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While it may seem like a minor issue, a knee injury can affect every aspect of your life. It can make just standing up from sitting so tricky that many people would rather be still and sore than struggle for five seconds more.

Knees are among the most-used joints in our bodies. We use them virtually all day—walking around, climbing stairs, or bending down. There’s no shortage of opportunity for soft tissue damage if something goes wrong with your knee.

So, how can you shorten your soft tissue knee injury recovery time if something has already gone wrong? Soft tissue knee injury exercises in addition to undergoing RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), taking pain relief medication, and even getting surgery are all options.

Let’s take a closer look at how exercise can help heal your knee injury. We’ll examine the best exercises to do and how to do them correctly to avoid further injuries.

What is a Soft Tissue Knee Injury?

A soft tissue knee injury is just what it sounds like, an injury to the soft tissues of the knee joint, including the muscles, tendons, menisci, and ligaments.

These injuries occur due to a sudden, unusual movement of the knee that strains it beyond its normal range.  It’s important to know what you’re doing so your injury doesn’t become more severe than just pain and swelling in your knee joint.

Causes of Soft Tissue Knee Injuries

Something as simple as an unexpected fall or bumping into someone or something else can cause a soft tissue knee injury. The leading causes of soft tissue knee injuries include:

  • Disease
  • Infection
  • Trauma

The Best Exercises to Shorten Your Soft Tissue Knee Injury Recovery Time

Low-Impact Cardio

If you have pain and swelling in your knee, it can affect your balance and stability. Take some time to do low-impact cardio exercises such as walking and cycling for 15-30 minutes 3-5 times a week—as long as it’s pain-free.

Strength Training

One of the most important steps you can take when injured is to move your knee muscles gently and dynamically with exercise equipment like weight machines to build strength. Exercise improves stability, knee function, and motion, but move slowly and be careful not to overdo it so as not to cause more swelling or pain.

Water Exercises

A study from 2016 found that middle-aged and older adults who exercised in the water, with swimming or water aerobics, experienced less pain associated with osteoarthritis in the knee. It also improved their strength and functional capacity.

The buoyancy of the water makes it possible to exercise without putting pressure on your knee joints, which can be beneficial for those with joint problems.

Rowing and Stretching

The rowing machine is a great way to build up your leg muscles and prevent knee pain. When these muscle groups are out of balance, it can lead to injuries or aches in other areas such as the back. The motion involved in rowing isn’t just beneficial for existing problems; it will keep you healthy too.

Rowing is one of the best soft tissue knee injury exercises you can do because it provides resistance against both sets of quadriceps (front) and hamstrings (back). This continuous motion provides a wide variety of benefits, including strengthening knees while also keeping them safe from injury—whether you’re currently experiencing pain or not.

Other Useful Tips

Here are some more tips on how to protect your knees during your recovery workout sessions:

  • Change your routine to work a variety of muscles and prevent overuse injuries.
  • Warm up before exercising to increase your body temperature, promote blood flow to the joints, and loosen up your muscles.
  • Wear the proper shoes to maintain adequate support.

Final Thoughts

Painful knees don’t have to limit your freedom. You can still go for a walk if you need the release, and there are soft tissue knee injury exercises that will strengthen and stretch those muscles in other ways, promoting healing. Remember, it’s important to consult with a medical professional before beginning any exercise regimen.


The material on this website is intended for educational information purposes only.  It should not substitute or delay medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.