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Knee Exercises for Anterior Knee Pain

Learn how to do knee exercises for anterior knee pain in this Howcast video about physical therapy for knees.


Anterior knee pain is the word that we use to describe pain in the front of your knee. Anterior means front of so we're talking about pain at the front of your knee, maybe just below the kneecap. But by and large, it's not the back of your knee, i's going to be the front. And a lot of your anterior knee pain patients that we see in the clinic are often suffering because of an alignment issue at their hip.

There's an imbalance in flexibility and strength in the muscles of their thigh or literally, an imbalance of the alignment of the bones underneath. Typically, therefore I start with exercises for these patients at the hip. I try to work on their hip strength and flexibility there. Take some of the pressure off the knee. By the second or third exercise workout, I might start to do some exercises for the knee at that time. But usually, I start at the hip, with some hip exercises like abduction and on-side lying or going on your stomach and doing some leg raises there.

Once I get involved with the knee the typical progression would be to start with some isometrics for the knee, as well as doing some heel slides to restore the range of motion, and that would be followed by your classic leg extension exercises and leg curls. Lastly, we're looking at some of the functional exercises that you see, like your squats and your lunges, as well as your split squats.

So there's a progression of exercises, but with the anterior knee pain population, I often look at the hip first, as a way to start taking some of the pressure off the knee by working on the flexibility and the alignment issue at the hip. So it's a very common problem, usually it takes a few weeks to recover from.

If you're really concerned about doing this on your own, because you're not sure if it's pain coming from an alignment issue or a flexibility issue, you might want to consider seeing a doctor or a therapist, just to get started with the causes of why they have the knee pain, before you go venture on your own.

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