If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, try these gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to help ease the pain.


When it comes to treating your knee pain or discomfort, the best thing you can do is understand the cause of your problem as soon as possible. Sometimes, your issue may be clear to you, such as those caused by an injury, overuse or a pre-existing health issue. In other cases, it may not be so obvious.

The most common knee issues which you can treat with physio exercise include runners knee, fractures, strains, tendonitis, Osgood-Schlatters disease and arthritis.

If you do not know the reason for your leg pain, our specialist knee physiotherapists can assess, diagnose and treat your knee condition with a tailored programme designed for you.

If you are experiencing pain at the front, surrounding or behind your kneecap, have noticed swelling, or are struggling to bend your knee to walk, kneel, sit or run, we advise you to arrange an assessment at one of our nationwide physio clinics locations, or virtually via video call. In the meantime, keep reading for some preliminary exercises for painful knees.


Are you anxious to exercise your knee, in case it causes more pain or damage? Most of the time, gentle tailored exercise is the best treatment for knee conditions, especially for things like runner’s knee, torn cartilage/meniscus, tendonitis, fractures and strains.

If you are unsure of your condition, it is safer to be assessed by a physiotherapist first. It is important that you start slowly, and build up over time. Exercise should never cause pain or make your condition worse. Remember, sore muscles after a hard workout is normal, but sharp or sudden pain means you should stop and seek medical assistance.

We know it can be worrying approaching knee pain exercises on your own, that is why our physiotherapists are here to help if you need us.


Gentle exercises for knee pain are an excellent place to start to reduce knee pain. In just about every case of knee pain we see, there is substantial weakness in the surrounding muscles. Our exercises can help to build this muscle, ultimately reducing the stress on your knee and allowing your joint to move more easily.

To get the best possible treatment for your knee, you need to work with a physiotherapist who will address and treat the cause of pain directly. See our videos on some of the main exercises for knee pain relief and strengthening below.

Leg curl - Lying on your front bend you knee to bring your heel closer to your buttock to activate your hamstrings. Pause here then slowly lower the leg back down

Stand up straight - with your feet should width apart. Holding a weight in your hands slowly lower the weight towards the floor with a slight bend at your knees until you feel a stretch within your hamstrings. Then drive your hips forward to stand up straight again

Inner range quad - Place a foam roller or pillow underneath your knee. begin to straighten your knee and stop just before it is straight and hold this position for 3 seconds. Then fully straighten your knee and hold for a further 3 seconds before lowering it again.

Sumo squat - To start stand with your feet wide apart and toes pointing at 45-degree angles. Drop into a squat by bending your hips and knees and sitting back. Keep your chest up and knees out. Then stand back up to the starting position.

Don’t have fitness equipment?

Our ‘how to’ knee strengthening exercises section contains videos with easy to follow information. These can be done at home before your appointment to relieve pain, without the need of any specialist equipment. If the exercises featured above involve a weight and you don’t have one of these at home, don’t stress. You can use a household item instead, such as laundry detergents, milk bottles or even canned goods. Our more advanced exercises involve equipment and practices which are closely monitored during our clinical appointments.


Our team of advanced physiotherapists and sports injury experts can treat your mild to chronic knee conditions from one of our 17 clinics nationwide, or from the comfort of your own home. There is no good in wondering whether you are doing the right thing for your knee, relying entirely on your own judgement; you need your pain gone quickly and for good. We will complete a full physio assessment and create a personalised knee rehabilitation program designed around you.

Video call appointments

Not fancy visiting one of our David Lloyd locations? We offer virtual video call appointments with our physiotherapists, so you can get targeted treatment in your own home.

Nationwide physio clinic locations

Find a location near you

Response Physio & Sports Therapy offer physio appointments with personalised treatment plans for patients across the UK. We offer flexible opening hours to suit busy lifestyles including early and late appointments, Saturday clinics, and remote clinics. There are no waiting lists and appointments are often available within 24 hours. We accept NHS referrals, self-pay, and all major private health insurers, including AXA, BUPA, and Medico-legal.

We have 15 locations that offer advanced physio treatment for knee pain:


Disclaimer: Disclaimer: The above exercises alone are not designed as a cure or long term solution for your knee pain; if you are suffering from a knee injury, illness or condition then you still need to see a physiotherapist.