Knee Pain Exercises

Authored by Lilly Sabri, 25 Sep 2015

Reviewed by:
Charlene O'Leary, 25 Sep 2015

Arthritis Research UK logo

This leaflet has been provided by Arthritis Research UK, the national charity committed to preventing the onset of arthritis, developing a cure for arthritis and transforming the lives of those with arthritis.

This leaflet provides simple exercises that may help with knee pain.

  • Knee pain can be caused by a number of different things. Whatever the cause, exercise and keeping to a healthy weight can reduce symptoms.
  • You can take painkillers to ease pain. Taking them before exercise can help you stay active without causing extra pain.
  • Try the exercises suggested here to help ease pain and prevent future symptoms.


  • Sit on a chair.
  • Without using your hands for support, stand up and then sit back down.
  • Make sure each movement is slow and controlled.
  • Repeat for 1 minute.
  • As you improve, try to increase the number of sit/stands you can do in 1 minute and try the exercise from lower chairs or the bottom two steps of a staircase.

Leg stretch

Leg stretch
  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front.
  • Keeping your foot to the floor, slowly bend one knee until you feel it being comfortably stretched.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Straighten your leg as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Leg cross

Leg cross
  • Sit on the edge of a table or bed.
  • Cross your ankles over.
  • Push your front leg backwards and back leg forwards against each other until the thigh muscles become tense.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then relax.
  • Switch legs and repeat.
  • Do 4 sets with each leg.

Step ups

  • Step on to the bottom step of stairs with the right foot.
  • Bring up the left foot, then step down with the right foot, followed by the left foot.
  • Repeat with each leg until you get short of breath.
  • Hold on to the bannister if necessary.
  • As you improve, try to increase the number of steps you can do in 1 minute and the height of the step.

Knee squats

Knee squats
  • Hold on to a chair or work surface for support.
  • Squat down until your kneecap covers your big toe.
  • Return to standing.
  • Repeat at least 10 times.
  • As you improve, try to squat a little further.
  • Don't bend your knees beyond a right angle.

Content used with permission from the Arthritis Research UK website: Exercises to manage knee pain. Copyright for this leaflet is with Arthritis Research UK.

Hiin May 2017 I had a PKR and it has been successful however I had numbness where nerves were cut and have not joined up again.  Recently with the onset of the cold weather, I am very much aware of...

AEC 0503
Health Tools

Feeling unwell?

Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker.

Start symptom checker