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AT-home Exercises for Knee Tendonitis

Some types of chronic Knee tendonitis pain may be controlled through exercise.
Andrew Carrigan, athletic trainer and instructor, recommends these Knee tendonitis exercises for strengthening for increased flexibility and strength to combat chronic knee pain. For all the exercises, assume that the right knee is injured.

Stretches we like to hold for 20 to 30 seconds per stretch. We recommend starting with five to 10 repetitions and work up to 20.

The hamstring stretch should be done sitting on the floor with the right leg extended straight in front of you. Resting your left leg on the floor, bend it at a 45 degree angle and rest the bottom of your foot next to your right knee. Keeping the chest high, lean out over the thigh of the injured leg. Hold for a few seconds. Reposition in the same manner for the left leg.

The calf stretch is done standing. Stand 6 inches or so away from a wall, facing the wall, feet slightly apart. Place your hands on the wall, bend left leg in and leave right leg straight. Lean against the wall. Hold for a few seconds. The stretch may also be done with the right leg bent slightly instead of straight. The stretch may be repeated for the left leg.

The iliotibial stretch is also done standing. Standing upright away from the wall, cross the left leg over the right leg, point the right hip to the right and lean the trunk toward the left. You should feel it stretching down the outside of the right leg. For the left leg, cross the right leg over the left. Point the left hip to the left and lean the trunk toward the right.
Try to eliminate bouncing when stretching because the momentum may cause you to over-stretch or tear muscles.

For all the strengthening exercises, begin with 10 repetitions three to four times a day and work up to 20 repetitions. As weight resistance is added to each exercise, begin again at 10 repetitions and work up to 20 every time the weight resistance changes. The target for the strengthening exercises is 5 to 10 pounds of weight and three sets of 20 repetitions a day. All exercises may be done with both the left and right legs.

The straight leg raise is done while sitting on two kitchen chairs. Sit on one chair and place the right leg out straight on the other. Bend the left leg so the foot rests on the seat of that chair. Raise the right leg straight off the chair 4 to 6 inches. Hold for a few seconds and then lower it. Begin with 10 repetitions and work up to 20.
When 20 becomes easy, you may want to add weight resistance. Hang an old purse off the right ankle with a can of soup or a bag of rice in it. Begin again at 10 and work up. As the weight becomes easy, add more weight.

The short arc quad is also done sitting on kitchen chairs. Place a 1 pound coffee can or a tightly rolled stiff blanket under the right knee to form a 15 to 20 degree arc. Lift the right knee up to a straightened position, hold for a few seconds, and lower it. Use the same progression as for the last exercise.

The mini-squat is done standing up. Place feet 6 to 8 inches from the wall, lean back so your back is supported by the wall and slide down 6 or so inches. You can put between the wall and your back Reebok 6-Pound Medicine Ball.

Hold for a few seconds and slide back up. Start with three sets of 10 and slowly increase to three sets of 20 to 25. To add weight resistance, put the same amount of weight in both hands, for example a bag with a can of soup in it in each hand.

The final exercise is the step up/step down exercise for acute Knee tendonitis brace. Stand on the first step with the right side next to the rail. Hold onto the rail for support. Touch your left foot flat to the floor below you, and then pull it back up.

Since you can lower more weight than you can raise, to advance the exercise try the step up. Stand on the floor, hand on the rail, with your right foot on the first step. Then, raise your left foot onto the step. Lower left foot and repeat.