The Importance Of Being Kind To Your Knees

Knee Care

Knee Care

As we get older, it seems like the goal of keeping our bodies active, mobile and pain free becomes more and more important. But with all of the effort that we put into maintaining this goal, there’s one part that is often overlooked and ignored for far too long.

Our Knees…

I have noticed that many times my patients come in with knee pain explaining “well it’s been bugging me for a while, but I figured it would just go away if I pushed through my regular activities”. So, by the time they actually come to see me, their pain is intolerable and the stiffness is worse. Even I’ve been guilty of not paying much attention to my knees in the past!

When you really think about it, our knees are essential for us to live our everyday lives and be mobile. They enable us to walk, run, bend down, drive, sit, etc. So why is it so easy for most people to disregard them?

Well, many people just don’t know how exactly they’re supposed to take care of their knees.

Now, we all know that exercising can be great for our body and our overall health. It strengthens muscles, keeps you in shape and can be good for your joints. So how could exercising ever be bad for you?

An example of this would be going for a jog. Jogging can occasionally do more harm than good, and this has everything to do with the knee joints. The bending motion that is required for every stride your legs take forces your joints to work. Now let’s think about how long you usually jog or run for… 10, 15, 20 minutes? Possibly more? This routine can cause damage to your knees over the course of time.

Even going on your evening walk in this wonderful Arizona weather can bring you aches and pains in your knees. We’re recommended to take 10,000 steps each day, so our knees are going to have to bend 10,000 times a day! Just think about that for a second…

I’m not saying to avoid walking all together or to skip out on that jog, BUT if we prepare our bodies correctly for these exercises, we can avoid the aches and pains that tend to build up and stay healthy to keep returning to those evening walks and stress relieving jogs.

Let’s take a look at some things that I want to share with you regarding HOW to you can take care of your knees:

Keep your knees in mind while exercising by stretching before and after your workout. Many people that I treat at my clinic are astounded at how crucial stretching has been for their recovery. They’ve found that they can walk, jog and run farther with more ease.

Fitting a warm up and a cool down into your exercise routine also plays an important role in letting the lactic acid out of your body. With an active cool down you get the muscles moving in a way that flushes the lactic acid (which causes you to be sore the next day) in your body to help you be less stiff in the morning.

Are you one of those people who love taking advantage of Arizona’s wonderful weather by gardening during the spring or summer? Well kneeling down to plant your flowers is actually one of the most damaging things that you can do to your knees! While kneeling down, your knees are not only bearing your full body weight, but are forced into the hard ground for hours at a time.

Some of you may say that it never takes you that long to garden… Or that kneeling down makes it easier for you to get up to get your tools.

Even if this is so, your knees will still be experiencing distress. The best solution to kneeling down while gardening is to have all of your tools placed beside you ahead of time, purchasing a cushion (or finding one around your house) and/or investing in a knee rest.

If kneeling becomes too uncomfortable, even with the cushion, use the cushion to sit on your glutes! There are plenty of alternatives to placing mass amounts of pressure on your knees.

But, whether you take the precautions to provide your knees with a cushion or a rest, nothing is more important than timing.

The amount of time that you’re kneeling down plays a huge role in the amount of damage you cause your knees. Try not to go longer than 10 minutes without giving your knees a rest. Get up and walk around for a few minutes in order to get movement in your joints.

The next time you have a slight amount of pain in your knees, don’t hesitate to either take the steps above to reduce it or to get your knees checked out by a professional.

Remember, we are able to be independent and live our lives to the fullest because of our knees.

If you or someone you know has been experiencing knee pain, take a look at my free report below. It will give you the tips and tricks on how to ease and reduce pain so that you can gain your independence back.

Click Here To Download Your Free Knee Pain Guide
Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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