Introduction

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you've a muscle or joint problem affecting your thigh.

Exercises 2, 3 and 4 can help with problems at the back of your thigh. Exercises 5, 6, 7 and 8 (if you can't stretch in standing) are for problems at the front of your thigh.

These video shows the whole movement so don't worry if you can't do it all.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

If your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, phone the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline (only available in some health board regions).

If this service isn't available in your area, speak to your GP to find out if you can refer yourself to a local MSK service.

Lying leg extension

This exercise should be done while lying down.

One stretch is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
To stretch the back of your thigh, lie on your back and lift the leg that's sore towards your chest
Place your hands behind the knee
Gently pull your leg towards your chest - you should feel a stretch in the back of your sore thigh
Hold for 2 seconds then return you leg to the floor

Seated thigh stretch

This exercise should be done while sitting down.

One lean forward and back is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
To stretch the back of your thigh, sit on a chair and place the sore leg in front of the other
Slowly lean forward keeping your back straight - you should feel a stretch in the back of your sore thigh
Hold for 2 seconds then return to your starting position

Standing lower leg raise

This exercise should be done while standing up.

One lift of your foot is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
To exercise the muscle at the back of the thigh, place your hands on a chair or table for support and move your sore leg slightly back from the other leg
Bend your knee and lift your back foot off the floor - you should feel the muscle tightening at the back of the thigh
Hold for 2 seconds then return to your starting position

Lying knee bend

You should do this exercise while lying down.

Bending and straightening your knee is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With both knees straight, slowly bend the knee of your sore leg by sliding your foot along the floor or bed towards you as far as is comfortable
Hold this position for 2 seconds before straightening your leg

Seated knee bend

You should do this exercise while sitting down.

Lifting and lowering your leg is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With both feet on the ground, lift and straighten your knee as far as is comfortable
Hold this position for 5 seconds before returning your leg to the floor

Standing quad stretch

You should do this exercise while standing. If you find this problematic, try the sidelying quad stretch instead.

Lifting and bending your knee is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
Stand holding on to a support with one hand
Lift and bend your knee, pulling the ankle towards your bottom - you should feel the stretch at the front of your thigh

Sidelying quad stretch

You should do this exercise while lying on the side with your sore thigh uppermost.

Lifting and bending your knee is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
Lie on your side with your legs bent
Take hold of the ankle of your upper leg
Gently draw your foot towards your buttock, feel the stretch in the front of your thigh
Relax your leg and repeat the exercise pulling the ankle up a bit further

Also on NHS inform