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.
Heal Your Torn Meniscus Without Surgery
Don’t allow your Meniscus to be cut away forever by “repair surgery”. You should only undergo Meniscus surgery if it is absolutely necessary. Your Meniscus is living tissue that can heal. Trying to heal it quickly before it tears again is the big challenge.
If you want to heal your Meniscus as quickly and completely as possible, you need a proactive treatment solution. While rest will help you avoid doing any further damage to your Meniscus, rest alone is not enough to accelerate the healing process. If you want to get back to doing your regular activities in a reduced amount of time, you need our BFST® and ColdCure® Knee Wraps.
What Causes Knee Pain
Knees top the list of common problem areas for pain, along with the legs, neck, and back, according to James Rippe, MD, a cardiologist and joint pain specialist.
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, like a short-term injury from twisting your knee the wrong way during exercise. It could also be a sign of your joint cartilage wearing away over time from high-impact activities, like running on concrete.
Factors like inactivity, carrying too much body weight, poor posture, improperly treated injuries, and insufficient nourishment can all contribute to knee pain, Rippe says.
And if your pain is interfering with daily activities, youre not alone. About one in four Americans now has severe joint pain related to arthritis, according to the CDC. A 2013 study also reported a 162-percent increase in knee replacements over the last 20 years. Messier SP, et al. . Effects of intensive diet and exercise on knee joint loads, inflammation, and clinical outcomes among overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis: The IDEA randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.277669
Luckily, by taking better care of your knees throughout your life, starting as early as your twenties, you can strengthen them and potentially save yourself from years of daily pain and discomfort.
You Sit For Long Periods Of Time
If your knee hurts, you might want to stay off of it. But resting too much makes your muscles weaken and often makes knee pain worse. Find a way to get moving without hurting your knee. Some good exercises for people with knee pain include walking, swimming, and water aerobics.
Exercise strengthens the muscles around your knee and helps support the joint. At Coastal Empire Orthopedics, we can help you find the best exercise to keep you moving, even with knee pain.
How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Knee
When Knee Pain Is Chronic
If your knee pain continues for three months or longer, stick with an exercise program apply ice or heat as needed use NSAIDs judiciously continue to lose weight, if needed and consider the following:
Walking aids. Using a cane or walker as needed can reduce the load on the affected knee, easing discomfort. A study published in 2012 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that people with knee OA who used a cane daily for two months had less pain and better function.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Some evidence finds that CBT, a short-term therapy that can provide strategies for coping with pain, may help reduce discomfort and help you function better. A study published in 2015 in Arthritis & Rheumatology reported that people with knee OA plus insomnia who received CBT not only slept better but also reported less pain.
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.
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting
How Can I Prevent Runners Knee
- Keep your thigh muscles strong and limber with regular exercise.
- Use shoe inserts if you have problems that may lead to runnerâs knee.
- Make sure your shoes have enough support.
- Try not to run on hard surfaces, like concrete.
- Stay in shape and keep a healthy weight.
- Warm up before you work out.
- DonÃ¢t make sudden workout changes like adding squats or lunges. Add intense moves slowly.
- Ask your doctor if you should see a physical therapist.
- If your doctor or physical therapist suggests it. Try a knee brace when you work out.
- Wear quality running shoes.
- Get a new pair of running shoes once yours lose their shape or the sole becomes worn or irregular.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Ginger Ale Help Your Stomach
Exercises To Help Relieve Patellar Tendonitis Or Quadriceps Tendonitis
Another very common type of knee pain occurs when the tendons that are connected to your kneecap become inflamed . Patellar tendonitis, also called “jumper’s knee,” results in pain at the base of your kneecap, while quadriceps tendonitis results in pain at the top of your kneecap.
The patellar and quadriceps tendons help straighten your kneecap as you extend your leg. When used repetitively or when placed under excess pressure as a result of weak hamstring and/or quadriceps muscles, painful inflammation of the tendons can result.
To help relieve knee pain caused by tendonitis, focus on gently stretching and strengthening your hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
“With knee-related tendonitis, resisted knee extension exercises should be avoided, since this movement applies stress to the quadriceps and patellar tendons, as well as the kneecap,” explains Dr. Brooks. “In addition, cycling may cause pain, since the constant bending repetitively stretches your already inflamed tendon.”
Instead, Dr. Brooks recommends the elliptical as a great way to maintain your fitness without worsening your knee tendonitis pain. An elliptical machine keeps your knee in a neutral position, reducing the amount of tension placed on these tendons.
You May Like: How To Stop Limping After Knee Surgery
How To Do Squats Properly To Prevent Knee Pain
Squats, when done properly, can act as an essential addition to your exercise routine. If you are a beginner, use the following steps to learn how to do squats properly:
Before you start, place a chair behind you at a distance of 10-12 inches. Stand with your feet spread out shoulder-width apart and toes outwards at an angle of 45ÃÂ°. Raise your hands above your shoulders and place them on the wall at an equal distance from your head. Face the wall, with your nose and eyes looking upwards. You should have your chin, chest and toes touching the wall.
Look up and arch your back, with your chest out. Lift your toes and place your body weight on your heels. Avoid squatting with your weight on your toes as it leads to undue pressure on your knees. Always have your spine in proper alignment with your chest pushed forward and hips back.
Keeping your chest parallel to the wall and hips pushed backwards begin lowering your body slowly, a few inches at one time. While you lower your body, tighten your abs and put your weight on your heels.
Stop lowering when you touch the chair that is placed behind you. Make use of your glutes to raise yourself upwards. Keep your knees pushed outwards while you raise yourself. If the knees push inwards, it is a sign of weak abductors.
Note: Pay attention to your breath. Breathe in when you squat to a lower position and exhale when you come back to the top.
Boost Your Stamina And Cardio Capacity
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is a key part of a balanced exercise routine. When you do aerobic exercise, your heart and lungs need to work harder to provide your muscles with more blood and oxygen.
The elliptical machine allows you to get a good aerobic workout, which can strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. This, in turn, can help build your stamina and endurance.
With an elliptical, you can perform both high-intensity interval training as well as steady-state cardio workouts.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee
Tips To Relieve Foot Pain When Standing All Day
Most people dont realize that the muscles of the feet and legs are constantly working even when theyre standing still. Theyre continually reacting and adjusting to the environment to keep the body balanced and stable.
Standing in one place is actually much harder on the feet and legs than walking or moving around in some way.
This type of muscle function causes significant foot and leg fatigue because the muscles never get a break. At least when youre walking, each muscle has a specific function and then it gets to rest as the feet alternate from step to step.
Standing for prolonged periods can cause swelling in your feet and legs.
Standing in one spot is also hard on the circulation. The blood delivers oxygen to the feet and legs very easily but then has a difficult time moving back up the legs. Getting the blood to move up the veins depends heavily on either gravity or the pumping of the calf muscles.
These are both working against you if youre standing still! After long periods of standing, blood starts to pool in the veins of the feet and legs and can cause swelling and pressure on the surrounding tissues.
Standing in one place for prolonged periods of time is notorious for causing foot and leg pain.
Couch To 5k Running Plan
New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just 9 weeks.
The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.
As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
Donât Miss: Lidocaine For Muscle Pain
You May Like: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee
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.
Ditch The Heelsand The Flats
High heels arent good for your knees, theyre not good for your feet. The lower the heel, the better, says Dr. White, who recommends footwear with heels no higher than two inches. Also bad for knees: Shoes with no arch support, like loafers and ballet flats. If you love the ease of either, get over-the-counter inserts that can provide a bit more support. And if you walk a lot, splurge on a good pair of kicks that can really cushion your steps. Then slip on those heels or loafers once you get to your destination, says White.
Also Check: Can Knee Cartilage Be Rebuilt
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.
Fixing Knee Pain At Home
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting
What Conditions Can Exercise Help
Knee exercises and stretches can help relieve knee pain caused by many conditions, including these three that commonly affect older women:
Patellofemoral pain. This condition typically causes a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee thats made worse by daily activities, such as squatting, going up or down stairs, or standing up after sitting for a long period of time. The pain is caused by irritation of the cartilage underneath the kneecap when it does not glide or sit properly. Exercise can help to eliminate problems that lead to this irritation. Stretches can loosen tight muscles on the side of the knee that may be pulling the kneecap out of its groove as it moves. Strengthening weak hip muscles or stretching tight muscles in the front or back of the legs can also reduce discomfort.
Chronic degenerative meniscal tears. When one or both pads of cartilage that cushion each of your knee joints deteriorates or tears, you may feel pain and a sticking or locking sensation. While surgery is sometimes necessary, doctors usually first recommend physical therapy to help build up the muscles around the knee to take the pressure off the joint and reduce discomfort.