In performing the following exercise, one should be in a supine position (lying down facing the ceiling on one’s back).
- Dorsiflex the ankle and foot (pull the foot and ankle up towards the head).
- Push the knee down into the floor or underlying bed, feeling the front thigh become tight.
- Keeping the thigh muscle thight, lift the entire leg and foot up into the air such that the heel is raised about one foot above the floor or bed surface.
- Hold this position keeping the thigh muscle as tight as possible for a count of ten. At this point, one can relax and place the entire leg and foot back on the flor or bed.
In performing this exercise, the thigh muscle is strenthened and therefore control of the kneecap is improved. This exercise is done in such a way that the knee is not bent and then straightened during the exercise. By not moving the knee through a range of motion, this prevents irritation of the knee joint and the underlying portion of the kneecap which other methods of strengthening the thigh muscle (i.e. nautilus machine) would cause.
You should perform forty five repetitions of the exercise (outlined in paragraph one) a day. An easy way to perform this is to divide the exercise into three exercise periods throughout the day and perform fifteen straight leg liftings holding each one for a count of ten at each period.
When you are able to perform forty five straight leg lifts per side easly for three or four days, you should place a two pound weight about the ankle. This can be done by either getting a tote bag and hanging it upon the ankle and placing within the tote bag a two pound weight or another way to do this is to buy ankle weights in a sporting goods store. When a two pound weight can be lifted by performing the exercise in exactly the same fashion as outlined in paragraph one, you can try hanging the ankle and foot out over the edge of the sofa or bed before one begins the exercise so that the weight is hanging free on the ankle.This is done so the ankle has to be lifted a one foot distance to perform the exercise. You should continue to increase the weight with two pound increments each time until you reach a maximum weight of 8 lbs. When you have reached the maximum weight outlined, you should stay at this weight for a four week period and then you can stop the exercise. If symptoms recur, you should begin the exercise program again as outlined above.