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4 Stretches to Minimize Knee Pain

By Amber Page

When your knees are hurting, it can be difficult to make yourself want to do anything other than lay on the couch. But reverting to a sedentary lifestyle is the last thing you should do.

That's because knee pain is often caused by muscles that are weak or tight, including your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps and glutes.

Don't worry -- we're not suggesting you suit up and go for a run. But you should consider incorporating regular stretches into your daily routine that target those knee pain-causing muscles.

You can do these in your own home without much (or any) equipment. Give these stretches a try and see if you start moving better.

Wall Calf Stretch

The only equipment you need for this stretch is a sturdy wall that you can lean against.

Face the wall. Then, with a straight leg, flex your foot against it so that your toes are pointing up and your heel is on the floor. Keeping that leg straight, lean forward, aiming for as deep of a stretch as possible, for about five seconds. Then repeat with your other leg. Try to do 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.

Wall Calf Stretch II

Facing the same wall, bend your right leg and step straight back with your left leg. With your back heel planted on the floor, lean forward with a straight back, pushing into the wall. You'll feel the stretch in the calf of your left leg. Switch legs and repeat a total of 10 times on each leg.

Wall Hamstring Stretch

For this stretch, you're going to want to lay down on your back in front of the wall with your knees bent. Prop your right leg against the wall as straight and high as you can. Then alternate between flexing and relaxing your foot.  

You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg, starting in your knee. To deepen the stretch, get as close to the wall as you can.

Straight Leg Raises 

A favorite of physical therapists, straight leg raises help strengthen your quadriceps without putting pressure on your knee.

To do this stretch, lie on your back on the floor with one knee bent. Raise your straight leg into the air about 12 to 18 inches, pointing your toes outward. Hold for at least 10 seconds.

Alternate legs, repeating 10 to 15 times on each side.

See a Chiropractor for a More Tailored Approach

A chiropractor can perform adjustments on you knee to help increase joint motion and nerve function. They can also recommend stretches that will help minimize pain and strengthen your joints.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orange Park, Fla.

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