Meniscus tear cause, symptoms, and treatment with 4 exercises

A meniscus tear is a common cause of knee pain. Meniscus complaints can arise because the meniscus is irritated or torn.

In the past, surgeons thought that they could only solve a meniscus tear using surgery. Today, however, it is known that a meniscus tear heals in 95% of cases with the right exercises. Exercise therapy also reduces the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis later in life, which does happen after surgery.

In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly how you can treat your meniscus tear yourself. I describe the cause, symptoms, and treatments of a meniscus tear through 4 physical therapy exercises. You can read the story of one of our readers who followed our treatment plan successfully here.

So read on quickly.

  1. Meniscus tear cause
  2. Meniscus tear symptoms
  3. Meniscus tear treatment with 4 exercises
Meniscus tear cause, symptoms, and treatment with 4 exercises

Meniscus tear cause

There are 2 menisci in your knee. These lie on your shin and ensure that your upper leg remains well on your shin. Your shin and thigh both have different shapes, so they don’t fit nicely on top of each other. Your meniscus provides stability to your knee and improves mobility.

The outer part of the meniscus is well perfused, and the inner part has almost no perfusion. Good blood circulation is necessary for a good recovery because blood transports the essential building materials. As a result, the outer part of the meniscus recovers better than the inner part.

The inner part of the meniscus can recover because the use of the knee ensures that the synovial fluid can pass on the building materials to the meniscus. However, this goes much slower so that the recovery of the inside of the meniscus goes slower.

The cause of a meniscus tear is often overload, a fall, or twisting of the knee. Wear and tear can also cause the quality of your meniscus to deteriorate, causing a tear. It is often associated with knee osteoarthritis.

The symptoms of your knee pain can help you determine whether your meniscus is the cause of your knee pain.

Also read: Knee osteoarthritis treatment | 3 exercises to postpone surgery

Meniscus tear cause, symptoms, and treatment with 4 exercises

Meniscus tear symptoms

You can recognize a meniscus tear by several specific symptoms. First of all, pressing on the inside of the knee is sensitive. That is because the entire area around the meniscus is irritated.

Rotating the knee causes pain, significantly when bent. Also, the knee is often limited in full flexion and extension. In addition, there may be a lock of the knee. The knee then blocks briefly because the torn piece of the meniscus gets stuck in the joint.

Locking the knee may indicate surgery, as it can cause additional damage to the cartilage. In most cases, the locking disappears quickly through the exercises.

As a final symptom, the knee feels unstable, making it difficult to put weight on the leg.

Meniscus tear treatment with 4 exercises

For an effective meniscus tear treatment, it is essential to put weight on your knee again gently. As a result, the meniscus receives sufficient nutrients to recover without being overloaded.

One way to reduce the load on the meniscus is to wear a knee brace. A knee brace minimizes the pressure on your knee so that you experience less knee pain. It allows you to keep moving.

Cycling on an exercise bike also ensures that your knee moves without putting too much strain on it. It provides good lubrication of the joint with synovial fluid, which also contributes to repairing the torn meniscus.

Additionally, taking Glucosamine may help to repair the cartilage in your knee and reduce knee pain. There is no hard scientific evidence that it works, but many people feel the benefit of it. That means that it doesn’t work for everyone, so you have to find out for yourself if taking it will help you reduce your knee pain or not.

Finally, it is vital to make the knee more flexible and the thigh stronger. Restoring the stability of your knee also contributes to recovery.

The following 4 physiotherapy exercises ensure that your knee becomes strong and stable again so that you can quickly get rid of your meniscus tear.

Meniscus tear cause, symptoms, and treatment with 4 exercises

Meniscus tear exercise 1: Improve the strength of your leg muscles

The first meniscus tear exercise focuses on improving the strength of your leg muscles. When your leg muscles become stronger, the pressure on your knee and meniscus reduces. The exercise design ensures that you can train your leg muscles without putting too much pressure on your meniscus.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Lay down on your back
  • Pull your toes towards you and keep your knee extended
  • Now lift your leg ten times without rest
  • Repeat this three times
  • Do this for both legs

You can also see how to perform the exercise correctly on this youtube video.

You will notice that your injured leg feels much weaker when you perform the exercise than your healthy leg. As you do the exercise more often, you’ll see that this difference disappears. That’s also when the knee pain starts to wear off.

As the exercise gets easier, you can lift your leg 15 or even 20 times to improve your strength even more.

meniscus tear exercise 1 train your leg muscles

Meniscus tear exercise 2: Improve the stability of your knee

The second meniscus tear exercise focuses on regaining the stability of your knee.

Due to the torn meniscus, your knee lacks stability. That makes walking more difficult and also increases the risk of re-injuring your knee.

By performing this exercise, you’ll train your leg muscles to react faster. The faster reaction and better cooperation improve your knee stability and reduce your pain and symptoms.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Stand on your injured leg
  • Slightly bend the knee you’re standing on
  • Also, bend the other knee
  • Make sure the legs don’t touch each other
  • Hold this position as long as you can
  • Repeat the exercise as often as you can

You can see how to perform the exercise correctly in the youtube video.

You can do this exercise almost everywhere you are, whether you’re watching tv, cooking dinner, or brushing your teeth. You can do all this on one leg.

You can increase the difficulty of the exercise by closing your eyes. You can also buy a balance cushion to make the exercise more challenging.

meniscus tear exercise 2 Improve stability

Meniscus tear exercise 3: Squats

The third meniscus tear exercise focuses on improving the strength of your leg muscles even further. It would be best if you only started this exercise when your knee pain significantly reduced.

Doing squats can train your leg muscles better than with the first exercise, but it also puts more stress on your knee and meniscus. That’s why you shouldn’t start too early with this exercise.

The reaction of your knee during and after the exercise will tell you if it’s ready or not.

You shouldn’t feel pain during or after the exercise.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Place your feet shoulder-width
  • go down through your knees as far as possible
  • Keep your weight on your heels and your knee’s behind your toes
  • Repeat this ten times
  • Do this three times

You can see how to perform the exercise in the picture.

Make sure to perform the exercise correctly. When your knees go past your toes, this puts more pressure on your meniscus, which can cause more damage to your meniscus.

You can prevent this by keeping your arms in front of you for balance.

You can increase the number of repetitions as the exercise gets easier.

meniscus tear exercise 3 squats

Meniscus tear exercise 4: Lunges

The final meniscus tear exercise you can do for your recovery is the lunge. Making lunges is also a great way to increase the strength of your knee and improve the repair of your meniscus.

Since lunges also involve bending your knee under pressure, you shouldn’t do this exercise when the function of your knee is still limited.

The reaction of your knee during or after the exercise tells you if you can do the exercise or not.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Place your injured knee in front of your and the other leg behind you
  • Now lower your body towards the ground by bending your injured knee
  • Make sure you keep your knee in the same place and don’t let it shift forward. You may have to place your healthy leg further backward if this is difficult.
  • Repeat this ten times
  • Do this three times

You can see how to perform the exercise in the picture.

Repeat the exercise with your other leg forward as well. You can also increase the repetitions to 15 or 20.

meniscus tear exercise 4 lunges


When you follow this step by step plan to the letter, your meniscus will heal within 6-8 weeks.

If you have any questions left, you can send me an e-mail for personalized advice.

Good luck.

If you find our information helpful and would like to support us, you can donate here through PayPal or leave a review on Google or Facebook.

Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video’s.