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sciencelady 10-19-09 06:12 PM

Quad stretch suggestions if can't bend knee comfortably?
I'm sidelined with a bad knee and have arthroscopic surgery scheduled for early December... My knee range of motion is greatly decreased to about 90 degrees max and getting less over time and my affected quad is just tightening up without any effective stretching, leading to even less range of motion. The knee's sore and stiff but not acutely/sharply painful.

Anyone have any suggestions for an effective quad stretch that doesn't involve torquing on the knee? I'm doing runner's lunges and hip flexor stretches from lunge position with back knee down, but it's not really getting the stretch into my quad.


naturallove 10-19-09 06:18 PM

Is using a foam roller a possibility?

Waterbabie 10-19-09 06:38 PM

Foam rolling is a very good option... I also like the yoga pose, camel, with lots of padding under my knees. My quads are tight so I can't touch my ankles and do this modified pose with my hands on my back or using blocks.

Camel Pose

This might be too extreme for you though. Best wishes for your surgery.

desderata 10-19-09 07:42 PM

I'm at the tail end of rehabbing after arthroscopic knee surgery post injury, and my knee was quite stiff after surgery. A very gentle quad stretch is to lay on your stomach, with both elbows bent and tucked under, so your fists are just above your breasts, forehead resting on the ground. Bend one knee up so that the bottom of your foot faces the ceiling, if possible. Then push your torso up so that your arms are bent at the elbow at 90 degrees. I always felt a stretch up the front of the quad with this one, but it wasn't so intense that it put strain on my sore and tender knee. Let me know if I didn't explain that well, and I'll try again.

Another key piece of advice given by my ortho was to sit straight up, one leg bent with foot on the floor, other leg straight out. Hug the bent knee to your chest and keep your back straight, then lift the straight leg slowly up and down without resting it on the floor between lifts. Start with a count of 10 and increase up to 15 at a time. I wasn't given this exercise for about 6 weeks post injury, and when I started it I was amazed at how weak my quad had gotten in such a short period. The leg raise was tough at that point, but it eventually was successful in regaining quad strength without stress on the knee.

Hth, and hope you recover quickly and fully!

videofit 10-19-09 07:44 PM

I can't bend my legs past 45 degrees so I will kneel on the floor, similar to the photo above but slowly rock back until I feel a stretch. I also stand like I'm doing a lunge or hip flexor stretch but tilt so I feel the quads stretching. I've had bad knees since I was a kid.

antbuko 10-20-09 03:33 AM

I don't have full range of motion in my left knee so what I've always done is the traditional standing quad stretch, only I prop my foot on a piece of furniture behind me instead of grabbing my foot with my hand. It's a fantastic quad stretch.

sciencelady 10-20-09 07:11 AM

Thanks for the suggestions!

I do have a foam roller and should get back into the habit of using it regularly on the quads.

Camel pose is still doable for me with padding under the knee - I usually focus on the chest opening rather than the legs in that pose, but do know how to shift the emphasis to the legs - I'll try that one and the stretch desderata suggested.

Standing quad stretch is a great quad stretch, but doesn't seem to work well with the limited knee bend - I understand the modification and have been doing that, but it's just not been very effective.

Once again, thanks! I'm trying to retain as much mobility in the knee pre-op as possible because I know it will only get more difficult post-op....

naturallove 10-20-09 07:15 AM

Sciencelady-not to enable :D but have you tried either Yamuna Body Rolling or Jill Miller's Tension Tune Down Balls. Both, like foam rolling, facilitate myofascial release, but I the TTD balls really can get into those knots (especially in the quads and hips) because they're small and round. Just a thought...

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