Injuries about the knee joint can frequently cause stiffness and weakness, particularly of the quadriceps muscles- the big muscles over the front of your thigh. Injuring your knee may involve the bones around the joint- the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap) or tibia (shin bone), in which case you may have needed an operation and required crutches, a cast or both.
Alternatively, you may have damaged the soft tissue structures around the knee joint- such as the cartilage or the ligaments. While these tissues may or may not fully heal, strengthening up the support structures can make the knee joint more stable and help protect you against further injury. These can also be done after a total knee replacement.
Repeat the following exercises 5 times each!
- When lying on the bed or couch, push the straight leg downwards (without using your hands). Feel the contractions in the front of the thigh.
- Place a rolled towel under the knee and lift the heel until the leg is straight. Count backwards from 10.
- Bend the knee as far as possible and hold for 10. Another trick when sitting on a chair, plant your foot on the ground slightly under the chair and while keeping the foot in the one position, slowly move your body forward.
- When lying on your front, bend the knee back as far as it can go.
If pain recurs, don’t forget RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation