Dealing with knee pain? It can really disrupt a routine. Here are 12 tips to help you avoid knee pain.
Knee pain, unsurprisingly, is very common. After all, the knee is the largest joint in the body and is responsible for bending and straightening your legs! It is a common misconception that “bad knees” translates to not being able to exercise, but that is the farthest from the truth. It is actually crucial to stay active to strengthen the supporting muscles and to prevent knee pain from getting worse. While there are movements that you should avoid, there are also plenty of safe exercises that do not strain the knee joint!
Here is a list of the Do’s And Don’ts to avoid knee pain:
Walking is a perfect low-impact activity that does not require equipment. Start with what you can handle and gradually build up to 20-30 minutes a day and your knees will thank you!
-Warm Up and Stretch:
You never want to jump right into an exercise routine without warming up your muscles or else you are just asking for injury. Before any exercise be sure to take a few minutes to slowly walk a couple laps and stretch out your legs. This will get your muscles warm and reduce discomfort.
-Exercise In Water:
Exercising in water is a great way to move around with less pain due to water’s buoyant properties. In other words, water helps you float above the surface and essentially makes your joints carry less of your body weight.
-Try Knee-Friendly Exercise Equipment:
There are plenty of options in the gym that put very little stress on your knees in moderation. For example, try out a stationary or recumbent bike or the elliptical to get some good cardio into your routine!
-Work to Strengthen Your Supporting Muscles:
Think of the muscles around? your knee as a natural knee brace. The two main muscles groups that support the knee are the quadriceps and the hamstrings. Focusing on strengthening these two large muscle groups to create better support for your knee joints. Some exercises include: straight leg raises and (safely!) walking backwards.
-Consider Contacting a Professional:
Whether it be an exercise or yoga instructor, a professional, can provide you with appropriate exercises and and stretches, also a physical therapist can diagnose unhealthy movement patterns. These trained professionals have invaluable knowledge on how to set you up for success and eventually, lessen your pain!
Now, For the Don’ts...
-Don’t Participate in High-Impact Activities If It Aggravates Knee Pain:
Most actives that include running, sudden stopping, jumping, and frequent turns put compromised knees at risk of further damage. Some of these include sports such as tennis, soccer, football, and basketball. It is not the case that you are forbidden to participate in these activities but be mindful of your movements and protect your knees!
-Don’t Exercise On Hard Surfaces:
If you have a choice, take a walk in the grass or a dirt path. Concrete or asphalt lack shock absorption and therefore increase pressure on the knees when walking or running. Treadmills are arguably a good alternative, but among those there are good options and bad ones too. Focus on the shock absorption!
-Don’t Do High-Load Exercises:
These exercises, such as full squats, leg presses, and lunges, can increase pain. While they require you to bend your knees beyond the natural 90 degree angle, they also put excessive pressure on the joint. Also, these exercises in particular are often done with improper form which can always cause further injury.
-Don’t Overlook Your Weight:
Just being overweight adds unnecessary stress on your knees. Even small changes make a significant difference on the load your knees carry.
-Don’t Wear Worn Out Shoes:
Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or are worn out affects the way you walk. Compromising the way you walk redistributes the pressure your knees bear and, in turn, increases stress on them. Cushioned insoles, often specially shaped for your foot, are the best option to reduce knee pain.
-Don’t Over-Do It!
As always, never skip a rest day. Your knees need time to recover with any kind of exercise regime.
For over 20 years, families across the U.S. have turned to Real Time’s lotions and creams for PAIN RELIEF YOU CAN TRUST®. From Lifestyle Essentials, through our Nujuvena line, to Pain Relief Formulas, Real Time has you covered.