Knee Rehab Exercises: Range
Improving your range of motion can be
done with several different knee rehab exercises. I have included a few
of the ways I address range of motion loss with my patients below.
Extension, or straightening the knee is
essential for normal function. Without it you cannot walk normally, and
you cannot restore your quadriceps strength.
loss can be caused by swelling
, hamstring tightness,
formation, or muscle weakness. To address hamstring tightness or scar
formation, you can use passive stretching like the figure four
hamstring stretch to improve this motion.
tissue formation is common after knee surgery, and friction massage may
be necessary in order to reduce the adhesions between the tissues and
improve your knee range of motion.
This is usually
performed by your
ATC or PT, but you can do this at home as well. The most common areas
that need friciton massage are over the incision sites, and over the
do this yourself, you need
just a little bit of lotion or massage oil, and you simply rub your
portal incisions or over the patellar tendon. (Make sure that your
incisions are healed well before doing this, usually 2-3 weeks after
If you have scar formation at the
incision sites, you will be
able to feel it. It will feel like small areas of hardness under the
skin. It may also be painful to the touch. Around the patellar tendon,
it may feel harder or less pliable than compared to your other knee.
way to improve extension is heel props. This is a passive exercise, and
you can easily do this at home. By propping your heel up, you are
allowing your knee to relax and straighten out, stretching the joint
capsule and the posterior hamstring muscles.
thing that will greatly help your knee extension is to start working on
it immediately after your injury or surgery. Once you have full
extension passively, maintaining that motion is easy.
Flexion restrictions in the knee are usually
caused by swelling and pain. It takes time for the swelling to subside
after an injury or surgery, so this motion will return more slowly than
One knee rehab exercise to
flexion is a seated towel pull.
Place a towel
under your heel, and then
use your hands to pull the towel towards you, letting your heel slide
along the floor and your knee bend.
Once you get
to the point where
your knee is very tight, let it rest for a minute, then straighten it
out and repeat.
Another great knee rehab exercise
flexion is a heel slide on the wall. To do this, lay on the floor and
place your foot on the wall (socked feet are best). Then let your foot
slide down the wall and your knee bend. Go until your knee feels tight,
let it rest for a few seconds, and then straighten it out and repeat.
rehab exercises to improve range of motion are simple and easy to do.
Not only should you be doing them during your rehab sessions, but you
can also work on them at home for an even speedier recovery. Make sure
that you follow your physicians instructions about how far you should
be bending your knee.
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