Exercise And Knee Pain
If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion.
Exercising a knee thats injured or arthritic may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to go about your daily activities.
Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint. Having stronger muscles can reduce the impact and stress on your knee, and help your knee joint move more easily.
Before you start an exercise program for knee pain, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you. Depending on your situation, they may recommend some modifications.
Wearing The Proper Shoes Is Important For Healthy Knees
Supportive and comfortable shoes help take pressure off the knee joint by promoting proper leg alignment and balance. So it’s no surprise that wearing high heels is a common cause of knee pain.
“When high heels lift your heel up, your weight bearing line tips forward so your quadriceps have to work harder to hold your knee straight, which then leads to knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “Whereas, if your heel is closer to the floor in low pumps or flats, your thigh muscles don’t have to work as hard to maintain stability, which is easier on the knees.”
While strength training and stretching can help build up the muscles around the knees to minimize knee damage from heels, it’s best to save the stilettos for special occasions.
Proper shoes are particularly important during exercise. “If you are taking up running as a newbie or starting a new form of aerobic exercise, getting professionally fitted from someone at a running or sporting goods store can help with knee problems and will certainly lower your incidence of having overuse problems due to footwear,” says Bush-Joseph.
Is Squatting Bad For Your Knees
The short answer: No, especially with proper conditioning of the knees.
Understanding how the knee works and what can go wrong is different from knowing what will or wont aggravate issues going on in your body.
We see comments every day from people, saying things like squatting is bad for your knees, or, if you move like that, youre going to wreck your knees, or, my doctor said to only do X, and youre showing Y, so thats clearly going to hurt people.
99% of these comments are coming from a good place. If someone has had a particular experience thats hurt their knees, they want to share that experience with others, to help them avoid injuries.
The problem with taking those comments at face value is that they dont account for the very wide range of responses that can occur in different peoples bodies. Just because squatting a certain way aggravated John Smiths knee injury doesnt mean it will do the same for you.
Plus, certain motions may technically be wrong for the knees, but if done with proper mechanics and with some nuances, and if you are adequately prepared, they are not dangerous by any means.
In this video, I demonstrate twisting and rotational movements, distinguishing between safe and unsafe approaches:
You May Like: What Do They Inject In Your Knee For Pain
How Effective Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements For Knee Pain
Prevention: Taking glucosamine supplements can preserve joint health by reducing cartilage breakdown, and maintaining the production of collagen in athletes involved in various sports, including soccer and bicycle racing.
Sports injuries: Research involving 106 athletes with an acute knee injury found that taking glucosamine , significantly improve knee bending compared with placebo. These improvements in mobility took 28 days to develop, as it takes time for damaged tissues to use these building blocks, and for them to enhance repair processes, so dont expect immediate results.
Osteoarthritis: Data from 54 studies, involving 16,427 people with knee pain due to osteoarthritis, found that glucosamine and chondroitin were more effective than placebo in pain relief and improving joint function. Both glucosamine and chondroitin reduced joint space narrowing, as seen on X-rays, to indicate that the progression of; osteoarthritis was significantly slowed.
Be Gentler When You Exercise
Running on roads can jar your knees, while a jog through a wooded trail carries the risk of falls and twists to knees and ankles. A better way to run is on a treadmill or track, or alternate jogging with walking, Dr. White suggests. Biking doesnt put as much strain on your knees, but it can cause pain if you ratchet up the resistance too high on a stationary bike or the saddle is pushed back too far or is too low. If you bike a lot outdoors, you might want to spring for a professional bike fitting, which can help you with seat and handlebar height and pedal strokes. Whatever exercise you do, just remember to warm up.; You lose muscle strength as you get olderespecially if you sit at a desk most daysand that just increases your chances of injury when you head out to exercise.
Recommended Reading: Do Copper Knee Braces Really Work
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.
Do Squats Strengthen Knees
Although many of us have heard the contrary, squats can actually strengthen your knees if performed in the proper way.
It is an easy exercise that can be used to target the muscles around the joint.
The movement that should be avoided in order to protect these joints is bending forward. This motion puts added pressure on your knees and can lead to injury.
Otherwise, it is a great exercise that can be done in the comfort of your own home to help strengthen your knees!
You May Like: Bathing After Knee Surgery
How Effective Are Krill Oil Supplements For Knee Pain
Krill oil supplements can produce a significant improvement in knee pain and knee stiffness within a week. Krill oil supplements have also been shown to reduce the amount of pain-killing rescue medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen needed.
A study involving 50 people with knee joint pain compared the effects of taking either 2g krill oil per day, or an identical placebo, for one month. Those taking krill oil showed more improvements in knee pain and stiffness than those taking placebo and, when other factors such as age, weight and lifestyle were taking into account, krill oil also significantly reduced the effects of knee pain on sleeping, standing and the range of movement in both knees compared to placebo.
As krill are an important food source for marine animals such as baleen whales, Antarctic Fur Seals and Adelie penguins, its important to select a supplement derived from sustainable sources that do not impact on these feeding grounds. Sustainably derived krill oil will have an on-pack endorsement from an organisation such as the is an international, non-profit organisation that works to safeguard seafood supplies for the future.
Fix Your Knee Pain: A Routine For Healthy Knees
Heres where things get fun
If you have existing knee pain , there are 3 main things youll want to focus on:
One note before we get into the routine: The idea with these exercises is not to work through your painplease do not do that! Go slowly, and only work within ranges that do not exacerbate your knee pain. Over time, those ranges may increase, but for now, just work at your own level.
As you can see, the purpose of these movements is not to get a workout or to try to get as many reps as you can. The purpose is to introduce your body, and specifically your knees, to movements in different planes.
Giving your knees this kind of regular motion will help them start to feel more at ease with movement. Plus, by getting comfortable with these types of movements in a controlled and gentle manner, youll increase your ability to avoid re-injuring your knee if you wind up moving in those ways, even if inadvertently.
Read Also: How To Pop Your Knee
When To Call Your Doctor
If your pain and swelling are gettingworse and you can no longer put weight on your knee, see your doctor. A simpleX-ray can show if there is osteoarthritis and, if needed, an MRI scan can checkfor meniscal tears or loose chips of cartilage.
Arthroscopic surgery can sometimes remove loose cartilage. Partial or total knee replacements are other surgical options, especially for those who can no longer stay as active as theyd like. Sometimes computer assistance is used for some complicated knee replacements.
Surgery is a last resort, though,says Dr. Nickodem. Its something to consider when nonoperative treatmentsarent helping.
How Cherry Supplements Reduce Knee Pain
are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and rich purple-red anthocyanin polyphenols. Together, these have an anti-inflammatory, pain-killing action that mimics that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but without the same side effects.
Drinking sour cherry juice can reduce muscle and joint pain and inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, and in athletes with injuries.
Read Also: When To Go To Er For Knee Pain
Research: Fruits And Vegetables Do Help Knee Pain But How
A 2017 study from The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging did make a positive connection between the consumption of fruits and vegetables. The question was how? The answer it may all be in your mind.
The research team hypothesized that higher fruit and vegetable consumption might be associated with the severity of knee pain lower prevalence of severe knee pain by affecting pain perception in the knee joint. So they investigated the relationship between self-reported knee pain and the consumption of fruits vegetables, carotenoids, and vitamin C and self-reported knee pain.
In this study, the patients told the doctors how much their knee hurt on a standardized scoring system. Then they ate a diet rich in food and vegetables. Here are the results:
- Standardized pain scored of knee pain decreased significantly with increasing fruit and vegetable intake.
- The longer the people of the study stayed on the diet, the better their knees felt.
What the researchers questioned was the question, did these people knees hurt less because of the diets specific impact on their knees or did the people of this study, because they were eating better, simply feel better overall? To the person the diet is helping, it does not matter.
Tips For Walking When You Have Sensitive Knees
Sensitive knees can be a challenge for walking, but it is a recommended way to maintain your function and reduce your symptoms. If you;have knee pain due to osteoarthritis or other causes, you don’t have to let that keep you from;starting a walking program.
A regular program of walking;can reduce stiffness and inflammation and it won’t make most chronic knee conditions worse.;Walking is the preferred exercise by people with arthritis, and can help you improve your arthritis symptoms, walking speed, and quality of life, according to the CDC.
Walking is;part of a healthy lifestyle to keep your heart and bones strong and your joints functioning. Here are tips for walking when you have sensitive knees.
Also Check: Scar Tissue Removal Surgery Knee
The Best Vitamins For Bad Knees
You may not realize how important your knees are to your everyday life until you start to have problems with them. You may have to seek out a variety of remedies to deal with knee pain due to an injury or an illness such as arthritis. Certain vitamins may promote knee health and offer some relief, but they may not cure your problem. Consult your doctor to discuss vitamins, diet and your knee problems to help you find the best solution.
How Will It Affect Me
If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one knee, especially if youve injured it in the past, or you could have it in both. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest. You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this wont usually last more than half an hour.
The pain can be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place such as the front and sides. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.
Sometimes, people have pain that wakes them up in the night. Youll probably find that the pain varies and that you have good and bad days.
You might find you cant move your knee as easily or as far as normal, or it might creak or crunch as you move it.
Sometimes your knee might look swollen. This can be caused by two things:
- Hard swelling: when the bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs, called osteophytes .
- Soft swelling: when your joint becomes inflamed and produces extra fluid, sometimes called an effusion or water on the knee.
Sometimes osteoarthritis of the knee can cause the muscles in the thighs to weaken, so your leg may look thinner. This weakness can make the joint feel unstable and could cause the knee to give way when you put weight on it.
Read Also: Remove Scar Tissue From Knee
How To Keep Your Knees Healthy
Your knees carry you through many journeys in life, but as we age or overuse these joints, they begin to show signs of wear and tear. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 80% of those 55 and older. This disease is caused by damage or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones over time. Some cases can result in reduced function and disability, limiting affected individuals’ ability to perform daily tasks. However, there are things you can do to keep your knees healthy and preserve your mobility throughout your life.
How Boswellia Supplements Reduce Knee Pain
Boswellia contains several anti-inflammatory substances, including boswellic acids, which are as effective in reducing pain as some non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs . Boswellia is particularly effective for reducing knee pain, and is often combined with other joint supplements such as turmeric and glucosamine to boost their effects.
When Boswellia extracts were added to cartilage cultures grown from people underoing knee replacement surgery, Boswellia was found to stabilise the cartilage, reduce loss of structural substances, and had a protective, anti-inflammatory effect that was predicted to reduce cartilage degeneration.
Read Also: Why Do My Knees Crack When I Squat
Contact Orthobethesda For Physical Therapy Or Orthopedic Treatment
The doctors, therapists and staff at OrthoBethesda are committed to providing you with outstanding patient care. Our surgeons are board-certified and fellowship-trained in their specialties. Theyre respected for their experience and expertise in treating issues that relate to the joints, bones, hands, feet, extremities and spine.
Contact OrthoBethesda;if youre already experiencing pain or are having problems with your hips and knee joints.
Quick Comment: A Word About Fat Cells And Inflammation
- There is no magic pathway to successful dieting or change of lifestyle. Successful dieting comes from within and from a good support system.
- This is particularly true for men. Please see my article Why do men fail to lose weight on diets aimed to reduce knee and joint pain?
In the above study, the researchers measured the adipokine leptin or fat cells. Fat cells cause inflammation. In my article Is losing weight an anti-inflammatory? I showed research that obesity is more than weight load it causes inflammation without wear and tear. I shared with the readers research from doctors at the University of Calgary who wrote in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage; that when they examined obese laboratory animals, they found that not only does obesity cause osteoarthritis because of weight load , but it also causes osteoarthritis in a non-mechanical way in other words by inflammation without wear and tear. The inflammation attacking the joints of the animals was caused by a high fat/high sugar;diet.;This is covered further in our article;Abdominal obesity, hypertension, and diabetes is destroying your knee.
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Knee Hurt When Lying Down
Injections To Relieve Knee Pain
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis in the United States. It is caused by progressive degeneration of the cartilage in the knee joint, which protects bones in this area from rubbing against each other. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, treatments can help reduce pain and inflammation.
If oral medications do not help with your knee osteoarthritis pain, your doctor may suggest injecting a medication directly into the knee joint. Knee injections used for arthritic pain include corticosteroid , hyaluronic acid , platelet-rich plasma, placental tissue matrix, Botox, and reverse injection .;