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Physiotherapy for Knee Pain Relief

7 Effective Exercises: Alleviating Knee Pain through Physiotherapy

Knee pain is a common issue in people of all ages, from children to older adults. It can be caused by numerous factors, such as injuries resulting in a torn ligament or damaged cartilage near the knee. Health issues such as arthritis, gout, or infections can also lead to knee pain. While mild knee pain can often be managed at home with self-care, more severe injuries may require physical therapy or the use of knee braces.

Physiotherapy for knee pain can help to alleviate pain and assist you in regaining pain-free mobility. Below, we have compiled 7 beneficial exercises to help relieve knee pain. These exercises can be performed in any setting and only take a few minutes to perform. 

However, our strong recommendation is to first consult with a qualified Winnipeg physiotherapy expert to be sure you are performing the exercises correctly.

1- Lying Knee Bend Exercise

This exercise is great for regaining mobility in your sore knee and can be done in your bed or on the floor. 

Here’s How to Do It:

  • Start with both legs extended straight.
  • Slowly bend your knee, sliding your foot toward you on the bed or floor as much as you can manage.
  • Hold this position for two seconds, then gently extend your leg back out.
  • This movement is all about enhancing the flexibility and movement in your knee.

2 – Hamstring Stretch Exercise

Stretching your hamstrings can help reduce knee pain as this muscle attaches to the back of your knee. Lay a mat or cushioning under you for added comfort during this stretch.

Here’s How to Stretch Your Hamstrings:

  • Start by lying down on a mat or the floor with legs extended straight out; if it feels better, you can bend your knees and have your feet flat on the ground.
  • Take a towel, belt, or exercise band and loop it around the foot of one leg.
  • Gently straighten your knee as you lift up your leg, using the towel or band in your hands to guide the stretch, aiming for a deep yet comfortable stretch along the back of your thigh. 
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then gently lower your leg and switch to the other side.
  • Aim to do this stretch 2-4 times on each side for optimal outcomes. 

3 – Quadriceps Stretch Exercise

The quadriceps muscle is a group of four separate muscles on the front of your thigh. If they’re not stretched regularly and become tightened, they can result in knee pain. Here is an example of a quadriceps stretch: 

Here’s How to Do a Quad Stretch:

  • Stand close to a wall or use a chair to keep your balance.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, then slowly bend one knee, lifting your foot towards your backside.
  • Hold your ankle and gently pull it closer to your backside, going only as far as feels comfortable.
  • Hold this position for thirty seconds, then gently release and switch to the other leg.
  • Aim to do this stretch 2-4 times on each side for the best effect 

4 – Seated Knee Extension Exercise

This exercise is great for stretching your knee gently without putting too much strain or weight on the joint. You’ll need two chairs to do it.

Here’s How You Do It:

  • Arrange two chairs to face each other.
  • Sit down in one chair and place one foot on the seat of the opposite chair, keeping your knee bent.
  • Slowly straighten your knee as much as possible without creating sharp pain. Hold this position for 10 seconds and do it 4-5 times before switching to the other leg.
  • Do this 2-4 times for each leg to help ease your knee pain.

5 – Straight Leg Raise Exercise

Straight leg raises are a straightforward, yet effective way to ease knee pain. Weak or tight muscles around the knee can lead to discomfort and pain. This exercise strengthens those muscles and increases joint flexibility, which can help reduce knee pain.

Here’s How to Perform a Straight Leg Raise:

  • Start by lying on your back with both knees bent, feet about hip-width apart, and arms resting by your sides.
  • Straighten one leg along the ground, then lift it, keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Aim to lift your leg until your thighs are aligned next to each other.
  • Maintain this lifted position for 5-10 seconds, then gently lower your leg back to the starting position.
  • Complete 10-15 repetitions, then switch to the other leg.
  • Work towards doing 2-4 sets for each leg daily for the best results

6 – Clamshell Exercise

The clamshell is an excellent exercise for mitigating knee pain by focusing on strengthening your hip muscles, which can help decrease knee pain and discomfort. It enhances the flexibility and stability of the muscles around your knee. 

Here’s How You Do the Clamshell:

  • Lie on your side, ensuring your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, with your feet stacked.
  • Place one arm under your head for support, and let the other rest comfortably on your hip or side.
  • Gently lift your top knee towards the ceiling, keeping your feet touching as you engage the muscles in your hip.
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then slowly lower your knee to the initial position.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.
  • Aim to complete 2-4 sets of this exercise daily for optimal outcomes.

7 – Mini Squat Exercise

Mini squats are an effective exercise for helping alleviate knee pain. Strengthening the muscles around the knee through mini squats can enhance knee mobility and stabilize the joint.

Steps to Perform Mini Squats:

  • Start by standing with your feet set hip-width apart, facing forward, and toes pointing straight ahead.
  • Keep your back straight, engage your core, and maintain your chin up for the duration of the exercise.
  • Gently lower yourself only as far as you can go without experiencing pain, being careful to keep your knees from bending beyond a 90-degree angle.
  • Drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
  • Do 10-15 repetitions of this exercise 2-4 times daily, gradually increasing the depth of your squats as you progress.


Scheduling a consultation with your physical therapist is an important step to ensure you receive a customized assessment of your knee and advice on the exercises best suited to your condition. Although the exercises provided here are widely applicable and beneficial for various knee issues, a direct consultation allows you to explore various exercises tailored to your needs. 

If your knee pain isn’t improving, consider visiting Bridgwater Physiotherapy for an initial assessment. During this evaluation, one of our skilled physiotherapists will examine your knee to determine the most effective treatment plan for you.