Knee Exercises for Arthritis Pain Relief

Relieve arthritis knee pain at home with these beginner-friendly exercises from Voltaren.

Knee Exercise

According to the Arthritis Foundation, obesity is the number one preventable risk factor for arthritis in the knee.1 But when it comes to a painful patella, it can be debilitating, and the last thing most people want to do is be active. “If you have arthritis in the knees, sitting at the kitchen table and feeling sorry is the worst thing you can do,” explains Jordan Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at Hospital For Special Surgery. “Instead, you have to try to be active and improve muscle strength. The stronger the muscles are around your knees, the stronger and better you will feel.”

When the pain strikes, try using Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for your arthritis knee pain. It’s clinically proven to relieve arthritis pain.

Another option for knee pain relief is exercise. Give these knee exercises that Dr. Metzl recommends a try to help relieve your arthritis pain. The exercises are separated based on the specific type of arthritic knee pain you’re experiencing. “No two knees are the same, so depending on which type of arthritis you have, here’s what I recommend,” he says.

[NOTE: Before trying any exercise, consult with your healthcare provider to be sure these movements are safe for your arthritis knee pain.]

Lateral compartmental (pain on the outer side of knee)

If you have pain on the outer side of your knee, try these specific knee exercises to help relieve arthritis pain.

1. Air Squats

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Making sure your knees don’t track past your ankles, slowly bend your knees, pushing them outward, while you sit back and down, as though you’re lowering yourself into a chair. Lower yourself as far as you feel comfortable, then push through your heels to stand back up. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Modification: If you’re just starting out, place a chair behind you or stand in front of a couch. Squat down to the chair or couch, then stand back up.

2. Banded Walks

Place a small band around ankles. Stand with feet hip-width apart. With a slight bend in the knees, slowly step your right foot forward and slightly outward toward the right. Then step your left foot forward and slightly outward toward the left. Continue for 10 steps with each foot, then turn around and repeat the exercise coming back.

3. Indoor Stationary Bike

Bike as you feel comfortable, anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour.

Medial compartmental (pain located near middle of the knee, inner side)

If the middle of your knee near the inner side is bothering you the most, try these three exercises to relieve your arthritis pain. Make sure to start slowly and modify the exercises if needed.

1. Air Squats

Like before, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. While making sure your knees don’t bend past your ankles, start to slowly bend your knees, pushing them outward, and sit back and down as though you’re lowering yourself into an invisible chair. Squat down as far as is comfortable for you and then stand back up. Repeat these air squats ten times.

You can also try modifications that include placing a chair behind you or standing by your couch. Instead of squatting over nothing, squat down to your chair or couch.

2. Banded Walks

Placing a small band around your ankles, stand with your feet at hip-width. Bend your knees slightly and step your right foot forward and to the right slightly. Then, do the same by stepping your left foot out and to the left. Keep repeating this knee exercise for ten steps with each foot.

3. Indoor Stationary Bike

If you have an indoor stationary bike at home or your gym, pedal as long as you feel like you can without stressing your knees too much. This can range from ten minutes to an hour normally.

Patellofemoral (pain under kneecap, hurts to bend)

For arthritis pain specifically under your kneecaps that makes it hard to bend your leg, try these arthritis knee exercises.

1. Straight Leg Raises

Lie flat on back, legs extended out in front of you, arms at your sides. Bend one knee and place your foot on the ground about two feet from the glutes. With foot flexed, slowly raise your straight leg about 12 inches off the ground, hold for two to three seconds, then lower back down. Do 10 repetitions, then switch legs and repeat.

2. Swim

Swim as you feel comfortable, anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour.

3. Indoor Stationary Bike

Just like the indoor stationary bike exercises above, try biking to relieve arthritis pain under your kneecap. Indoor biking may be more comfortable than outdoor biking, as you have less chances of falling and potentially injuring yourself. Try it out for 10 minutes at first.

Give these knee pain arthritis exercises a try and chances are, after a few weeks, you may start to notice less pain and even stronger knees.

Related Articles

Father and daughter looking at plants

How to Relieve Arthritis Pain

You can take control of symtoms in a few ways: by exercising daily, eating healthy, and using hot or cold packs. Taking these lifestyle tips into consideration can help make life a little easier.


Man and woman doing yoga

The Effects of Aging on the Body

Just because your body is aging, id doesn't mean you can't feel young! Learn the effects of aging on the body and what exactly you can do about it.


See How Voltaren Can Help

Save Money on Your Next Purchase.

Feel The Joy Of Movement

No matter the day, the hour, or what you’re doing, embrace the joy of movement with the help of specialized products from Voltaren: powerful gel for arthritis pain or drug-free, dietary supplements for healthy joints.*

Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relieving Gel Package
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relieving Gel Package

For Arthritis Pain Relief


Dietary Supplements from Voltaren in Packaging

For Healthy Joints*


Use as directed. Voltaren is approved for treatment of arthritis pain.

VOLTAREN DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS - DISCLAIMER Dietary supplements from Voltaren are not intended to treat arthritis pain.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.