How To Prevent Knee Pain For Hikers
Now following on that last point, the single most important way at preventing knee pain is to strength train! Most hikers will usually roll their eyes right around here because most hikers hate exercising outside of hiking or hate going to the gym or think strength training is not important.
But lets look at it this way, youre not going to the gym just for the sake of going to the gym, youre training so you can be a stronger hiker, handle bigger and tougher terrain, and all without hurting yourself.
Most hikers think that all they need to do to train for hiking is to just hike more. Hiking more is great but walking and hiking arent strengthening your body the right way that is going to prevent knee pain. I mean if it would, wouldnt your knees have stopped hurting by now?
I learned this one the hard way. I didnt train correctly and didnt focus enough on strength training which then led to my body not being able to handle the difficulty of the trail I was doing. Even though I was hiking challenging trails every weekend prior, and I ended up injuring my knee.
Simple Home Exercises And Stretches Can Help Ease Some Common Types Of Knee Pain
If youve got sore knees, exercise might seem like the hardest thing you can do but its also one of the best.
“Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.
The right combination of strengthening and stretching exercises can relieve pain by helping to improve the way the joint moves and functions.
“The knee is often an innocent bystander between the hip and the foot. Knee pain is often caused by problems occurring above or below,” says Dr. Elson.
For example, weak hip muscles may cause more strain on the knee, intensifying your pain. Strengthening the muscles around the hip joint can help relieve it, says Dr. Elson.
In addition, knee pain is sometimes caused or aggravated by tight muscles around the knee, a problem that is often successfully addressed by stretching. If the muscles arent flexible, the knee joint sometimes wont move properly, says Dr. Elson.
How Does Walking Help The Knees
The knee is a very intricately designed joint comprised of a series of tendons, ligaments, and meniscus . Unlike muscles, cartilage doesnt get its nourishment from blood, but instead relies on synovial fluid within the joint. Movement causes the release of synovial fluid into the joint, walking can lubricate the knee, reduce stiffness and provide nutrients to the cartilage.
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How To Get Moving Every Day
In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.
Exercises To Help Relieve Knee Arthritis Pain
The most common cause of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis, which becomes more common with increasing age. Over time, the cartilage in your knee joint wears away causing pain and tenderness while using your knee.
“The stronger your leg muscles are, the more they can help cushion your knee joint during impact and during exercise,” explains Dr. Brooks.
But, you’ve likely already noticed that some common leg-strengthening workouts, such as running or jumping, actually worsen your knee pain.
“High-impact weight-bearing exercises aren’t recommended for people whose knee pain is due to arthritis,” says Dr. Brooks.
Instead, Dr. Brooks recommends improving your knee mobility by stretching regularly especially your quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles and increasing your knee stability by performing low-impact leg strengthening exercises, such as:
- Riding an exercise bike
- Using an elliptical
- Water-based workouts, such as walking, high-stepping, kickboarding or other exercises you can perform while holding on to the ledge of the pool
“Performing water-based exercise is a really good way for a person with arthritis in the knee to maintain his or her overall fitness,” explains Dr. Brooks. “The buoyancy effect of water can relieve the pressure on the joints, making conditioning and strengthening exercises much more comfortable.”
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What Are Risk Factors For Knee Pain
Biomechanics: The knee joint is complicated in its operation and is used frequently throughout the day. Any change in the movement of the joint can cause subtle changes and cause pain and injuries.
Excess weight: The stress on the knee joint is increased with excess weight. Obesity also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis as the cartilage breaks down more rapidly.
Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises or work conditions can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.
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How To Reduce Knee Pain In Old Age
It is important to follow exercise routine be active involved in activities that keep them busy and interesting. Add calcium preparations to your diet. Milk is a rich source of calcium so you can add milk products to your daily intake. It helps you make your bones stronger and getting rid of knee pain or any kind of joint pain. one can use hot water fermentation exercises diet nutrition yoga physiotherapy are some of the alternative ways to reduce knee pain in old age these are explained in detail above..
When pain is severe, swelling around the joint, instability in the knee, pain in the night then it is necessary to take orthopaedic consultation
What Is Knee Pain
Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.
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Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:
Our Orthopaedic Doctors Are Here To Help
Despite well-intended prevention efforts, sports injuries, joint pain in the back, knee, hip, spine and other parts of the body can occur. If you find yourself in need of expert orthopaedic care, were here to help.
Cary Orthopaedics provides comprehensive orthopaedic care. We have specialists for the treatment of all joints, as well as doctors who focus on joint replacements and spine care. We also offer the latest methods of physical therapy and acupuncture.
Our locations in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and Holly Springs are conveniently located to serve patients from across the Triangle.
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Don’t Skip The Exercise Even If You Have A Structural Problem
The key is to know your limits. Strength training that focuses heavily on building up muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings can decrease pain and help people better tolerate arthritis and other structural knee problems. Staying active helps control weight and build muscle, both of which can help protect your knees from further damage.
The best exercises for people with structural knee problems include nonimpact aerobic exercises, such as walking on level ground, training on an elliptical machine, using a stationary bike, swimming and doing water aerobics. Its also wise to avoid activities that put extra stress on the knees such as kneeling, deep knee bends and downhill running.
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
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Think Twice About These Treatments
Our experts say that some people may find relief with the following therapies but that this may be because of a placebo effect:
Injections. While injections of corticosteroids may ease inflammation and pain, relief is short-lived, and the therapy can cause side effects, such as bone thinning, tendon weakening, and nerve damage. The May 2018 Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study mentioned above reported that injections of hyaluronic acid, which is also sometimes used for knee OA, dont have a significant positive effect on pain and function.
Bracing. A 2015 Cochrane review on bracing found that wearing a brace, such as a valgus knee brace, neutral brace, or neoprene sleeve, may have little or no effect on pain reduction, knee function, or quality of life. And because a knee brace must exert enough force on the knee to change your gait, its pretty uncomfortable, says David S. Jevsevar, M.D., chair of the department of orthopedics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Theres little evidence that these help knee OA, according to the AAOS guidelines. In addition, supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way that medications are, and you cant be sure that whats on the label is whats in the bottle.
How Severe Is The Pain
The amount of pain and soreness you are experiencing can give you a clue as to what is going on. While calf pain can range from minimal to severe, if symptoms are severe you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. It can indicate more serious issues like a blood clot, infection, fracture or major muscle tear. Additionally, while some night calf pain is normal, if its completely affecting your sleep quality talk to your doctor.
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Do Gentle Exercises With Your Knees
Try this exercise a few times throughout the day to reduce the swelling:
- Lie down and extend the injured knee with a pillow or a towel under the joint.
- Then, try to push the pillow against the bed with the backside of your knee joint. This will activate your quadriceps muscles.
- Repeat 10-15 times, holding it for a few seconds.
This is called a quadriceps setting exercise which, as you might have guessed, works the quadriceps one of the biggest muscles that support your knee.
Doing this will increase the blood flow to your knee and help to get rid of the inflammation.
Whether You’re Active Or Not Stretching Is Good For The Knees
Stretches that focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles take pressure off of the knees and kneecaps. “Many people often say there is no aerobic value in stretching, so they see it as a waste of time,” says Bush-Joseph. “But a well-conditioned, flexible body is less likely to develop overuse problems in the knees.”
Some good stretches to protect the knees include step-ups, hamstring curls and straight-leg lifts. Additionally, stretches that focus on building flexibility in the hips, including a butterfly stretch and a standing hip flexor with a resistance band, can help alleviate knee pain.
People who do not like to stretch before a workout can still protect their knees by slowly ramping up to top speed rather than jumping full speed into their workout.
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Losing Weight Can Improve Knee Pain
“Your weight plays a major role in knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “If you walked around all day with a backpack that had a 10-pound weight in it, you would feel how achy your back, hips and knees are at the end of the day. That shows you the impact extra weight can have on your joints.”
With each step people take, two to four times their body weight is transmitted through the knee joint, according to Bush-Joseph. Thus, the more you weigh, the harder the impact is on your knee joint.
However, people who are overweight and have arthritic knee pain can lessen the impact and ultimately, relieve knee pain by losing weight. In fact, people with arthritic knees lose about 20 percent of their pain with every 10 pounds of weight loss.
“If you are 20 pounds overweight and you have arthritic knee pain, almost half of your pain will go away by losing 20 pounds,” says Bush-Joseph. Of course, losing 20 pounds isn’t easy. But, if people are able to lose even 10 pounds and add in some stretching and flexibility training, they’ll experience significantly less pain, according to Bush-Joseph.
How To Fix Knee Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 48,833 times.
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How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
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