Exercises to Help With Kneecap Pain (Runner’s Knee)

Knee pain is among the most common conditions for active adults, those working in physical fields, and athletes worldwide. Runner’s knee is pain located around the front of the kneecap, which connects to the femur. Exercise and activity can be among the best treatments for runner’s knee. So, here are several exercises that you can try to help alleviate knee pain and keep you fit for the long term.

Considerations To Make Before Exercising

Only exercise within your comfort limit. You should not experience pain when working out, only mild discomfort; if your knee pain increases, rest or change exercises to something less involved. When exercising, only do one set of ten at a time, working your way up to two, then three, and over several weeks. Consider seeing a medical doctor trained in sports injuries for a more in-depth and personalized exercise routine.

Double Knee To Chest

Difficulty: Easy

This exercise is relatively simple and low impact. Lie down on your back, put both knees together, and raise them to your chest, bending slightly and going as far as your range of motion allows. Place your hands, fingers crossed, atop your knees and hold the position for about ten seconds. Release, lowering your legs back to a comfortable lying position, and repeat until you finish your set.


Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Squats are essential to retaining mobility and a great exercise to build leg strength when recovering. Start by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees and lower your bottom to reach 90° with your knees, keeping your back straight and shoulders rolled back. Hold the position for one to two seconds, then slowly return to standing. Repeat until you finish your set.

Side Leg Raises

Difficulty: Easy

Lie on your side with the injured leg on top. Slowly raise your leg about 12 to 24 inches, and stop before you experience pain. Hold the raised leg position for 10 seconds, then slowly lower it to a resting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then roll over and repeat on the other side.

Seated Knee Extensions

Difficulty: Very Easy

For this exercise, take a seat in a chair that allows you to place your feet flat on the floor with the knees bent at roughly 90°. Once you are seated, slowly raise one leg to be straight and hold for two seconds. Slowly release the tension and return to your resting position. Repeat ten to twenty times, then swap legs.

Step Ups

Difficulty: Easy

This exercise will require a set of stairs or a stepstool. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, then shift your weight to one foot and take a step up, starting with your injured leg. Placing your foot flat on the step, push up and bring your other foot up. Slowly lower your off foot down to the floor and step back down. Return to the starting position and repeat ten to twenty times, then switch legs and repeat.

Leg Presses

Difficulty: Moderate

This exercise will require resistance bands. Lay on the floor with resistance bands in your hands and bring your knees up to your chest in a manner similar to the double knee-to-chest exercise. Put the band at the bottom of your feet and roll up any slack. Then, with your elbows flat on the ground and hands above your chest, slowly press out with your legs until the legs and heels are straight, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat until you’ve completed ten repetitions.

Interested in Help To Treat Runner’s Knee? Contact Macomb Pain Management Today.

If you’ve tried several exercises to relieve your runner’s knee and still have pain, it’s likely time to reach out to a medical professional. At Macomb Pain Management, we specialize in helping our patients with joint and musculoskeletal pain. To schedule a consultation with one of our Board-Certified physicians, call us today at (248) 844-8281.