These Meniscus Tear stretches and exercises should help if you’ve had a meniscal tear. When you tear your meniscus, your knee becomes unstable. Often people also experience popping and clicking in the knee. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at: http://www.askdoctorjo.com/meniscus-tear-stretches-exercises
The meniscus works like a suction cup in the knee, and when it is torn, it becomes painful and sometimes feels like your knee is going to give out on you.
First we will start off with some stretches. The first stretch will be a calf stretch. With your leg out in front of you, take a strap, belt, dog leash, or big towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Try to keep your leg as straight as you can, and relax your foot. Pull the strap towards you until you feel a stretch in the back of your lower leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. Then you will keep the strap on your foot, and lie down to do a hamstring stretch. You want your knee to be straight with this stretch, so only go as high as you can before the knee bends. Pull it up in the air towards your head, and if you pull your toes towards you as well, you will get more of a stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. I have several other stretches for the calf and hamstrings in other videos if you would like to see other versions.
Now for the exercises, you will start with a quad set. Put the leg you want to exercise out in front of you. You want to squeeze or activate the quad muscle by pushing your knee down into the ground. If you want to roll up a small towel to place underneath your knee for a target, you can. Also, pulling your toes up towards you will help straighten out the knee and contract the muscles. Hold this for 3-5 seconds and relax. Start with ten of these and work your way up to 20-25.
The next one you can lie down or stay in a long sit with your leg out in front of you. This will be a heel slide, and all you are going to do is slide your heel up toward your bottom as far as you comfortably can, and then slowly come back down. Start with ten of these and work your way up to 20-25.
Then you will roll over onto your stomach in the prone position. Try to keep your leg as straight as you can, but it might bend slightly. You will do a leg extension movement. Lift your leg slowly off the ground, but you don’t have to go high. Keep your hips on the ground while lifting your leg, and slowly come back down. Start off with 10, and work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then you can add light ankle weights.
Now roll onto your side for the clamshell exercise. This one is harder than it looks. You want to keep your hips straight up and down, perpendicular to the floor. Your hips will want to roll back, but keep them up as much as you can. Then keeping your knees together with one on top of the other, bend your knees slightly towards your body. Then lift the top leg up slightly, like a clamshell opening up. It doesn’t have to be a big movement because you want to keep your hips from moving. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25.
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Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy.
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DISCLAIMER: This video and any related comments are not medical advice. Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy; however, she is not YOUR Physical Therapist and can’t possibly diagnose you through the Internet. So don’t use this information to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they have given you. This information should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If you are not properly diagnosed, this information won’t help, and it could make things worse. If you experience any pain, stop immediately and see your healthcare professional.