Carolinas HealthCare System

Sports Medicine & Injury Care
6 Ways to Keep Leg Muscles Strong and Reduce Knee Pain or Injuries
Don’t let knee pain keep you out of the game of life.

Dr. Martin or one of our other board-certified physicians can diagnose and treat your knee pain.

To schedule an appointment, call 704-863-HURT or visit our website.

Eight Sports Medicine & Injury Care centers are conveniently located throughout the community

Sports Medicine & Injury Care offers next-day appointment scheduling

Knee pain and injury can occur at any time, whether you’re out for a run, playing with your kids or doing some other seemingly harmless task around the house.

A sudden twist to the knee can cause major pain and lead to a serious injury.

“Oftentimes, it’s hard to avoid this type of injury,” said Anthony Martin, MD, a Carolinas HealthCare System sports medicine expert. “The most common tear occurs when the knee joint is bent and the knee is then twisted traumatically.”

Symptoms of a tear include pain on the inside or outside of knee, swelling, difficulty squatting, tenderness, and joint pain when walking, Dr. Martin said.

Tears and other injuries can occur during activities with quick pivots and stops, like soccer or a backyard game of tag. One of the first indicators of potentially serious injuries is swelling, which Dr.Martin notes is not normal. Other than a meniscus tear, swelling could potentially indicate a torn ligament, including the ACL.

Keeping the leg muscles strong may prevent knee pain or injury. Carolinas Rehabilitation expert Michael Agnone, PT, shares these six simple exercises.

Hamstring Stretches
  • Place leg on stool or chair, keep lower back straight.
  • Gently lean forward from the hip until stretch is felt in hamstring.
  • Hold 30 seconds. Repeat four times. Do repetitions one to two times per day.
  • This stretch helps decrease stress on low back and loosens thighs, hamstrings and calves.
Calf Stretches
  • Place leg to stretch behind with foot turned in slightly.
  • Keep knee straight and gently lean forward until stretch is felt in calf.
  • Hold 30 seconds. Repeat four times. Do repetitions one to two times per day.
  • This stretch works muscles on the back of your lower leg.
Thigh Stretches
  • Stand tall. If needed, hold on to a chair or wall for balance.
  • Pull heel toward buttock until stretch is felt in thigh.
  • Keep back straight.
  • Hold 30 seconds. Repeat four times. Do repetitions one to two times per day.
  • You can also place foot on a chair or table and tighten buttock until stretch is felt. Adjust height as needed to feel a comfortable stretch.
  • This stretch will decrease stress on your kneecap, improve hip extension and decrease tension in low back.
Wall Slides
  • Keep back flat against a wall.
  • Place feet away from wall so knees do not go past the front of the feet when squatting.
  • Slide back down until tension felt in thighs and buttock.
  • Slide back up to start position.
  • Repeat three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
  • This stretch helps strengthen thighs, hamstrings and buttocks.
Lateral Hip Raises
  • Lie on your side, keeping top hip vertical.
  • Keep knee straight with foot pointing forward.
  • Lift leg up and then slowly lower to start position.
  • Repeat three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
  • This stretch helps strengthen hip abductor muscles that stabilize/properly position your thighbone for better alignment. It also works with the buttock muscle as major shock absorber for lower body.
Bridges
  • Lie flat on back with knees bent.
  • Tighten stomach by pulling belly button in toward the spine.
  • Lift buttock up toward ceiling until body is straight in plank position.
  • Hold position. Keep pelvis level. Lower.
  • Repeat three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
  • This stretch can strengthen low back and buttock muscle, which helps stabilize the knee.
About Carolinas HealthCare System
Who We Are
Leadership
Community Benefit
Corporate Financial Information
Diversity & Inclusion
Annual Report
Foundation
Patient Links
Pay Your Bill
Hospital Pre-Registration
Patient Rights
Privacy Policy
Financial Assistance
Quality & Value Reports
Insurance
Careers
Join Carolinas HealthCare System
Physician Careers

For Employees
Carolinas Connect
Connect with Us
Watch Carolinas HealthCare on YoutubeFollow Carolinas HealthCare on TwitterLike Carolinas HealthCare on FacebookContact Carolinas HealthCareJoin Carolinas HealthCare on LinkedInGo to our mobile website.