Knee pain is very common and if you don’t have it, you most likely know someone suffering from it. Knee injuries, osteoarthritis, trauma, sports activities, accidents, overuse, and falls are some of the common causes of knee pain. The good news is that knee pain can be relived naturally with simple modifications to improve flexibility, joint health, strength, and alignment.
In order to stop knee pain for good, it’s important to know what is good and what slows down healing. Because of that, I created a general list of do’s and don’ts to speed up the healing process so you can get back to running, jumping, and doing all the other things you love.
- Wear proper shoes: Cushioned insoles can reduce stress on your knees. Wear orthotics if you have a flat foot condition. This is very important since feet are the foundation of our body and foot position greatly influences your knee mechanics.
- Protect your knees with knee pads if you have to kneel.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep with a pillow in between your knees if you are a side-sleeper.
- Physical therapy exercises that strengthen the supporting muscles around your knee, as well as hips. Hip strengthening is essential for knee health since the hip is controlling your knee. Hip abduction exercises, laying or standing, can make a big difference and can help knee pain resolve by correcting mechanics of the joint and controlling the kinetic chain.
- Maintain a healthy weight; every pound of body weight places 7 lbs of weight on your knees. Therefore if you have knee pain, do whatever it takes to shed some weight. A healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. For a weight loss of 1- 1 1/2 pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories and this can be accomplished by portion size control.
- Apply ice or heat; ice can help relieve pain and swelling, and heat can help ease stiffness.
- Apply topical pain reliever.
- Hyperextend your knee while standing.
- Sit for too long; find a safe exercise program to strengthen the muscles around your knee.
- Risk a fall; painful knees can be unstable.
- Do any high impact exercises that involve jumping or twisting.
- Sit bottom first when entering a car; opposed to putting legs in first.