Great Quad Exercises for Painful Knees (Physical Therapy)

By dpope2020

May 5, 2023

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Great Quad Exercises for Painful Knees (Physical Therapy):

In today's episode we go over Great Quad Exercises for Painful Knees (Physical Therapy):

Hey there, physical therapists!

We all know how important it is to prescribe the right exercises to our patients, especially when it comes to knee pain. However, prescribing quadriceps exercises to patients with highly irritated knees can be quite challenging.

Patients with highly irritated knees often have significant pain in the joint, making it difficult to perform exercises that require stressing the knee.  Doctors will tell patients to "strengthen the quads" but anytime they try and strength the quads it hurts like hell... This can make it difficult to prescribe traditional quad strengthening exercises like squats and lunges.

So, what can you do to help your patients with highly irritated knees build strength in their quads?

Firstly, it's essential to start with exercises that don't put too much pressure on the knee joint. Isometric exercises, where the joint angle doesn't change, can be a great place to start. For example, you can have your patients perform a static wall sit or a quad set, where they contract their quads without moving their knee.  Performing exercises slowly also accomplishes the same goal.

Another approach is to use exercises that place less load on the knee joint. For example, mini squat variations with a terminal knee extension provide some great stress to the quad but are generally well tolerated in painful knees.

Finally, it's essential to progress the exercises gradually. As your patients' pain decreases, you can gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises to challenge their quads further.

In today's video I go over some of my favorite exercises to try with your patients that have highly irritated knees:

Prescribing exercises to patients with highly irritated knees can be a challenge, but with the right approach, you can help your patients build strength and reduce pain in their knees. Remember to start with gentle exercises, focus on technique, and progress slowly over time. Your patients will thank you for it!

Terminal knee everything,

- Dan Pope PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

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