Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Batgirl Remy, today we’re going to show you some stretches and exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee. Let’s get started. So bat girl Remy is off protecting the city, I’ll show you the stretches and exercises. You’re going to start off with a quad set. With the quad sets, if you roll up a towel and use that as a target, a lot of times that works better than just trying to go straight down on the ground, but you can. What you’re trying to do is squeeze this quad muscle, activate it, contract it, and push your knee down into the ground. So if you have a target, it kind of helps your muscles figure out what to do. Squeeze and if you pull your toes up while you’re squeezing, that helps kind of lock everything down. And hold that for about three seconds and then relax. Do that about 10 times. Just squeezing and relaxing. Then the next one you’re going to do is a heel slide. So just lying down, you can do it sitting up but lying down is more comfortable. Prop up the other one to kind of protect your back so it’s nice and loose, and then just slide your heel up towards your bottom as far as you can go and then slowly come back down. Now if you have that osteoarthritis in your knee, you might only be able to get to about right here, and that’s ok. You just want to go until you feel some tightness in the knee joint. You don’t want to feel pain, just a little bit of tension in there. And you can go kind of continuously, if you want to, or you can come up and try and hold it there for about 3-5 seconds if it’s a nice stretch and do about 10 of those. Then the next one is going to be a bridge. So bringing both feet up, and come up, bring your bottom up off the ground until you’re almost in a straight line, and then slowly come down about one segment of your back at a time. So it’s really controlled. Don’t just plot back down but come up, and then nice and slow back down. So do about 10 of those as well, and then nice and slow down. Then you’re going to stretch your leg back out and your gonna do a straight leg raise. Keep this one propped up because you can use it as a target for your leg. You don’t want to bring your other leg up much higher than that, you want it to be a controlled movement the whole time. So take your toes and pull them up to help lock out your knee because you want to try and keep that leg straight the whole time, and slowly come up to where they’re almost equal, and then nice and slow back down. So again don’t just plopped down the let gravity go down, really control that movement. This should be slow. If you’re going fast like this, you’re using more momentum than your muscles, so make sure you’re controlling that movement, and then do about 10 of those as well. Then you’re going to roll over onto your stomach and do a hamstring curl. With a hamstring curl, you want to make sure the top part leg stays nice and flat on the ground, and then just bend your foot back towards the bottom as far as you can, and slowly come back down. If this is pretty easy to do, you can add some ankle weights on there, and just coming back as far as you can, and slowly and control it back down. So again just starting off with about 10 of those. And then the last one lying down is going to be a squeeze. You can do a ball squeeze, or if you don’t have a ball, you can just take your pillow, put it in between your legs right almost at your knees, and then squeeze in and hold that for about three to five seconds. Make sure you’re relaxing your head though, I’m just holding it up so I can talk to you, and then relax. So holding three to five seconds doing that about 10 times, and the last exercise is going to be standing up. The last exercise is going to be a controlled step up, so it’s not just stepping up and coming back down. It’s really controlled. I usually tell people do a slow count like three seconds 123 up, 123 down. So you’re really controlling. Now this is a pretty tall step, this would be something that would be more advanced. You can start off with just like a little two-inch step if you have something in your house that that is a small that you can step up, or step on your stairs is usually between four and six inches, you can do that too and then you have a rail to hold on to. Make sure you’re being safely do it because when you go slower it’s a lot harder. But really control it and don’t use momentum, so it’s a one two three, and then 123. So it’s not just up and down, it’s really making those muscles do the work and control it up-and-down. S depending on how high your step is, you might just want to do five or ten because if you’re going too fast, you’re not really getting the correct exercise. Oh yeah, yeah we saved them we did? We did? So those were your stretches and exercises for osteoarthritis of that hi knee, knee. Of the knee? Yeah! If you have any questions leave in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to askdoctorjo.com And remember be safe (don’t let Remy bite you), have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

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Reader Comments

  1. Pedro Maia

    Not just perfect for Knee Osteoarthritis, as a cyclist I'm using this kind of exercises to work the last degrees of knee extension, something I don't do on the bike. Thank you very much for your tips. Say hello to bat girl…Cheers from Portugal.

  2. patty 8873

    These are the same exercises I was given to do when I had a pin placed in my hip. Now two and a half years later my knees are starting to hurt. Is this connected?

  3. verocctx Verocctx

    My lateral RT knee has been killing me! Doc said it was IT Band. I watched your Vids on IT band and have been practicing. hopefully I find relief soon. Thanks for all your info!!!!

  4. Olawale Eleso

    This is a freaking magic lol. I went for a run in today's (NY) blizzard, so I already know the knee pain will come, and stay for about four days (as usual), I'll still see my doc to make sure it's nothing serious, hopefully before Trump cut me out of health insurance. but yeah thank you. my knees feels better already

  5. Emad Darawsheh

    Hello doctor …..I took a halornic injection in my knee but didn't heal any thing …..what do you think about plasma injections though ??

  6. Emad Darawsheh

    thanks for your fast replay Doc……I left weights and do bodyweight exercises……frankly I rarely stritch ……..I feel my calfs and quads tight …..does this makes friction and pain?

  7. Ivan B

    So Dr. Jo great video! Wanted to ask, for the prone leg curl around 3:25, it looks like a very good exercise. It seems to better target the active range of motion strengthening of the hamstrings along with actively lengthening and stretching the quadriceps. Also, the mobility aspect of curling the heel to butt as far as possible to restore/improve knee mobility AND the impact of the line of gravity facilitating this mobility as the heel approaches the butt. Your thoughts!? It just seems like such a simple exercise, but my interpretation is it's very in-depth and beneficial for the knee on many levels 🙂 Also, I just did the exercise and when I squeeze my hamstrings at the top or near my butt, my hamstrings begin to cramp. It's not bad, in fact I think it may be a sign of imbalance perhaps? I perform the exercise and slowly back out before the cramp takes a hold.

  8. Nosheen Naeem

    hello doc I am from Pakistan I have knee pain degenerate condition.lwant to ask can I jogg or jump or can I squat during exercise??please reply soon

  9. Honeymonster

    Hi Doctor! Thanks for you video. When doing the last exercise, I have pain in my knees when going back down. Should I go for lower step? Or should I proceed even with pain? Thanks!

  10. Vicki Hale

    What machines are safe to use at the gym? I have knee osteoarthritis (bone on bone), and a basic Planet Fitness membership. Suggestions? or should I just cancel my membership?

  11. Vani Nagaraj

    Hi doctor I am from india. Ur videos r very good.i have been suffering from knee pain( oA) past 4 months. Shall I do these exercises along with in ur other vidieo for knee pain strengthening exercises.Thank u

  12. marcolivia

    Does jump rope worsen OA? I was wondering because it is less painful for me than jogging maybe because you don’t jump high if you jump rope properly. Thanks for your videos, Dr Jo!

  13. marcolivia

    Hi Dr Jo, is it best to avoid stairs when possible with kneecap OA, in order to 'preserve' the knee, or is it better to take them if you feel you can, as they provide some exercise?

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