Meniscus Tear Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some stretches and exercises for a meniscal tear. Let’s get started. When your meniscus is torn, your knee becomes unstable. The meniscus is basically like a little suction
cup in your knee. That’s what I call it. And when there becomes a tear, that suction cup
doesn’t hold everything together so basically then your knee is unstable and kind of wiggling
when you walk. You can’t see it, but a lot of times you can feel it. It just feels like
it’s gonna give out on you. So we’re gonna start off with some stretches. This first
stretch is gonna be a calf stretch. You can stretch your calf a bunch of different ways,
I’m gonna show you with a strap today. You just take, you can take a strap, you can take
a belt, a dog leash works really well, or a big beach towel if you don’t have any of
the others. Take the strap and put it at the ball of your foot. You don’t want it on your
toes and you don’t want it down low, you want it right there at the ball of your foot so
it doesn’t slip off and hit you in the face. Just relax your leg and then pull towards
you to stretch that foot. And you should feel it underneath where that calf muscle is. So
just hold it for about 30 seconds and then relax. And do that 3 times. Just pulling towards
you as far as you comfortably can. You don’t want it to hurt cause your knee’s gonna b
a little tender while you’re stretching because that calf muscle comes and crosses over the
knee. So that’s kind of stretching out that joint area so it not quite as painful on the
meniscus. Then the next stretch you want to do is a hamstring stretch. Again I have a
video for a lot of hamstring stretches and calf stretches if you want to check them out,
but I’m just gonna show you the one where you’re lying down. So still keeping the strap
in the same spot, you don’t have to move it, just at the ball of your foot there. And then
you’re gonna lie down. Bring the strap and just pull it up towards you as far as you
comfortably can. You might not be able to get this far, but you want to keep that knee
straight. So if you start bending right here, come back down a little bit cause you want
to keep it straight the whole time to stretch out those hamstrings underneath here. And
again, the hamstrings cross the other way, so you want to keep those nice and loose so
it’s not pulling and putting pressure on that injured meniscus. So again holding that for
about 30 seconds. If you bring your toes up towards you, that will give you even more
of a stretch and it will stretch your calves and your hamstrings at the same time. So 3
times for 30 seconds. And then going into some of the exercises. You can start off with
a simple quad set. The quad set is basically when you’re taking this quad muscle and squeezing
it, or setting it, and that pushes the knee downward. So sometimes people want to take
a little roll to have a target. You can do that, or just push down into the ground as
hard as you can, comfortably. If you pull up your toes, again that helps straighten
out the whole leg. Hold that for about 5 seconds, relax, and do 10 of those. So squeezing down,
you should feel that muscle tighten up right there, and then relax. Now if it’s painful,
don’t squeeze quite as hard. You want it to be uncomfortable, but not painful. Then the
next one you can either lie down or stay sitting up just depending on your comfort level. But
you’re just gonna take your heel and slide it up towards you. So just up this way, which
is a heel slide. You can take this one and keep it slightly bent or straight down whichever
one’s more comfortable for you. And then come back down. So just bring it up until you feel
some tightness, stretch in the knee, not pain. And then back down. So start off with just
10 of those and then if they become a little bit easier, then you can work your way up
to 20 or 25. Then you’re gonna roll over onto your stomach into the prone position. And
keeping your leg as straight as you can, just lift it slightly of the ground into that hip
extension and then come back down. Try not to lift your hips up off the ground, so don’t
roll it and kick high. It doesn’t have to go high. But just lifting off the ground and
then slowly coming back down. Again start off with about 10 of those and then work your
way up from there. So the last exercise is gonna be a clam shell exercise. It looks really
easy, but if you’re doing it correctly it’s actually pretty hard. Bring your knees together
and pull them up slightly in this position. The key to a clam shell is your hips should
be perpendicular to the ground and the ceiling. Straight up and down. Sometimes people roll
them back a little bit, but you want to keep them completely up and down. So if you have
to lean them up against a wall to keep them up, you can start off that way. But what you’re
gonna do is that top leg, just bringing it slightly up, but again, try not to roll back.
So it doesn’t have to go high. Just bring it up until you feel that stretch and then
slowly come back down. Make sure you’re doing both sides. And just start off with 10 and
work your way up to 20-25. Alright, there you have it. If you have any questions, leave
them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, like the calf
stretches and the hamstring stretches, go to AskDoctorJo.com Don’t forget to like us
and subscribe. And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

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