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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.
Treating A Strained Knee
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What Can You Do To Prevent An Injury In The Knees
The following tips will help prevent injury and become more important with age:
- Stretch before you play.
- Incorporate strengthening of the quadricep and hamstring muscles into your exercise program.
- Ice muscles after activity.
- Maintain an appropriate weight to reduce the pounding on the knees during activity.
You Experience Greater Than Normal Movement
If you feel like your range of motion in the knee is higher than usual, something might be out of place or injured. This is known as joint instability.
You may feel like your knee will buckle or fold with walking, twisting, or weight-bearing.
The sensation of the knee giving away may occur with simple daily activities or upon return to sport following what was thought to be a minor injury, explains Dr. Brown.
Additional episodes of joint instability may worsen the condition of a knee after an injury. Tears of the ACL or MCL and patellar dislocations could also create joint instability, he says.
Hundreds of thousands of exercise injuries occur each year. Among these, knee injuries are the most common.
The best plan of action is to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.
Wear a compression-sleeve-type brace or a knee brace with hinges in the interim, says Dr. Brown.
This may provide some comfort or level of support. Use crutches if you feel like you could fall and suffer additional injury because of knee joint instability.
Another type of hypermobility can occur when the kneecap moves out of place. This condition is called a patella dislocation. Its usually painful when it happens, and it might be sore the next day. If it pops back in by itself, the injury might not be serious. The true test is whether you feel confident that you can resume regular activity later that day or the next day.
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by Alison Gwinn, AARP, September 20, 2019| 0
En español | Oh, my aching knees! If that’s your daily refrain, whether you’re walking the dog, climbing stairs or just sleeping, you’re not alone.
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.
Can You Prevent Knee Pain
There can be many reasons for knee pain. Therefore, there are different strategies to prevent the pain depending on the underlying cause. Running on soft surfaces or decreasing the amount of running can help if the pain is due to overuse. Avoiding any direct injuries to the knee including wearing a seatbelt can prevent traumatic injuries. Weight loss can be helpful for many different forms of knee pain.
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Six Ways Youre Making Knee Pain Worse
While it may seem like knee pain is an inevitable fact of aging, you may be able to avoid it. In fact, you may be doing some things unintentionally that are causing your knee pain, or making the aches and twinges you already have worse. Do any of these sound familiar?
Youre overweight. Your knee joints are your shock absorbers and stabilizers. The more weight you carry, the more pressure on your knees. You dont need to reach your so-called ideal weight to feel a difference every pound you lose reduces the strain on your knees.
You dont warm up or cool down properly when you exercise. Be sure to ease into workouts by starting slowly to give muscles a chance to warm up, and stretch adequately afterward, particularly the muscles in your legs. Flexibility is one important key to good knee health.
You jog or walk downhill a lot, or on hard surfaces. When you go downhill , you put more pressure on your knee joints. You cant always avoid it, of course, but if youre mapping out a walking or jogging route, youre better off on gently sloping or flat surfaces. And speaking of surfaces, skip hard cement and pavement in favor of something with a little bit of bounce or give, like a running track or trail.
You wear ill-fitting shoes. Good arch support is important to help absorb some of the pressure your knees normally take. If you have flat feet, consider inserts for your shoes. And avoid flip-flops and other very flat shoes with no support.
Beat Knee Arthritis Pain
You cannot undo the changes in the bone and cartilage associated with knee arthritis, but by using these top tips, you can help reduce the impact arthritis has on your life.
You can get more active, get back to doing the things you love, and reduce or maybe even abolish your knee arthritis pain altogether. Start today!
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What Are Knee Pain Symptoms And Signs
- Chronic use/overuse conditions: osteoarthritis, chondromalacia, IT band syndrome, patellar syndromes, tendinitis, and bursitis
Below is a list of some of the more common causes of knee pain. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather highlights a few common causes of knee pain in each of the above categories.
Acute knee injuries
Fractures: A direct blow to the bony structure can cause one of the bones in the knee to break. This is usually a very obvious and painful knee injury. Most knee fractures are not only painful but will also interfere with the proper functioning of the knee or make it very painful to bear weight . All fractures need immediate medical attention. Many fractures require significant force, and a thorough examination is performed to detect other injuries.
Ligament injuries: The most common injury is the ACL injury. An ACL injury is often a sports-related injury due to a sudden stop and change in directions. The remaining ligaments are injured less frequently.
Meniscus injuries: The menisci are made of cartilage and act as shock absorbers between bones in the knee. Twisting the knee can injure the meniscus.
Dislocation: The knee joint can be dislocated, which is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Knee dislocation can compromise blood flow to the leg and have other related problems. This injury often occurs during a motor-vehicle accident when the knee hits the dashboard.
Top 10 Ways To Reduce Knee Arthritis Pain
Knee arthritis pain is a common problem.
Approximately 11% of people over the age of 64 have arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is when there is wear and tear of the bones and cartilage of the knee.
In knee arthritis, the cartilage that lines the knee joint thins, while the bone underneath thickens. This produces bony spurs known as osteophytes, which makes the joint surface all bumpy rather than being nice and smooth and flat. This often results in knee pain and stiffness
Here are the top 10 things you can do to reduce arthritis knee pain and improve how the knee moves.
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For Tendinitis Runners Knee Gout And Bursitis
The treatment for conditions that cause swelling, redness, and dull, burning pain usually starts with resting the joint. Ice your knee to control swelling. Elevate and stay off your joint to promote healing.
Your doctor may recommend or prescribe NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing protective kneepads and going to physical therapy, can help you manage pain and experience fewer symptoms.
You may need to make changes to your diet, especially if youre treating gout.
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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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- You cannot bear weight on your knee.
- You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
- Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
- Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
- You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
- You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
- You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
- You still have pain after 3 days of home treatment.
Options For Treating Your Knee Pain
There are many reasons that you might deal with knee pain. There are also many ways for you to deal with your knee pain so that you can go on with your life and keep walking around and doing the things that you enjoy. This article will explain four different options for treating your knee pain and getting back to your normal life.
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Types Of Knee Pain Doctors
Knee pain doctors can come from various different fields of medicine such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, podiatrists, neurologists, primary care physicians, or orthopedic surgeons.
However, broadly speaking, if you are wondering what kind of doctor for knee pain exists, there are three knee pain specialists palliative care specialists, interventional pain and spine specialists, and chronic pain specialists.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to what doctor to see for knee pain. But you should look for interventional pain specialists because theyre the only ones who can truly diagnose the root cause of your knee pain and provide long-term relief. An interventional pain specialist will use imaging tests like X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the root cause of knee pain.
How Is The Cause Of Knee Pain Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will examine your knee and ask about your symptoms. Tell your provider when the pain started and what you were doing at the time. Describe the pain, such as sharp, throbbing, or achy. Tell your provider about any knee injury or surgery you had. You may need any of the following:
- MRI, CT, or ultrasound pictures may show an injury, fracture, or tumor.
- Blood tests may be used to check the level of inflammation in your blood. The tests may also show signs of infection.
- Arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside your knee joint with an arthroscope. An arthroscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. A knee arthroscopy is usually done to check for disease or damage inside your knee. These problems may be fixed during the procedure.
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Why Does My Knee Hurt
If you are experiencing knee pain when walking, knee pain when bending, knee pain when resting, or are hearing popping/clicking in your knee, etc., it may be a minor concern or indicator of a serious issue.
Knee pain is usually caused by traumatic injuries, repetitive motion injuries, long-term wear & tear, or tissue disorders. Below are injuries that are common causes for knee pain, but it is best to enter your symptoms into our Knee Pain Diagnosis Symptom Checker to gain a better understanding of your injury.
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:
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