How To Protect Your Knees During Your Workout
About25% of the adult population experiences frequent knee pain. For some, the pain is strong enough to reduce their quality of life and limit their mobility.
As a pain management specialist,Steven Grossinger, DO, knows the toll that aching knees can take on your life and your ability to keep up with your responsibilities.
Dr. Grossinger not only can ease yourknee pain with a customized treatment plan, but he can provide guidance to help you protect your knees from injuries and chronic diseases like arthritis.
Not Following Through With Rehab And Rest
The rest and rehabilitation period after a knee injury is critical to avoiding future pain or reinjury. Depending on the type of damage and treatment, recovery could last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.
“During the rehab period, you need someone to help you tell the difference between something that just hurts, and something that’s going to do you harm,â says DiNubile.
He tells WebMD that many of his young athlete patients are too eager to return to regular play as soon as they stop limping. He advises patients to work with an orthopedic surgeon, a sports medicine physician, a physical therapist, an athletic trainer, or some combination of these pros, in order to ensure proper focus is placed on gradually strengthening the knees.
Break Away From Weight Machines
Weight machines, such as the leg press and leg extension, seem like an easy and safe way for you to perform leg workouts. But overly relying on these machines limits your movement patterns and can cause you knee pain over time. They restrict specific muscles in your body from helping you lift, which can lead to knee inflammation and pain.
Machines are helpful for beginners but may increase the likelihood of knee pain in the future because they dont train you to lift a load in a functional, natural way. Free weights and functional strength-based movements, such as hip bridges, step-ups, and wall sits, help train your body to do as its designed.
If you find your knees hurt despite your efforts, visit Next Step Orthopedics for diagnosis and treatment of chronic knee pain.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Every time you stand and walk, your weight puts stress on your joints, especially your knees. If youre overweight or obese, youre much more likely to damage the cartilage between your joints, resulting in joint pain.
For every excess pound you carry, you put about four extra pounds of pressure on your knee joints. If youre only 10 pounds overweight, youre putting 40 pounds of additional pressure on your knees but if youre 50 pounds overweight, thats 200 extra pounds of pressure.
When you think about how much you walk around every day, its easy to see why your knee joints are wearing out if youre overweight. Losing weight can be a significant factor in knee joint preservation.
Why Your Knees Hurt When Running
1. IT Band Friction Syndrome
IT-band issues are one of the most common nuisances that plague runners. ITBFS occurs when the tendon from your hip to your outer knee gets tight and therefore inflamed, irritating the outer knee bone. If your knees hurt while running and you feel tightness on the outside of your knee, ITBFS may be why.
Fix it: Bummer alert: The only way to ease severe ITBFS pain is to completely rest the tendon , says Leon Popovitz, M.D., founder of the New York Bone and Joint Specialists in New York. Physical therapy may also be needed to ease the inflammation. For mild cases, a foam roller to stretch post-run will quickly become your best friend.
If youve recently upped your mileage or have increased your intensity in a short amount of time, the overuse of your knee can cause the tendons surrounding it to become strained and inflamed. This overuse is called tendonitis and can make your morning jogs pretty miserable.
Fix it: Tendonitis issues can typically be resolved with rest, ice, compression, and easing back into your usual routine. Scott Weiss, D.P.T., licensed physical therapist, board-certified athletic trainer, and exercise physiologist also recommends eccentric exercises to gently stretch the tendons and prevent knee pain when running.
3. Runners Knee
Fix it: Hamstring stretches and leg lifts can help runners knee, according to Dr. Popovitz. Do these post-run stretches to help your legs get stronger and prevent mid-run aches.
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Protect Your Knees This Summer
Did you know roughly 20 million visits are made to physicians offices each year for knee injuries? Thats a lot of aching joints!
And many of these visits happen during the summer months, when weekend warriors and seasonal athletes resume activities they may have put on hold during the winter such as running, tennis, biking, hiking, soccer, golf and other pastimes.
If this sounds a lot like you, take a moment to learn how to protect your knees and how to spot an injury.
Protecting Your Knees
If you’re about to get back into a sport or hobby that may be tough on your knee joints, first ask yourself these questions:
One thing many of us are reluctant to do, especially the weekend warriors among us, is to act quickly when an injury presents itself. Because the knee has many parts ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage and muscle there are many problems that can occur when using your knee joints. So, when exercising, always keep your knees in mind. Ask:
So remember please play it safe this summer and keep these tips handy to help prevent knee injury!
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.
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Proper Fitting Hiking Boots
Our feet are the foundation of almost every movement that we make. If you have improper footwear that makes you feel uncomfortable or restricted while hiking then that will certainly take a toll on your knees, hips, and even the low back. Its important to choose boots with good traction, sturdy material, and flexibility that will allow your feet a healthy range of motion to help you walk. A good rule of thumb to find out if you have properly fitting hiking shoes is that you can slide a finger into the shoe behind your heel and that you can wiggle your toes. Check out our guide to the best womens hiking boots for suggestions.
The Impact Workouts Have On Your Knees
Your knee joints allow you to stand, sit, and walk around. The joint is made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other soft tissues that work together to give you range of motion.
During exercise, your knee joints are under additional pressure. This alone can damage the joint structures over time. High-impact exercise that involves your knees can also put you at risk for soft tissue tears and the wearing down of the protective cartilage that cushions your joints.
Without cartilage, the bones of your joint can rub together. This creates friction that leads to persistent inflammation and ultimately chronicknee pain. Workout damage can also cause joint deformities if not identified early enough.
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Ways To Protect Your Knees
One of my very first yoga teachers used to always say, You can mess with the gods, but you cant mess with the knees. At the time it was nothing more than a joke to me and I didnt think much of it, only because I had never experienced a knee injury before. Two years later, however, I came to terms with just how true this parable is. I busted my right knee in a particularly intense weight training session in 2014 and it has never been the same.
I wish I could blame it entirely on that one moment, but I know that the damage had been stirring for a while. I was overexerting in all kinds of physical activity, from yoga to hiking, and I wasnt doing enough to recuperate after all the effort. Luckily, after months of treatments, my knee has been a lot better â but Ill never again underestimate how delicate that part of the body is again.
Most of us dont realize what kind of stress our knees are constantly in, so we often take them for granted. An intricate mix of tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and muscle, our knees are the most significant hinge in the human body. University of Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeon Nicholas DiNubile told WebMD that the knees serve as your wheels,’ and if theyre in bad shape, the quality of your life immediately declines.
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:
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Choose The Right Activities
Considering the pressure and pounding you put your knees through when you run, especially on hard surfaces, its clear that running isnt the best activity if you have knee problems. Swimming, rowing and cross-country skiing are all knee-friendly activities. Cycling is great too, especially if you keep your saddle at a height that means the angle of your knee doesnt fall too far below 90 degrees while pedalling.
Choose The Right Cardio
Regular cardiovascular exercise is great for maintaining a healthy weight and heart. However, running is tough on your knees and can put unnecessary stress on them.
Opt for cardio such as swimming, rowing, cycling, or walking. These exercises are low impact and do not put direct stress on your knees. Make sure you adjust your rowing and cycling machines for the optimal position otherwise, you can put undue stress on your knees.
If you have your heart set on running, try to limit knee stress by only running on flat surfaces. Wearing the proper shoes also helps protect your knees.
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How To Protect Your Knees When You Work Out
If you experience frequent knee pain, even though you work out and take good care of your health, youre not alone. About one quarter of the American adult population deals with knee pain they would describe as frequent to regular. If youre in this group, your pain likely limits mobility and places a great drain on your quality of life.
At the Orthopaedics of Atlanta and Aesthetic Institute in Smyrna, Georgia, board-certified orthopedic surgeon W. Joseph Absi, MD, seeks to improve the joint health of all our patients in and around the Atlanta metro area, using nonsurgical and surgical therapies.
As part of his professional expertise, he recommends preventive measures to combat knee pain and offers treatments when your knees or other joints hurt or become injured. As a specialist in Sports Medicine, Dr. Absi offers evidence-based advice for how you can protect your knees whenever you work out, and even help to prevent arthritis.
Tips For Protecting Your Knees During Exercise
Knees that creak, ache, or outright hurt limit your daily activity and ability to do all the fun things you enjoy. Dont let a bum knee hold you back. Stay active, but protect your knees during exercise to keep this joint healthy.
Follow these five precautions to keep your knees healthy even during rigorous workouts.
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Listen To Your Knee Pain
If you develop pain and swelling in your knee, take a break from walking, running or any other high-impact activity youre doing. Give your knee the RICE treatment rest, ice, compression and elevation and take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, Rue advises. If it gets better on its own, you can go back to what you were doing, he says. If it doesnt respond in a week or two, have it looked at by a doctor. In the meantime, you can continue to exercise by doing a gentle activity, including swimming, aqua aerobics or bicycling, Willy says, so that you dont lose any of the fitness youve been building.
Health And Wellness: Three Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Knee pain is the second most common musculoskeletal complaint behind back pain. It impacts one-third of all Americans at one time or another – and its prevalence has increased substantially over the last 20 years.
These statistics indicate that its more important than ever to find ways to protect your knees as you age – so you can continue doing things you love – especially if you want to avoid major procedures or surgery.
Here are three tips to help you protect your knees as you age – so that you can stay active and mobile as you age – and hopefully avoid major procedures and surgery:
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Warm Up Before Exercise
Exercising at a high intensity without adequately preparing your body for the work invites injury, especially to vulnerable joints like the knees. Spend five to 10 minutes warming your body up whether youre planning to walk a brisk mile, run a 5K, or lift some heavy weights.
A warm-up starts modestly. If you plan to power walk, for example, spend a few minutes strolling and then pick up your pace gradually over the course of five minutes to full speed.
A workout that involves weight training includes about five minutes of cardio, such as marching in place or riding a stationary bicycle, and a couple of minutes of body-weight dynamic movements, such as squats, high knee raises, and side lunges.
A warm-up increases circulation and range of motion, which prepares your joints for the rigors of your workout session.
If You’re A Runner Mix Up The Surface You Run On
You might have heard that running on grass is the best, and asphalt is way better than the sidewalk. But experts claim that it’s actually best for runners to cross train, despite what we used to believe. Dr. Bob Adams, Chair of USA Track and Field’s Sports Medicine and Science Committee, told Outside Online that using a variety of surfaces will keep your knees healthy and supple. Hit the trails one day, then go on the track the next.
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Can/should I Continue Or Take Up Running
- Recreational runners had less chance of developing knee arthritis compared to sedentary individuals and competitive runners.
- Running at a recreational level for many years can be safely recommended as a general health exercise, and benefits knee joint health.
- The rate of OA increases if you are sedentary or if you are a high-volume high intensity runner , compared with regular recreational running.
- The beneficial effects of running on general health are well established and include improved cardiovascular health, diabetic control, mental health, bone mineral density, reduced weight, potential increases in pain threshold, and balance.
In summary, the benefits of running are numerous, and the evidence suggests that you can be confident that recreational running will not harm, and may even improve, your knee joint health.
What is the Achilles Tendon and what does it do?
The Achilles Tendon attaches your calf muscles to the back of your heel bone.
Plantar flexion is when you contract your calves and point your toes. While running, every time you toe-off, your calves fire, concentric loading of the calves, which pulls on your achilles tendon. Eccentric unloading of the calves happens when you land and your achilles tendon is recruited to help cushion the impact.
What causes an achilles tendon pull?
Get to the source of the problem
Overlooking Other Muscles Around The Knees
Weak muscles and lack of flexibility are primary causes of knee injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic. When the muscles around the kneecap, hip, and pelvis are strong, it keeps the knee stable and balanced, providing support by absorbing some of the stress exerted on the joint.
DiNubile stresses the importance of building the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, as well as proper strengthening of the body’s core muscles, including the obliques, lower back muscles, and upper thigh.
His favorite tool to help accomplish this strengthening is a Swiss medicine ball. Other exercises to try are knee extensions, hamstring curls, leg presses, and flexibility exercises.
Piplica recalls realizing just how weak some of her leg muscles were.
“Roller girls are striding out so much with their outer leg muscles, but we aren’t necessarily working our inner knees,” she says. “I remember when I would run for exercise, my calves and shins would hurt so bad. That surprised me, because I thought if anything was strong, it was my legs.â
Piplica says she wishes she had been better educated about crosstraining activities for roller skaters, and what muscle groups they need to focus on to keep their knees healthy.
As she awaits surgery to repair her torn ACL, Piplica tells WebMD that her perspective on long-term care for her knees has definitely changed.
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