Knee pain sufferers should avoid lunges, deep squats, full-arc knee extensions and hurdler's stretches, according to Active. While these exercises can be done safely even by those with chronic knee problems, they are not recommended because of the high likelihood of them being done improperly and worsening knee pain.
Exercise can be helpful for chronic knee pain, since it can strengthen the muscles around the joints in order to decrease stress that is put on the knee. As a rule, exercises should not involve bending the knee to the point that it sticks out past the toes, since this puts additional pressure on the knee cap.
Some of the best exercises for those with knee pain include partial squats, step-ups, leg lifts and calf raises. Short-arc knee extensions and hamstring stretches may also be useful in exercising painful knees.
Partial squats are done with the feet apart and toes pointing forward while bending at the hip and lowering the body halfway down. Step-ups can be done on a staircase and involve stepping up and then back down. Both side-lying and inner-thigh leg lifts can be done while lying on the floor and alternating sides. Calf raises and straight-leg raises involve lifting the leg off the floor and holding it in position to tighten the muscles.