee pain. Here is how you can perform heel raises at home.

  • Stand straight and tall on the floor.
  • Put your hands on a chair or hold the wall.
  • Put your weight on your heels and lift them and stand on your toes.
  • Hold the position for 3-5 seconds and then get back slowly.

Reps to Perform 

Perform two sets of 10 reps each.

Leg Stretch 

Leg stretch is one of the most effective stretching exercises for relieving knee pain. It works on your quadriceps, the front muscles of your thighs, and strengthens them. Here’s how you can perform a leg stretch:

  • Sit on the floor with your hands beside your hips and back straight.
  • Keep your legs straight on the floor. 
  • Bend one knee towards you until you feel the stretch.
  • Hold for 5 seconds in this position.
  • Straighten it again and stretch it as far as you can. Hold for seconds in this position too. 
  • Repeat it with the other leg when this leg gets tired.
Reps to Perform 

Perform it 10 times with each leg. 


Knee arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA) can be excruciating and cause many other complications, including restrained mobility, lack of energy, etc. These 5 best physical therapy exercises for knee arthritis will help you fight the pain if you want a non-surgical knee pain treatment

But make sure you don’t overstress your muscles. Moderate exercises can be effective for these problems. So, instead of suffering, try out these best knee exercises to ease it. 

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