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What exercises can help relieve knee pain?

Dr. Kevin J. Soden, MD
Family Practitioner

Any exercise that you will do regularly and does not increase your pain is the best exercise for you to use. No exercise will truly relieve all your pain but it can reduce your pain and help to make you more mobile.

If your knees bother you when you bend them, here's a natural way to help ease the pain: Get strong quads. Research shows that strengthening these key leg muscles can actually help you maintain your cartilage—the stuff that tends to break down as arthritis sets in. The result? Less knee pain.

In a study of people suffering from knee osteoarthritis, having strong quadriceps protected against cartilage loss at a certain area of the knee called the lateral compartment of the patellofemoral joint. Quad strength didn't seem to help cartilage in other important areas of the knee. Still, people with the strongest quads reported less knee pain and better physical function than people with the least strength in this muscle. Know what else is great for knees? Walking backward.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.