Knee pain can make even everyday tasks difficult. These simple ways can help you deal with the condition and its symptoms.
Knee pain, which may be caused by injury or other medical issues, is a common condition that afflicts people of all ages. For many people, the pain may be minor and can be treated with some self-care and professional help. However, in some cases knee pain can become a frustrating condition as it becomes advanced and chronic, and may require surgical repair or even total replacement of the knee.
Knee pain can occur in one or both your knees, and it refers to a general pain that you might feel throughout your knee or in a specific spot. Some of the most common causes of this condition include overuse, injuries such as a fracture or ligament tear, and diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, knee arthritis is among the biggest causes of chronic disabilities among people aged over 65 years in the Unites States.
The symptoms and severity of knee pain can vary according to the patient, and depending on the cause of the pain. However, there are some common symptoms of knee pain that you should keep an eye out for, and consult a doctor immediately if you experience something similar. Some of the common knee pain symptoms include weakness or instability in the area, swelling, stiffness, difficulty in straightening the knee, redness, and pain. But the good news is that most chronic knee pain is treatable with the proper medical help and some self-care techniques. Here are some of the simple ways by which you can take care of your knees, manage the symptoms of knee pain, as well as prevent further pain.
- Do the right exercises: We tend to be sitting for most of our time today, and this is why it’s important to stretch our muscles in order to avoid muscle tightness and imbalances. The same goes for knee pain. In order to get relief from the condition, ensure that you get the correct amount of exercise regularly to keep your joints healthy. Stretching the muscles that support your knees and other leg muscles can be effective in keeping your knees flexible and in good shape. To repair any previous knee injuries that you might have, it is important to strengthen your hamstring muscles that are located on the back of the knee. But do not go for random exercises just because those worked for someone you know, as you might just end up doing more bad than good. Consult your doctor as well as a physiotherapist for the right guidance on exercises that would be the most beneficial for your knee pain symptoms.
- Know which activities might worsen your knee pain: Taking forward the previous point on exercising, it is also essential for you to steer clear of the activities that can harm your knees or worsen any existing knee pain. Try to avoid activities that put extra pressure on the knees, such as running, jogging, certain sports like basketball, or hiking on a hilly terrain. Consider swimming or water aerobics as these activities are great ways to improve your flexibility while running a lower risk for injuries.
- Wear proper footwear: Yes, those 3-inch stilettos may look great, but also remember that wearing shoes with high heels increases the compressive force on the knee joints by a significant 23%. Moreover, wearing high-heeled shoes encourages tight calf muscles, which can pull your feet inward and put extra stress on the ankles and knees. Tight calf muscles are one of the common causes of knee pain. So check your shoes and avoid heels, hard materials, and bumps that may feel uncomfortable—flat shoes and sandals are the best options. Having said that, you also need to replace your workout sneakers on a regular basis. Depending on the level of your activity, get new sneakers every 300 miles. This is one of the safest ways to avoid wearing shoes with improper cushioning support for your joints and arches, and prevent further knee pain.