Knee Exercises for a Baker's Cyst

A Baker's cyst, also known as a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled growth that causes swelling, tightness and bulging in the knee. This can lead to pain when the knee joint is moved, restricting its movement and strength. The Baker's cyst usually results from arthritis, a cartilage tear or other damage in the knee, according to, and although it often heals itself over time, knee exercises can help improve the strength and utility of the knee while the cyst is present.

Bent-Leg Raises

Bent-leg raises help strengthen your inner thigh, which often is weaker than the outer thigh and can cause imbalances in the knee. To perform this exercise, place 1 lb. ankle weights on both ankles and sit down on a chair. Straighten one of your legs out in front of you, holding this position for one minute, then bend the knee at a 45-degree angle and hold this for 30 seconds. After you have held the bent position, return your leg to resting position with your feet on the ground and rest for one minute. Repeat up to four times, and increase the amount of weight to up the intensity of the exercise as you progress.

Back of Knee Stretch

The back of knee stretch helps stretch the hamstring, calves and back muscles in addition to the back of the knee. Stand up and place the balls of one foot on a step or curb in front of you. Hold your knees and back straight as you bend down to touch your toes, or at least stretch to try and reach them. Hold this position for 20 seconds, then switch feet and repeat the exercise.

Straight-Leg Raises

This exercise helps strengthen the quadriceps muscles in relation to how they support your knee joint. Much like bent-leg raises, this exercise also requires the use of 1 lb. ankle weights. Wear the weights and sit down in a chair. Place one foot on the floor and place the other extended straight out in front of you on a chair or footrest. Lift the foot a few inches off the surface, keeping it straight. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return the foot to the chair or footrest for 10 seconds. Continue this exercise for up to three minutes, then repeat on the other leg.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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