Stretches to Stop Knee Tendonitis Pain (2022)

Hamstring Stretches Quad Stretches Yoga Benefits Tips Safety

Stretches to Stop Knee Tendonitis Pain (1)

Knee tendonitis stretches can be very beneficial in managing and recovering from the stiffness and soreness that comes with this overuse injury. You can try them for yourself to maintain mobility and improve tolerance for day-to-day activities. Keep reading to learn how to initiate a good stretching program for knee tendonitis.

Hamstring Stretches

The hamstrings in the back of the legs are notoriously tight with a knee injury. This muscle tension is a protective mechanism that can severely limit your normal daily movements without proper attention.

Seated hamstring stretch

Sit on the edge of your chair with the leg you are about to stretch out straight and the heel resting on the ground. The opposite leg will be bent for stability with the foot flat on the floor. Sit up tall with a slight arch in the back as you lean forward over your legs and hinge at the hips. Continue shifting your weight forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the outstretched leg.

Hold 60+ seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Supine hamstring stretch

(Video) Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief - Ask Doctor Jo

Lie on your back and grab a towel or a stretch strap. Start with both knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. Then, wrap the loop of the strap around the bottom of your foot and hold each end of the strap with your hands. From here, gently straighten the knee until a stretch is felt in the back of the leg. For a deeper stretch, you can pull the entire leg up higher toward your chest.

Hold 60-90 seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Hamstring roll out

Grab a foam roller for this one and start by sitting on the ground with the foam roller underneath both of your thighs. Then, place your hands on each side of your trunk so that you can lift the butt and slowly glide up and down the back of the thighs. If you notice a sore area you can stop, put your butt back down on the ground, and gently straighten and bend the knee until you feel that tender spot relax. Continue adjusting the spot you are addressing until all tender spots feel relaxed.

Roll up and down for 15-20 repetitions. When stopping to hold and straighten, repeat up to 15 times in each sore spot.

Quadriceps Stretches

The quadriceps muscles are definitely the most affected muscle group with knee tendonitis. Thus, having a couple of good quad stretches will make a big difference with your knee function.

Lying Quad Stretch

With the knees bent, bring the feet out wider than hip-width. Then, let both knees fall to one side and rest them on the ground. With the legs falling to the left side, you will feel the stretch in the right quad and hip. Keep the back and pelvis relatively flat on the floor. Try to relax and give in to the stretch a little bit before switching to the other side.

Hold 60 or more seconds for 2-3 sets on each side.

(Video) Knee Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches - Ask Doctor Jo

Standing Quad Stretch

Find a chair or counter for balance before getting started. Then, shift your weight into your right leg as you bend your left knee while keeping the toes pointed. Grab the top of your ankle with your left hand as you guide your heel toward your butt. Go as far as you can tolerate and hold. The goal is to feel a strong stretch in the front of your thigh. Make sure you aren’t arching the low back or leaning forward with the trunk. Don’t forget to switch!

Hold for 60+ seconds for 2-3 sets on each side.

Foam Roller for the Quads

Grab your foam roller again for this one. Lie on your stomach on the floor, propped on your elbows or hands with the roller under both your thighs. Simply use your arms to guide the front thigh muscles up and down on the roller. Do not put direct pressure on the pelvis or knees. If you find some tender points, you can stop, relax, and bend the knee back and forth until you start to feel the spot loosen up.

Roll-back and forth slowly for up to 20 repetitions. Stop and bend the knee rhythmically for 10-15 repetitions as needed.

Yoga Stretches

A few good yoga stretches are always a great way to address many tight muscles groups at once. Always focus on staying relaxed and taking deep breaths.

Deep Lunge

While standing, bring one foot behind you to get into a lunge position. You want to feel a stretch in the front thigh and hip of the leg that is behind you. To ensure this, make sure both your hips are facing forward and your forward knee is aligned with your toes. For a deeper stretch, let the entire trunk drop down closer to the ground without arching the back. To modify, rest your arms on the thighs or even drop your back knee down to the floor.

(Video) How to Fix Patellar Tendonitis (No More KNEE PAIN!)

Hold for 60+ seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Pigeon Pose

Start on your hands and knees and shift your weight forward into your hands as you bring one leg up toward your arms. Rotate the hip outward as you bring the shin bone and foot across your body. Once your shin is resting on the ground, you can then shift your weight back toward your trunk until you feel a stretch in your butt. Your back leg should be straight behind you, encouraging a nice stretch in the front of the hip.

Hold for 60-90 seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Child’s pose

The starting position is on your hands and knees again. If your injured leg range of motion is limited, you can tuck a towel roll between your thighs and calves for support. Bring your arms out in front of you as you bring your butt back toward your heels and chest toward the thighs. Continue moving until you feel a stretch collectively in the arms, low back, hips, and knees. Since your knee is injured and sore this is probably where you’ll feel the stretch the most. As you relax into the stretch, try to get your butt closer to your heels as you feel more flexible.

Hold for 60 or more seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Benefits of Stretching

If you’ve ever consistently kept up with a stretching routine, you know that a good stretch just feels good. Additionally, here are some of the other benefits you can expect:

  • Pain relief and swelling management
  • Decreased muscle tension to help restore lower leg balance
  • Promote blood flow for healing and recovery
  • Improve your performance with daily activities or sport
  • Increase knee range of motion and kneecap mobility

A great adjunct for maximizing other home treatment options.

(Video) Patellar Tendinopathy / Tendinitis / Tendinosis | Jumper’s Knee Rehab (Education, Myths, Exercises)

Stretching Tips

If you’re not sure where to get started with your stretching routine, you can always book some physical therapy sessions. Otherwise, here are a few quick tips for maximizing your stretching routine:

  • Do not force any stretch that causes sharp or severe pain
  • Modify stretches that are too hard with a smaller range of motion or the assistance of a stretch strap or towel
  • Typically, the longer you can hold a stretch the better- shoot for 60 seconds or more
  • Focus on staying relaxed throughout the stretch
  • Keep the abs tight to prevent excessively arching the lower back as you stretch the legs
  • If you find you are having trouble with knee stability with daily activities you may consider the use of a knee brace or sleeve for support
  • Combine your stretches with an in-depth knee strengthening exercises

Safe and Effective Stretches for Patellar Tendonitis

Stretching the knee is important for restoring better function while recovering from patellar tendinitis. Rehab will be gradual yet effective if you continually pay attention to your symptoms and needs. After a good stretch session, the soft tissues around your knee should feel more limber. This will allow you to slowly get back to your normal activities.

If your symptoms are getting worse with gentle stretches or aren’t getting better within a few weeks, bring these concerns up with your physical therapist or doctor.


Shop Tendonitis Knee Products


Does stretching help knee tendonitis? ›

Stretches to help patellar tendonitis

Tight muscles in your hamstrings, hips or calves can contribute to a flare-up of patellar tendonitis by putting added stress on your knee. Stretches and exercises that target your lower body can prevent or ease the problem.

How can I get rid of tendonitis in my knee fast? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may provide short-term pain relief.
  2. Avoid activity that causes pain. You may need to practice your sport less often or temporarily switch to a lower impact sport. ...
  3. Ice. Apply ice after activity that causes pain.
Feb 22, 2022

Can stretching heal patellar tendonitis? ›

Exercises to Help Patellar Tendinopathy. Strengthening and stretching your lower body muscle groups will help in the recovery of patellar tendinopathy. Ways to do that include eccentric exercise programs, weight management, cross-training, and other aerobics or cardio training.

Is walking good for knee tendonitis? ›

Walking is a fantastic option for many patients with knee arthritis because it is a low-impact activity that does not put undue stress on the joints. Furthermore, walking can increase the knee's range of motion and keep it from becoming overly stiff.

What is the best exercise for tendonitis? ›

ExercisesWrist Tendonitis Rehabilitation Exercises
  • Flexion: Gently bend your wrist forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10. ...
  • Extension: Gently bend your wrist backward. Hold this position 5 seconds. ...
  • Side to side: Gently move your wrist from side to side (a handshake motion). Hold for 5 seconds at each end.

How long does knee tendonitis take to heal? ›

Generally, with appropriate patellar tendonitis treatment, an injury can be resolved in about six weeks. However, full recovery can take weeks to months after physical therapy. Knee pain may subside in about three weeks, but a full recovery will be noticeable in six weeks.

Does knee tendonitis go away? ›

Typically, tendinitis goes away in a few weeks or months. Your doctor may recommend extra treatments for particularly stubborn cases. To keep tendinitis from coming back, ask your doctor about exercises to improve flexibility and address and muscle imbalances that may be placing stress on your knees.

How do you fix chronic tendonitis? ›

To treat tendinitis at home, R.I.C.E. is the acronym to remember — rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment can help speed your recovery and help prevent further problems. Rest. Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling.

Is tendonitis a permanent condition? ›

Tendinitis may go away over time. If not, the doctor will recommend treatments to reduce pain and inflammation and preserve mobility. Severe symptoms may require specialized treatment from a rheumatologist, an orthopaedic surgeon or a physical therapist.

What does tendonitis in knee feel like? ›

Pain and tenderness around your patellar tendon. Swelling. Pain with jumping, running, or walking. Pain when bending or straightening your leg.

Can you massage patellar tendonitis? ›

Cross Friction Massage is also helpful in the treatment of tendonitis, as it helps remove waste from the injured area, and it helps decrease the formation of scar tissue in the tendon as the body heals itself.

How can I relax my knee muscles? ›

Place your hands behind your thigh, but below the knee, and gently pull your knee toward your chest until you feel a slight stretch. This shouldn't be painful. Hold for 30 seconds. Lower and change legs.

Do knee braces help tendonitis? ›

Bracing & Support

Two commonly recommended braces are the Webtech Knee Strap or the Anaform Pinpoint Knee Strap. Both help relieve patellar tendonitis pain without restricting movement.

Where does tendonitis of the knee hurt? ›

Patellar tendinitis causes pain in the patellar tendon, which runs from the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). Pain is the first symptom of patellar tendinitis, usually between your kneecap and where the tendon attaches to your shinbone (tibia).

What exercises should I avoid with knee pain? ›

High-impact exercises can further injure painful knees. Avoid jarring exercises such as running, jumping, and kickboxing. Also avoid doing exercises such as lunges and deep squats that put a lot of stress on your knees. These can worsen pain and, if not done correctly, cause injury.

Does stretching make tendonitis worse? ›

The more severe the tendinopathy, the less likely stretching would help. In fact, stretching results in further compression of the tendon at the irritation point, which actually worsens the pain.

Why won't my tendonitis go away? ›

Chronic tendonitis is often defined by the tendon pain lasting more than 6 weeks, and the condition is referred to as tendinosis. Tendinosis is thought to be mainly caused by degeneration of the tendon. In order to effectively treat and resolve tendinosis, you must stimulate regeneration of the affected tendon.

Should I stretch tendonitis? ›

Does Stretching Help Tendonitis? Quick answer, stretching certainly can help decrease the resting tension of the inflamed or degenerative tendon. It is important to note that you need to make sure that your injury is indeed tendonitis. Stretching is not indicated for tendon tears or ruptures.

Can knee tendonitis last for months? ›

While patellar tendinitis can be treated and properly healed in about 3-6 weeks, patellar tendinopathy can take between 3-6 months to heal properly, if not longer.

How do I get rid of inflammation in my knees? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Rest. Avoid weight-bearing activities as much as possible.
  2. Ice and elevation. To control pain and swelling, apply ice to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours. ...
  3. Compression. Wrapping your knee with an elastic bandage can help control the swelling.
  4. Pain relievers.
Jun 16, 2022

What should I avoid with patellar tendonitis? ›

The best treatment for patellofemoral syndrome is to avoid activities that compress the patella against the femur with force. This means avoiding going up and down stairs and hills, deep knee bends, kneeling, step-aerobics and high impact aerobics. Do not wear high heeled shoes.

Is heat good for tendonitis? ›

Heat may be more helpful for chronic tendon pain, often called tendinopathy or tendinosis. Heat can increase blood flow, which may help promote healing of the tendon. Heat also relaxes muscles, which can relieve pain.

What aggravates patellar tendonitis? ›

Patellar tendonitis — also called jumper's knee — is a common overuse injury in athletes. It happens when the tendons connecting the kneecap to the shinbone become inflamed and painful. Repetitive motions, such as running and jumping, can aggravate the tendons connecting the kneecap and shinbone.

How do you strengthen your knee tendons? ›

How to strengthen your knee
  1. Benefits.
  2. Leg lifts.
  3. Standing hamstring curls.
  4. Hamstring curls on a weight bench.
  5. Step exercises.
  6. Single-leg dip.
  7. Wall squats.
  8. Post-exercise stretching.

What supplements heal tendons? ›

Oral supplementation of hydrolyzed type 1 collagen, arginine L-alpha-chetoglutarate, MSM, and bromelain has a potential benefic role in tendon healing, lowering the pain due to tendinopathy.

Does massage help tendonitis? ›

For people suffering from tendonitis, it can help with pain relief and speed up the recovery process. Since tendonitis can take weeks to heal, using a massage therapy program to both relax and strengthen the inflamed tendon can give the sufferer a better chance of a full and speedy recovery.

What is the main cause of tendonitis? ›

Although tendinitis can be caused by a sudden injury, the condition is much more likely to stem from the repetition of a particular movement over time. Most people develop tendinitis because their jobs or hobbies involve repetitive motions, which put stress on the tendons.

Does tendonitis show up on MRI? ›

Since MRI scans depend on the water or fluid content in the body tissue, you can see swelling and inflammation on these images. For instance, tendonitis will show up on an MR scan because there's usually fluid and swelling that goes along with it.

What does severe tendonitis feel like? ›

The pain from tendinitis is typically a dull ache concentrated around the affected area or joint. It increases when you move the injured area. The area will be tender, and you'll feel increased pain if someone touches it. You may experience a tightness that makes it difficult to move the area.

Is tendonitis a nerve pain? ›

Overall, the biggest different between carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist tendonitis is that one affects the nerves and the other affects the tendons.

What causes tendonitis in your knee? ›

Tendonitis in the knee develops from repetitive stress on the knee, typically from overuse from sports. Tiny tears form in the tendon, which weaken and inflame the tendon after repetitive movements. Other contributing factors include: Tight leg muscles.

How long tendonitis lasts? ›

The pain of tendinitis can be significant and worsens if damage progresses because of continued use of the joint. Most damage heals in about two to four weeks, but chronic tendinitis can take more than six weeks, often because the sufferer doesn't give the tendon time to heal.

Is squatting good for tendonitis? ›

If you're dealing with patellar tendon pain, use this simple protocol to control your pain on days when you're flared up: Decline Squat Holds: Start with both heels elevated on a plate or ramp. Push your knees forward into a half squat hold for 45-60 seconds. Repeat five times.

Are squats good for patellar tendonitis? ›

Eccentric exercises play an important role in chronic patellar tendinopathy rehabilitation. Performing eccentric squats on a 25° decline board for 3 set of 15 repetitions twice daily is suggested. Loading a tendon in a controlled environment free from overuse with progressive stress improves tendon function.

How do I relax my patellar tendon? ›

Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief - YouTube

What vitamins help with knee pain? ›

Several nutritional supplements have shown promise for relieving pain, stiffness and other arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e and curcumin are just some of the natural products researchers have studied for osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

How do you stretch your knees in your bed? ›

5 Knee Pain Relief Stretches & Exercises You Can Do In Bed

How do you stretch the tendons behind your knee? ›

Stand on one leg. Keep your hands on your hips. With a soft bend behind the knee, hinge forward on one leg as the opposite leg extends backward behind you. Do this until you feel a full stretch in the hamstring of the leg you're standing on.

Should I wear knee brace all day? ›

If your orthopedist recommends it, you can wear your brace all day. However, improper use of a knee brace can worsen your pain or cause further damage to the knee. If you are using a brace that immobilizes your knee, the joint can weaken.

Is a compression sleeve good for patellar tendonitis? ›

You will find relief with our Patellar Tendonitis Compression Knee Sleeves. The patella (knee cap) is connected to the shin bone by a short band of tissue called the patellar tendon. This tendon is vital to the extension of the leg, a movement used repeatedly and forcefully when you kick a ball, run up hill, or jump.

Should I wrap my knee if it hurts? ›

Wrap an elastic bandage around your knee to help control swelling. Make the bandage fit snugly around your knee, but not tight enough to cause pain or leg swelling. Elevation. Lying down with your knee propped up on pillows may help control pain and swelling.

How do you sleep with patellar tendonitis? ›

Sleeping Positions with Pain + Injuries - Pt.2: Knees | Tim Keeley - YouTube

Do you need crutches for tendonitis in the knee? ›

If your pain is severe even while you are resting your legs, your doctor may advise that you wear a brace and use crutches for a while to avoid further damage to the tendon. When you're relatively pain free, you can begin physical therapy activities.

How do you get rid of knee pain naturally? ›

8 Natural Home Remedies for Knee Pain
  1. RICE.
  2. Tai chi.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Weight management.
  5. Heat and cold.
  6. Herbal ointment.
  7. Willow bark.
  8. Ginger extract.

How should I sleep with knee pain? ›

Back or Side Sleeping for Less Knee Pain

If on your back, put a pillow under your knees for support. On your side, keep your knee in a flexed position to minimize pain. Try to never sleep with your legs crossed. If you have knee pain due to injury, you should see an orthopaedic specialist.

Does stretching make tendonitis worse? ›

The more severe the tendinopathy, the less likely stretching would help. In fact, stretching results in further compression of the tendon at the irritation point, which actually worsens the pain.

Should I stretch if I have tendonitis? ›

Does Stretching Help Tendonitis? Quick answer, stretching certainly can help decrease the resting tension of the inflamed or degenerative tendon. It is important to note that you need to make sure that your injury is indeed tendonitis. Stretching is not indicated for tendon tears or ruptures.

Does stretching strengthen tendons? ›

Recently, it has been shown that ballistic stretching can significantly increase tendon elasticity. These findings have important clinical implications for treatment and prevention of tendon injuries.

Can tendons be lengthened by stretching? ›

Tendons are not even supposed to be able to lengthen. Even when stretched ligaments and tendons do not tear, loose joints and/or a decrease in the joint's stability can occur (thus vastly increasing your risk of injury).

Why won't my tendonitis go away? ›

Chronic tendonitis is often defined by the tendon pain lasting more than 6 weeks, and the condition is referred to as tendinosis. Tendinosis is thought to be mainly caused by degeneration of the tendon. In order to effectively treat and resolve tendinosis, you must stimulate regeneration of the affected tendon.

How do I stop tendonitis from flaring up? ›

  1. Ease up. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, especially for prolonged periods. ...
  2. Mix it up. If one exercise or activity causes you a particular, persistent pain, try something else. ...
  3. Improve your technique. ...
  4. Stretch. ...
  5. Use proper workplace ergonomics. ...
  6. Prepare your muscles to play.
Nov 3, 2020

Is Deep heat good for tendonitis? ›

Heat may be more helpful for chronic tendon pain, often called tendinopathy or tendinosis. Heat can increase blood flow, which may help promote healing of the tendon. Heat also relaxes muscles, which can relieve pain.


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