Years Of Wear And Tear Can Take A Toll On Your Knees But There Are Strategies To Relieve Pain
Whether it’s a sharp pain or a dull ache, knee pain is a common problem in women particularly older women. One study of women ages 50 and older, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that nearly two-thirds had some type of knee pain during the 12-year study period.
Dr. Rebecca Breslow, a sports medicine doctor and an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says many of the active older women and the female athletes she sees in her practice have knee pain. While there are numerous pain-inducing knee conditions, three seem to be the most common culprits in older women:
Below is a guide on how to recognize these conditions and how to treat them.
What Causes These Problems
Like many work-related hazards, standing usually is designed into a job. The physical layout or work practices of a task may force workers into awkward positions to reach across wide surfaces or do things repetitively without breaks. Standing is worse when you cant move around much, or when you work on hard surfaces and/or wear unsuitable footwear.
Muscles work to hold you upright. Without resting or moving around, joints from the neck to the feet can become temporarily stuck. When this happens regularly, muscles get tired and their tendons and ligaments can be damaged, causing soft tissue injuries.
Standing still also reduces blood flow to muscles and stops the muscle pump that returns blood from the feet and legs to the heart. Other body fluids wont move unless leg muscles contract. When blood or other fluids dont move properly, veins get inflamed and feet, ankles and legs swell, causing muscle ache.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What to do for knee painWhat can cause knee pain without injury?
There are a number of causes of knee pain that dont involve an injury to the knee. These include:Pain in other areas If theres another area of your lower body such as the feet or hips where youre experiencing pain, you may alter the way you walk in order to compensate. This can put extra pressure on your knees, resulting in pain.Mechanical issues Certain types of mechanical problems can cause pain despite there being no actual injury to the knee. Examples include a dislocated or loose knee cap and Iliotibial band syndrome which is commonly referred to as IT band syndrome. This is where the iliotibial band becomes tight and rubs against the thigh bone. This can cause inflammation, irritation and pain.Arthritis Specific types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis affect the joints, including the knees, and can contribute to pain.Being overweight Excess weight can put additional pressure on the knees, resulting in pain.
How do I know if my knee pain is serious?
In order to know if your knee pain is serious, youll need an evaluation by a doctor who may recommend certain tests in order to determine the cause of the knee pain. These tests may include an ultrasound, MRI, CT scan or X-ray. Blood and fluid tests may also be recommended in order to make a diagnosis
What causes pain behind the knee?Can sciatica cause knee pain?How to stop knee pain
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What Is Wear And Tear Arthritis
How can you tell if you have osteoarthritis?
If you have pain inside your knee, under your kneecap,especially when kneeling, squatting or going up and down steps, its usuallywear-and-tear arthritis, says Dr. Nickodem.
Cartilage, the cushioning betweenbones, deteriorates throughout life. It can erode more quickly in some peopledue to injury or genetics. As cartilage thins, your bones begin to rubtogether, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Sometimes the level of pain does notalways correlate to the severity of the condition.
What Happens To Your Body When You Stand All Day
As youve probably already noticed after extended periods of standing, your feet can hurt. Even if you have a quality pair of shoes your feet may still be sore. But aside from sore feet, you may experience swollen feet, ankles, and calves.
Circulation in your lower body has to work extra hard to return blood to your heart if youre standing all day, which can cause swelling and aching. What would normally be a quick fly-by of blood with oxygen and nutrients turns into a traffic jam which leads to fluid leaking from the blood vessels into surrounding the tissue.
You may also notice your lower limbs getting tired more quickly. This is known as a lower limb fatigue. As your lower limbs get tired, your legs may begin to cramp or back pain could set in.
A recent study suggests that standing all day can be detrimental to your health. You may not be giving up your standing job anytime soon, so the best remedy is to take care of your body at work and at home.
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Wear Comfortable & Supportive Shoes
Use slippers with arch support that you can walk in the whole day. Choose shoes that are comfortable and have enough room for your feet you dont want to end up with squeezed feet after a hard days work. Avoid high-heeled shoes of up to six inches.
High-heeled shoes exert all your weight on the front part of your feet, causing pain. If you must wear them, go for heels that are a bit wide and as low as three inches, especially when you tend to stand for long periods of time at the workplace.
Walking barefoot exposes you to infections such athletes foot. Use flip flops in bathrooms, sandy areas or even locker room showers. Flip flops can reduce pain resulting from stressed fractures, especially if you have flat feet. However, avoid using them regularly to help reduce your flat foot problem.
Articles On Knee Pain
You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.
Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
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Knee Pain Relief 6 Natural Treatments Including Exercises
Reviewed by Ron Torrance, DO, FAOASM
Next to back pain, knee pain is one of the most common complaints among both older adults and younger athletes. Knee injuries are one common cause of knee pain, but you dont have to fall, trip or get into some type of accident to hurt your knees.
What can cause knee pain without injury? Arthritis, overuse, osteoporosis, certain types of exercises like running, and repetitive movements are all potential causes of knee pain.
How do you relieve knee pain? Identifying the underlying cause of your pain is the first step. Treating health conditions that might contribute to inflammation , exercising appropriately, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching and doing certain knee exercises can all greatly help you find relief.
Chronic Degeneration Of The Meniscus
The meniscus is a rubbery c-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee. When the meniscus is torn abruptly it can cause your leg to lock up and impact your ability to walk, but more often than not the cartilage in your knee is damaged over time due to wear and tear. This is when standing knee pain can become a problem.
Chronic degeneration of the meniscus can occur from excessive standing or running. Acute meniscus tears are usually from sudden pivoting or twisting as seen in basketball or football. A torn meniscus normally produces localized pain that is worse during twisting and squatting motions.
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How To Choose The Best Shoe Inserts
The sizes of insoles are within general shoe sizes. To buy the most adequate, you need to know the exact size of your shoes. But also many are adjustable, so even if you buy a bit bigger pair, it shouldnt be a big problem.
It is essential that insoles are placed well in your shoes and dont slide around. If you make sure that the sizing corresponds to the size of your footwear, you shouldnt have any issues.
Type of Your Foot Arch
Foot arch can be low, medium, and high. Every type of best shoe insert is designed to provide support to the specific arch. It can provide support for two types at the same time, but not all three of them. You need to know what kind of arch your foot has before buying this item.
Insole Footbed Type
You can choose from four kinds of footbed: firm orthotic arch support, partially firm orthotic arch support, cushioned arch support, or no arch support. You can choose one according to your needs and preferences.
This is again, the matter of your personal preference. There are four types of materials used for shoe inserts: foam, cork, gel, and foam. Leather is soft and cushioned cork provides support. Foam is an excellent solution when you need to relieve pressure, and gel has fantastic shock absorbing capacities.
Conventional Treatments For Knee Pain
Ron Torrance II, D.O, a Sports Medicine Trained Physician at the New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, says he commonly sees knee pain-related conditions among his younger patients who are generally fit especially runners, female athletes and anyone who uses their legs in other repetitive ways
Dr. Torrance feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someones current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees.
When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Torrance first looks at his patients symptoms and then discusses their lifestyle and exercise habits. Knee pain treatment should always depend on which specific part of the knee is injured and the underlying cause of the pain. Even if medications and corrective devices like knee braces are needed to treat knee pain, exercises, stretching and other functional medicine practices should also be incorporated to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Aside from resting the knee after an acute injury, conventional treatments for chronic knee pain that lasts more than several weeks include:
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Have They Got The Correct Heel And Arch Support
Consider placing orthotics inside your shoes which can be purchased from most drug or athletic stores.
If youre not sure about what is right for you, seek professional guidance and get fitted correctly.
Tip Make your birthday/Christmas present every year from now on be a new pair of work shoes.
Remember if you are on your feet all day for work you can potentially claim footwear as a tax-deductible purchase. Its worth investigating
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Common Causes Of Knee Pain
Knee pain describes any type of discomfort that affects the knees, such as sensitivity and throbbing. Its common for knee pain to also be accompanied by other symptoms affecting the legs, which can include:
- Swelling around the knee
- General reduced range of motion of the legs
- Feeling like your knee gives out when you try to move
- Unusual sounds when moving the knee, such as a popping or crunching sound
The knee joint, a complex part of the body that is formed by interconnecting bones, cartilage and ligaments, is where the major bones of the upper leg and lower leg meet. The knee is actually the largest joint in the human body and functions as a hinge joint, formed by the femur , the tibia and the patella that are held in place by several joints/tendons. The knees must withstand pressure, weight and shock, and rely on the muscles in the legs to keep them stable and strong.
Knee pain is sometimes referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome or runners knee, which describes pain and other symptoms affecting the area between your patella and femur . Its possible for knee pain to be either chronic or acute. Chronic pain is the kind that does not come on suddenly and continues to get worse. It usually lasts 46 weeks or longer.
Most Common Knee Pain Causes:
Knee Injuries that Cause Knee Pain:
Summary: How To Relieve Foot And Leg Pain From Standing All Day
Say no to throbbing, aching legs and feet after a shift once and for all.
Remember, if your feet are happy, youre happy!
Lets all start being a little kinder to our legs and feet by buying high-quality shoes that fit correctly, incorporating stretching and massage into our daily routine and dont be afraid to use ice or elevation for your feet once you get home.
Thanks for reading this post on how to relieve foot and leg pain. What else do you do to relieve the pain? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Alternate Between Sitting And Standing
Waitresses, bank tellers, chefs, factory workers etc. often get their jobs done while standing, hence they should alternate between standing and sitting to ensure theres proper blood circulation throughout their bodies. You can sit while receiving a phone call or doing some paperwork.
Take every chance you get to sit down and even raise your legs a bit if thats possible to enhance blood circulation. Remove your shoes to let your feet relax and cool down due to evaporation and as fresh air hits them.
Take advantage of lunch breaks and even break times to relax after prolonged standing. If your workplace has no seats, go for lunch in a nearby mall or food court just to make sure you get a chance to break from standing and sit for awhile.
Aged people are more susceptible to leg injuries and conditions such as varicose veins because their tendons and ligament have lost elasticity. Take any chance you get to alternate between standing and sitting to relieve your feet and legs of pain.
Top 12 Knee Pain Exercises And Stretches
The type of knee exercises that will help you find relief from knee pain depends on the underlying cause of your condition. Dr. Torrance has found that for his patients to get the most results from knee pain exercises and stretches, they first have to identify if theyre generally more strong or more flexible.
If youre legs are very flexible but not so strong, you want to work on strengthening and activating the correct muscles in your legs to support your knees . On the other hand, if youre strong but also tight, you want to improve your flexibility/mobility. If you have a condition that causes pain, gently working on improving both strength and range of motion is important.
Below are some of Dr. Torrances favorite knee strengthening exercises and stretches:
1. Clam Shells This is a great exercise for younger athletes and females who have weak gluteus medius muscles. Its also helpful for those who have flat feet, which creates stress in your ankle that travels up to your knees. Start by laying on your right side with your knees bent and feet and hips stacked. You want your feet to be in line with your butt and your shoulders stacked. Engage your core and keep your feet together as you raise your left knee out to the side while keeping your right knee down on the floor. Hold your lifted knee for one second, then lower and repeat. Try to complete 20 reps on each side.
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