The Top 5 Tips You Need for Dealing with Knee Pain
Does this sound familiar? You sit in your office chair all day, and the moment you get up to move, your knees don’t just feel stiff … they feel downright painful.
It seems like knee pain is getting you down.
While it may not feel excruciating, and it may subside given time, a bit of movement, or some TLC, frequent knee pain impacts about 25% of adults. It’s a common problem for many, both young and old.
You might be wondering why your knee hurts so much in the first place…
Understanding Your Knee Pain
The knee joint is very complex, containing various ligaments, menisci, tendons, and more. When you’re injured, and the root of your pain is obvious, it’s usually easy through diagnostic testing and imaging to identify what exactly is going on beneath the surface.
However, some of us don’t always have the funds or coverage for that (which is completely understandable! That being said, if you do have coverage and can get a professional to take a look, this is always recommended).
Various parts of your knee can become injured or damaged. These include:
Cartilage prevents painful bone-on-bone rubbing. It allows your joints to move smoothly, and it also provides cushion.
Sadly, time can get the best of this structure. With wear and tear, cartilage, especially at the knee, can become worn down, resulting in degeneration or osteoarthritis.
These guys help absorb the shock from walking, jumping, and other actions. They act as a cushion between the tibia and femur. Each knee contains two menisci.
Ligaments hold your bones together throughout your body. They provide stability and support. When the knee is pushed beyond its usual range of motion, these ligaments can stretch or tear, resulting in pain.
Tendons are similar to ligaments, but they attach muscle to bone. This allows for movement. Similar to ligaments, tendons can become torn or stretched.
Usually, chronic or frequent knee pain is due to osteoarthritis, which is the natural degeneration of cartilage over time, or from a persistent injury that just won’t quit.
Either way, you want to take the proper care. So, what can you do?
Our Top 5 Tips for Saying Goodbye to Knee Pain
The following tips can hopefully provide you with methods for knee pain relief.
In no way should the following tips or pieces of advice replace any recommendations made by your healthcare provider. It’s always best to follow their instructions since they know you and your situation best.
Now, how can you progress to a life where knee pain doesn’t hold you back? Let’s dive in.
Are you dealing with back pain as well? You might want to read: 7 Daily Core Moves to Eliminate Lower Back Pain
Tip #1: Use R.I.C.E
When pain initially happens, use the good ol’ first aid method R.I.C.E.
R.I.C.E. stands for:
The first thing to do is rest your knee and ice it.
Place a cloth between the ice and your skin. Leave the ice on for about 15 minutes, and aim to do this frequently throughout your day with about 45 minutes in between ice applications.
Compression may also be suitable for some since wraps or bandages can help prevent blood flow or fluid from piling into the area, and thus, it can help prevent swelling. You may also want to consider elevating your knee to reduce any swelling or inflammation.
Tip #2: Move Frequently Throughout Your Day
Is your knee pain only present after sitting or not moving for long durations of time? Take this tip and run with it (although not in a literal way if your knee hurts)!
Aim to get up from your desk, stretch, and move at least every 1-2 hours. This can get the blood and nutrients flowing, giving your knee what it needs to stay healthy and pain-free.
Tip #3: Strengthen the Muscles Around Your Knee
Exercises for strengthening your knees and stretches for the knees are always a good idea even if you don’t have knee pain. This can prevent pain from occurring down the road.
It’s important to make sure your pain is tolerable when putting this tip into action. Exercises should not cause or further aggravate your pain. Good exercises for strengthening your knees include:
- Hamstring curls
- Squats (try wall squats if these are too difficult).
- Leg presses (using a machine).
- Sitting quad leg lifts
In combination with these, try hamstring stretches, calf stretches, quad stretches, and glute stretches.
Looking to build more strength in your body? Read: The Only 3 Strengthening Moves You Need
Tip #4: Maintain an Overall Healthy Lifestyle
Interestingly, excess weight can place pressure on your knees leading to knee pain. Further, nutritional deficiencies can impact the bone, cartilage, muscle, and nerves in your body, again, leading to pain.
This is why focusing on your overall health is so important.
Ensure you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, get a good amount of physical activity each day and week, and strive to maintain a healthy weight that makes sense for you and your body.
Tip #5: Know When to Seek Help
If the pain is frequent or constant for 7-14 days, it may be time to consider professional intervention. Consider booking an appointment with your physical therapist or doctor to rule out any serious or unmanageable injury.
BONUS TIP: Use Cushions!
If you have to sit on your knees or perform an exercise using the knees, add padding. You can also use an exercise ball in some situations, such as the all-four positions, to support your body weight and take the stress of your knees.
This cuts your knees a break and won’t leave you in pain afterward.
Don’t Let Knee Pain Hold You Back
Yes, knee pain is less than ideal, but it doesn’t need to stand in the way of enjoying your life. Take our tips (and any offered by healthcare professionals who know you and your situation) and begin working towards a more pain-free life.
Lastly, listen to your body.
Take breaks when you need to, and don’t push through your knee pain. It’s not worth it, and it might only lead to worse situations down the road. You got this!
Don’t forget to check out: 8 Low-Impact Exercises You Can Do At Home