Heel slides are knee rehabilitation exercises to improve early range of motion and decrease swelling.

heel slides
Wearing a sock and using a slippery surface like a tea tray will help with the exercise. You can help initiate flexion using the hands or a towel slung over the lower limb, with the ends held in both hands.


The importance of regaining range of motion

When the knee has been injured there may be excess blood or joint fluid in the joint cavity, making it hard to get rehab going. Also the quadriceps muscles are easily inhibited after injury. Heel slides gently improve range of motion, and this helps to decrease swelling and restore quads muscle activity.

This article offers a suite of early knee rehabilitation exercises for the damaged knee.

A-Z of Rehabilitation Exercises

An alphabetical list of the sort of exercises usually prescribed by physiotherapists for knee rehabilitation.

Heel slides

A very early rehab exercise for maintaining range of motion.



Osteoarthritis After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. The Importance of Regaining and Maintaining Full Range of Motion Shelbourne KD, Freeman H and Gray T. Sports Health. 2012 Jan; 4(1): 79–85.

See also -


eBook - Cornerstones of Early Knee Rehabilitation

Simple eBook outlining the theory and practice of early knee rehabilitation, and gives details of the important knee exercises.