Fix Your Knee Pain With These Simple Exercises
Youve probably had a twinge or two of knee pain in your life. But just because knee pain is fairly common, that doesnt mean its something you should have to live with. The knee joint is arguably the most stressed joint in the human body, says Richard Wilcock, a strength coach and owner of Flagship Fitness. When youre on your feet, the knee is taking the strain with over three quarters of your bodyweight pushing down on it. Its this constant strain that leads to pain as a byproduct of wear and tear, muscle imbalances, and even referral pain, where you feel pain somewhere else in your body. By and large, this pain is curable as long as you know how to manage it.
First things first: Reduce your load. Remember that pain is your bodys way of saying, Stop! So when pain strikes, the obvious, though often ignored, first step is to lay off the activity causing the pain. If running is your trigger, stay at a mileage or pace that doesnt provoke your pain, says Dr. Erin Weber, a physical therapist with Physio Logic. If the pain comes on at the three-mile mark, stop at two and a half.
The same concept applies to strength training. If your knees start hurting as you load more weight onto the barbell, reduce the load and stay at a resistance that doesnt provoke the pain.
You can also add side-lying hip-abduction exercises, such as leg lifts and clamshells, to further target these smaller gluteal muscles.
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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.
Injections Are Another Low
If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.
A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.
Currently, research is being done on the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma , which is not yet covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee.
If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
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What You Need To Know
- The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
- Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
- Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
- Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.
Mobilize The Front Side Of The Body
Chronic front-sided knee pain that occurs at, below, or adjacent to the knee cap is perhaps the most common knee pain condition, and it can be caused by a multitude of reasons. But many of these complex problems can be improved, if not eradicated, by paying some attention to the front side of the leg.
The quadriceps group is comprised of four key muscles that all play roles in extending the knee, and that all attach onto a common quadriceps tendon.
However, one particular quadriceps muscle tends to be a linchpin of pain in the lower body. The rectus femoris, which travels along the midline of the thigh, has attachment points that cross both the hips and the knee. This makes it a key area to mobilize for helping to alleviate both chronic tightness in the hip flexors, and pain at the knee.
The most effective way to alter the relative tightness of this muscle group is the rear-foot-elevated hip flexor stretch. Done properly, it can also improve control and coordination of the hips and core, allowing you to create mobility that actually transfers into movement patterns. This is why itâs an essential part of the warm-up in my lower-body workout in on Bodybuilding.com BodyFit Elite.
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How Would You Describe Your Pain
I know, its a tough question sometimes. But you probably can tell the difference between a dull, throbbing pain and a sharp, burning sensation.
Thats important. A sharp, burning sensation more is often a sign of an irritated nerve, rather than a problem with a joint or ligament. On the other hand, pain from arthritis might be described as being more constant.
How Can You Prevent Knee Pain
The US in 2013 alone reported a 160% increase in people who were experiencing knee pain and knee injuries and, thus, requiring knee replacements. That fact alone tells us that we need to make a conscious effort when it comes to preventing knee problems.
To help you reduce your risk for knee pain, you can do the following:
1) Check your posture during exercise
While most gym buffs boast about how heavy they can bench press, people who have proper knowledge when it comes to fitness know that appropriate posture and execution means everything when it comes to results.
If you are someone who loves doing CrossFit or if you like doing squats and deadlifts, then you should be mindful of how you execute your exercises to avoid injuring your knees. If you feel pain developing on or around the knee area, you should consider giving them a rest by shifting to swimming, aerobics, or other exercises that will not put pressure on your knee joints.
2) Shed extra pounds
Whether you like it or not, your weight matters when it comes to your knees. The heavier you are, the more pressure your knees get as they try their best to support you and allow movement. Scientific studies have shown that for every pound of weight you lose, your knees also lose three pounds of pressure.
3) Strengthen your legs
4) Always condition your knees and give them rest
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You Participate In High
Its important to stay active, and maintaining an exercise routine can actually help knee pain. But high-impact activities can make knee pain worse. Exercise like running, kickboxing, or high intensity interval training can jar your joints and make your knee pain worse. Some stretching exercises, like squats and lunges, can put extra pressure on your knees as well.
Whatever the cause of your knee pain, we can help. Dr. Shults and the team at Coastal Empire Orthopedics offer a range of knee pain treatments for patients. From physical therapy and bracing to reconstruction or knee replacement surgery, were committed to getting you back to your active lifestyle.
You shouldnt have to live with knee pain. Dr. Shults and his team can help diagnose your pain and find a treatment plan that works for you. Get back to enjoying your life with compassionate care at Coastal Empire Orthopedics. Call our Savannah, Georgia, office today or book your first appointment online and start finding relief from your knee pain.
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New Methods Of Resolving Knee Pain Without Drugs Or Surgery
Do you feel like your knee is hanging on by a string? Wonder how youre supposed to get through life when your knee is swollen, painful and unstable? Having suffered from a sports-related injury that left me in chronic pain for years, I believe my experience, personal struggle and quest for alternative solutions can offer you hope for dealing with your own knee problems without surgery or excessive medication.
First, there are important facts to address about most knee problems to address before a long-term solution can be obtained:
Too often a healthcare approach is plagued by tunnel vision. Only the area of pain is addressed and treated while the underlying cause is neglected. This is most evident in the case of the knee. I have found in my personal situation and with many of my patients that the majority of knee conditions are caused by problems within the pelvis. The exception is when there is clear and direct trauma to the knee itself.
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.
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Risk For Complications During And After The Procedure Of A Hospital Floor
When operation and surgery come up in conversation the main person that is highlighted is the surgeon but there is a large team of people behind the surgeon assisting him at every step. The operating room is a very different experience then being on a general hospital floor. The operating room gives the perspective on what happens, in some cases, before the get to the hospital floor. The purpose of this paper is to identify the clients risk for complications during and after the procedure, identify
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When Will My Knee Feel Better
People heal at different rates. Your recovery time depends on your body and your injury.
While you get better, you need to take it easy on your knee. That doesnÃ¢t mean you have to give up exercise. Just try something new that wonât hurt your joint. If youâre a jogger, swim laps in a pool instead.
Whatever you do, donât rush things. If you try to get back to your workouts before youÃ¢re healed, you could damage the joint for good. Donât return to your old level of physical activity until:
- You can fully bend and straighten your knee without pain.
- You feel no pain in your knee when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
- Your knee is as strong as your uninjured knee.
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Ways To Avoid Knee Pain And Injuries
Learn what exercises and actions to avoid to prevent knee injuries.
Knee pain is often caused by either a one-time acute injury or repetitive motions that stress the knee over time, particularly as we age. There are some steps you can take to avoid knee pain and injuries.
“One of the most common things that causes knee injuries is the runner’s stretch,” says Robert Gotlin, DO, director of sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. “That’s when you grab your foot, bringing heel to butt. We all do it, but it’s one of the things that tends to increase knee pain. By bending the knee all the way, the kneecap gets jammed into the bones below it.”
Dr. Gotlin said the runner’s stretch can set the stage for chondromalacia patella, a condition where the cartilage under your knee cap becomes softened, which is the most common form of knee pain. “By repeatedly jamming your kneecap, you are promoting more chondromalacia,” he says.
Generally, Gotlin says the best knee injury prevention starts with becoming familiar with your own body and learning how to exercise correctly. If your knees are the type that are prone to chronic pain from arthritis, for example, impact-oriented exercise is not a good idea. Opt for an elliptical machine rather than the treadmill at the gym.
Tips for Avoiding Knee Injuries
In addition to Gotlin’s advice, you can avoid knee pain and injuries by doing the following:
What Are The Common Causes Of Knee Pain Problems
The knee is the largest joint in the body. It works overtime, especially as you age or as you gain in weight, this is why your knees are quite prone to injury and pain.
Knee pain is often the result of wear and tear on the joints, especially as we age. People who go for long walks, jog, lift weights, and play sports have a very high risk of developing this debilitating problem. Knee pain can also be a result of medical complications such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Aside from natural causes or medical problems, knee pain can be a result of an injury. The knee is a vital junction in the body that connects a couple of large bones and muscles. In order to allow movement, the knee has ligaments and menisci. And sudden movements like twists or rotations that damage the muscles such as strains or sprains, or that damage the cartilage or ligaments, can ultimately lead to severe pain in the knee.
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For many, the culprit behind that nagging soreness is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans quite often, in this particular joint according to the Arthritis Association.
But there are other common causes of knee pain, stemming from the fact that knees are our largest, most complex joints. Knee joints allow you to stand up straight, walk stairs and get up and down from sitting, says Daniel Saris, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Medical School. But they are also the most difficult joint because they’re not stable. Hip joints and ankles are both pretty stable by themselves, but the knee is just three bones trying to be good friends, and they need muscles and ligaments for stability.”
Knee pain is not to be taken lightly. A Japanese study, published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found a link between the onset of knee pain in people 65 or older and depression. And a recent study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that knee pain in men and women over age 45 correlated with higher rates of death.
Will Surgery Treat And Cure Knee Pain
Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
Acupuncture has shown some relieve of knee pain, especially in patients with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have shown mixed results in research studies.
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