Fitness > Physiotherapy Exercises for Knee Pain for Senior Citizens
28th Apr 2021

Physiotherapy Exercises for Knee Pain for Senior Citizens

The knee joint is the largest joint in the human body that takes the most stress and bears the maximum weight of the body when people run, walk or climb stairs. Knee pains are very common as people age due to loss of muscle mass, but physiotherapy exercises for knee pain for senior citizens can help them stay healthy and active. Physiotherapy is a proven way to reduce pain, restore strength, and regain function.

In older adults, knee pain can appear abruptly and intensely, or it can grow over a period of time. This includes pain or soreness caused by:

Sprained knee ligaments
Meniscus tears

Knee physiotherapy exercise has been shown to improve several aspects related to ageing that include flexibility, coordination, pain levels, balance, and strength. Here are some physiotherapy exercises for knee pain for senior citizens.

Leg Crosses

Leg crosses can help you strengthen your upper legs and knees. This simple physiotherapy leg exercise can be carried out at the edge of a chair or a bed.

•    Sit at the edge of a bed, cross your ankles while putting your right leg on top.
•    Move your back leg forward and press the right leg backward against it. This activity should make your thigh muscles contract.
•    Looking straight ahead, maintain the position for at least 10 seconds.
•    Now switch legs and do it again.
•    Perform this physiotherapy exercise for knee pain on each leg four times.

Knee Straightening

Knee straightening can help you decrease the pressure on your knee joint and also strengthen your hip flexor and knees. It is a simple exercise for older adults that can be easily performed on a chair.

•    Sit up straight on a chair keeping both feet flat on the floor.
•    Look straight ahead, and exhale as you straighten your left leg.
•    Hold the position for five seconds.
•    Now breathe in as you bring it down to the initial position.
•    Repeat the same process on the right leg.
•    Do 2 sets of 5 repetitions on each leg.

Remember, knee straightening is not about moving fast but maintaining a correct form throughout the whole session. The best physiotherapy exercise for the elderly, knee straightening can help build muscle strength to support fragile joints.


This exercise improves your knees limber while allowing you to perform a light cardio workout. Step-Ups can be easily performed at the bottom of a staircase or using an aerobic stepper. Elderly people, who have balance problems, should keep the stepper near a wall or a chair to maintain their balance. In case you are doing this exercise on stairs, it is recommended to hold the railing to avoid falls. Here’s how you can perform this exercise:

•    Stand up in a straight line facing the stairs or stepper.
•    Breathe in while moving your right leg on the step.
•    Now, put your left leg up onto the step.
•    Hold on 1-2 seconds and breathe out when you step down with your right, and then left leg.
•    Perform this exercise 10 times.

Step-ups is effective physiotherapy for knee pain, but it may not be safe for all seniors. So, it is vital for seniors to have a caregiver or family member to give extra support for balancing their body.

Knee Squats

Knee squats can improve your ability to walk and get up from a chair comfortably. This exercise can also help you to strengthen your knees and provide better balance and safety. You can easily perform knee squats using a sturdy chair.

•    Stand facing the back of a chair.
•    Place your hands on the chair and hold it to maintain your balance.
•    Look straight ahead, exhale and squat down in a manageable position.
•    Now, breathe in as you gradually return to a standing position.
•    Repeat this physiotherapy leg exercise 10 times.

Knee Curl

Knee curls can help elders to strengthen their knees while enhancing flexibility in the joints. This is also a simple exercise that can be done using a chair. You can follow these steps:

•    Stand straight while facing the back of the chair.
•    Keep your hands on the chair to balance your body.
•    Now, place your feet at a little distance.
•    Put your weight on the left leg while keeping your knee a little bent.
•    Next, you have to exhale as you twist your right knee and lift your right foot towards your buttocks.
•    Breathe in as you gradually bring your right leg back down to the starting position.
•    Repeat it 10 times on both legs.

Knee Curl is the best physiotherapy for the elderly at home. Make sure your knee is a little curved on the weight-holding leg to avoid any further knee issues. Those who want to make this exercise more challenging can add ankle weights. However, they need to start with a light weight and then gradually shift to a more heavy weight.

Calf Raises

This is also an easy physiotherapy exercise for senior citizens, working on lower knees and calves. Calf Raises can be performed standing against a wall or using a chair for balance and support. For this exercise, you need to:

•    Stand using a chair to balance yourself. Remember, you need to face the back of the chair.
•    Maintain a little distance between your feet with your toes facing forward.
•    Now, exhale as you stand up on your toes as high as you comfortably can.
•    Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
•    Breathe in as you gradually return to the first position.
•    Repeat 10-15 times.

This is the best physiotherapy for knee pain that can support the back of your lower legs, including the calf muscles. Remember, control is important with calf raises for strengthening your calf muscle and improving your balance.

These are some easy physiotherapy exercises for knee pain for senior citizens. However, it is crucial for seniors to consult their doctor if they are above 65 or have some other health issues. Physiotherapy treatment for knee pain can have a lot of health benefits for seniors. People must discuss knee pain and treatment options with a doctor to get the right physiotherapist services for the elderly.

At Emoha, we provide the best physiotherapy for knee pain at home.  We have experienced caregivers and experts who carry out a complete assessment of the patient and create a customized plan of physiotherapy treatment for knee pain to heal patients and help them live a high-quality life. For us, it is always #EldersFirst