Knee pain can be debilitating. For those that suffer, it often seems like there is no end to the daily soreness and pain that comes from knee joint pain. Although most never find a complete reprieve from the pain, there are some simple steps that anyone can take to improve their comfort and reduce daily knee joint pain.
If you would like to walk more comfortably each day, consider these tips:
Wear Comfortable Shoes
The first and most important step that someone that suffers from knee joint pain can take is to ensure that they are wearing the right shoes. The right shoes must provide ample arch support (without providing too much), be comfortable, not too tonight, and promote healthy posture. Since most people have their own unique ways of walking, you may want to work with a specialist to determine which shoe brands and shoe types will be the best fit for you.
Wearing the right shoes can mean the difference between serious knee pain and a small inconvenience. Keep in mind that the cost of the shoes usually has little impact on how they help your knees. According to a recent study, those that suffer from arthritis found the most positive impact when choosing shoes that were designed to mimic the biomechanics of walking barefoot.
When choosing shoes to wear to combat knee pain, look for shoes that are soft and flexible. You want to make sure that your shoes do not change the way that you walk, or inhibit your natural walking posture. Choose shoes that are comfortable, soft, and flexible.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the leading causes of knee pain is obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight not only reduces the load on the knees but helps to ensure that you maintain a healthy posture. Although losing weight can be difficult, working together with your doctor to find the a healthy, balanced diet can be a way to reduce knee pain in the long-term and work toward improving your overall health.
Ask Your Doctor About Insoles
There are many different causes of knee joint pain. Flat feet, or feet with high arches can naturally cause knee pain. In some cases, investing in a pair of orthopedic insoles can be a great choice as it can balance out the imperfections in your arch and provide you with a more comfortable walking posture.
While insoles can help, it is important that you not blindly buy a pair of insoles without having your step and arch evaluated by a doctor first. Buying the wrong insoles can do more harm than good in some cases.
Even for those whose knee joint pain inhibits their ability to work out, it is important that you find some way to exercise the knee. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support the knee and increase flexibility overall. Weight training and stretching can be a great way to reduce knee joint pain in the long-term.
Popular cardio choices for those with knee pain include walking, swimming, water aerobics and elliptical machines. When choosing an exercise that falls within your pain threshold, try out different options. What is right for someone else with knee joint pain may not be right for you.
Focus on Low-Impact Exercises
When you suffer from knee joint pain, you still have to work out. Unfortunately, many traditional exercises are actually going to cause more damage and result in more pain. It is important that you are able to identify low-impact exercises that you like that can give you a way to exercise without causing additional pain throughout the day.
Conventional wisdom tells us that resting a painful area of the body allows it to heal. Unfortunately, with joint pain, too much time resting can actually worsen the pain. There are many exercise programs that are safe for your knees. Find one that you enjoy and stick to you. If you are not sure what types of exercises that would be appropriate for your condition, you can ask your doctor or physical therapist.
Don't Jar Your Knees
Although it might seem like common sense, it is important that you understand that placing heavy stress on your knee is likely to injure it further. Avoid exercises that involve running and jumping. Opt for exercises like lunges or squats instead. If you do not feel comfortable that your knee can hold up while playing your favorite sport, then opt not to play. Give yourself ample time to heal.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important. During sleep is when our body does most of its healing. A healthy sleep schedule can help to limit the effects of painful knees over time. For some, this is a bit of a catch 22. If your knees are currently impacting your ability to sleep, you may want to explore other sleeping potions or consult with your doctor about available options.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. These 4 practices are essential to managing knee pain and reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
Rest is essential. If you are on your feet a lot throughout the day you must be sure to find time to sit down throughout the day and when you get home. Being on your feet all day will lead to increased swelling and pain throughout the day.
Ice is important for reducing swelling and pain. On nights when your knee is more painful, try icing it while keeping the leg elevated to reduce swelling and help you rest more easily. When icing your knee, wrap your knee with a compression bandage to further reduce swelling. In some cases, wrapping the knee throughout the day can have a positive effect as well.
Using OTC Medications
One of the most common ways to manage severe knee pain is to use over-the-counter medications to control the pain. For knee pain, doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. These can help to reduce swelling and relieve pain, making it easier to get through the day. It is important that you speak with your doctor about appropriate dosage amounts as over-usage can result in long-term damage.
Consider Physical Therapy
For those with severe knee pain, physical therapy is likely the best choice. Physical therapists have years of training in helping individuals to build stronger muscles, implement positive changes to their lifestyle and routines, and find solutions that fit well within the limitations of the patient. You may want to consult with your doctor first, particularly if the knee pain is a new pain. For long-term pain management, physical therapy is an excellent choice.
If you would like to reduce knee joint pain and live a more active lifestyle, Mueller Sports Medicine offers a wide range of products that can help including knee braces and knee straps. We'll work closely with you to find the product that is right for you, limiting your knee pain. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you today, please contact us to schedule your initial consultation. We'll walk you through the available options and help you identify a product that will help you get through the day and be more active.