3 Things You MUST Know About Knee Pain – If You Want Lasting Relief

Knee Pain

3 Things you MUST Know about Knee Pain

The other day I was on the phone with Robert, one of our regular patients suffering from knee pain,

He’s aged 62 from Peoria, and said…

I was making the most of the weekend by visiting Sedona and walking around Baldwin Trail. I was fine when I got home, but then in the morning when I woke up, my knees had a dull aching pain.

At first, I thought “oh it’s just a knee ache, I’ve probably overdone it, it’s happened before… But the pain got worse as the day went on, and it’s still bothering me.

My knees ache when I walk, and I’m finding it hard to go up and down the stairs.”

Now, this isn’t uncommon… especially NOT after an active weekend!

The thing is, many people will put up with bad knees for days, weeks, and even months, hoping that the pain will go away on its own. But the problem with that is, that 9 times out of 10, the pain gets worse and hangs around – which bothers me when I know you really don’t have to suffer.

So, how about I give you three ideas to help you make knee pain much less frustrating in your life? And even if you don’t go out walking often and suffer from knee pain – these tips will still be beneficial to you in helping to ease knee pain.

watch this video to learn how to strengthen and prevent injury to your knees. Click here

Tip 1: Can your shoes be causing you knee pain?

What shoes do you wear on a daily basis?

Believe it or not, the shoes you wear can have a big impact on all sorts of pain – knee, back, ankle… But when it comes to knees, wearing shoes with an elevated heel (or a shoe that makes you walk differently) can encourage tight calf muscles and put pressure on your knee joint.

A tight calf can pull the foot inward to a position called pronation, which causes your feet to collapse and your lower leg to roll in, placing stress on your knees.

So choose flat shoes and stretch out those calves.

On the flip side, replace your sneakers and walking shoes frequently – every 300 miles, which could be three months or a year depending on your level of activity. This is a safe way to avoid wearing a shoe with poor cushioning support for your feet and joints.

Tip 2: Limit Resting to Decrease Knee Pain

I know it’s tempting to rest if you’ve got knee pain, but too much rest can actually make knee pain worse.

When you rest all day you’re not using your muscles which causes them to become weak, and tight, and to ache even more when you go to move.

My advice would be to find a few exercises that are safe for your knees and stick to them daily. If you’re not sure what motions are safe and how much you can do, speak to a professional. Typically, swimming and cycling are great alternatives to lower the load on your knees while remaining active

Gentle walking on flat surfaces and getting up to walk around the house frequently are safe options to keep your knees moving.

Tip 3: Perform Specific Knee Exercises

And here’s a simple exercise…

Hold onto the back of a chair or hold onto a stable surface for support.

With your feet out at hip-width apart, squat down until your kneecaps cover your big toes. Just make sure your knees don’t cave inward toward the inside of your foot. Return to standing and then repeat 10 times.  Only go as low as you can without pain.  If that means you can barely bend your knees that’s fine!  Stay there and hold that position for 5-10 seconds and repeat that 10 times.  Start where you are and look to progress going forward.

As you improve, try to squat a little lower, but be sure not to bend your knees beyond a straight right angle.

If you start using these tips, you’ll be keeping your knees safe and your independence won’t be threatened!

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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