Ways to prevent knee problems and keep them healthy. Are you worried about the effects of getting old or possibly experiencing this first hand? Yes, knee pain affects millions of people every single day. It actually affected 25% of the population in 2018. Osteoarthritis is the most common pursuant of knee pain and is also the most common joint disorder in older adults. So, the real question is, “How do I prevent knee pain”?
2. Be Cautious on The Stairs
3. Use Proper Form When Doing Physical Activity
4. Focus on Your Inner Thighs
5. Lose Weight
6. Safety First
7. Wear The Right Footwear
8. Practice Good Posture
9. Swim or Walk Regularly
10. Avoid Walking on The Grass
Stretching Your Knees– Learning how to stretch on a daily basis properly, will improve the health of your knee and prevent other injuries. The more limber you are, the easier it is to get around. The only thing is that you need to avoid overstretching too. If you overstretch your knees by doing lunges or squats, you can severely damage your knees. Practice good stretching techniques from a physician or a professional.
2. Be Cautious on The Stairs– When it comes to the stairs, yes it is healthier to take the stairs over the elevator, theoretically. However, bounding up and down the stairs on a regular basis will put stress on your kneecaps and could potentially injure them. Be sure to “walk” up and down the stairs, even when you are running late for an appointment/work/meeting.
3. Use Proper Form While Doing Physical Activity– Everybody knows that getting daily exercise is vital to living a healthy life. The key is to make sure that you are being physical but safely. So many other people have injured themselves while working out or running or doing some other form of physical activity that strained their body in some way.
In some instances, it is unavoidable, but most of the time you can take specific precautions with the activity that you are involved in. Remember to consult a professional if you have questions about ways to be safer during physical activity.
4. Focus on Your Inner Thighs– The reason that we focus on our inner thighs is because they are supported by our knees. The stronger and more stable our thighs are, the easier it is on our knees. It is also known that stronger hip adductor muscles absorb stress while you walk. A way to start improving your strength: squeeze your thighs together while sitting down.
5. Lose Weight– The 5th of our 10 Ways to prevent knee problems and keep them healthy is Losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Weight is absorbed differently by the time it reaches your knees. One pound of weight that you gain translates to four pounds of pressure on your knees while you walk or are climbing the stairs. Consult a doctor or professional to find out what a healthy weight is for you.
It is also important to improve your joint health with certain superfoods like;
- apples (which help with inflammation)
- dark green leafy vegetables (high in antioxidants and help fight cartilage break down)
- oily fish (reduces joint pain and morning stiffness)
- avocados (contains many antioxidants that help fight joint inflammation)
- turmeric (contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin)
- extra-virgin olive oil (contains oleocanthal which blocks inflammation)
- onions and garlic (contains quercetin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation)
- grapefruit (vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which work to reduce inflammation and strengthen cartilage)
- green tea (can prevent and reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis)
- berries (Cherries, elderberries, and raspberries contain antioxidant anthocyanins that help to reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body)
- yogurt and kefir (contains probiotics which help gut health and reduce the degree of joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis)
- walnuts and brazil nuts (rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. Brazil nuts have high amounts of selenium, which improves the quality of cartilage proteins)
- Camu Camu (a refined powder derived from the fruit).
All of these foods do not have to be consumed every day, but spreading them out in between your diet with a fruit smoothie or having apples and grapefruit as snacks, and fish for dinner will help improve your joint and overall health.
6. Safety First– As mentioned before, be sure to practice safe actions when at home, work, or at the gym. Watch the amount of weight that you are carrying, if it feels too heavy and you can barely carry it, it may be better to get a helping hand. Do not stand on chairs or other objects that are not stable, anything that looks like it can easily tip over is not going to be a good base for standing. Also, be sure to use equipment that is meant for your size, body, and abilities. Like having your 10-year-old child carry your new couch into your house (not recommended).
7. Wear The Right Footwear– Wearing the correct shoes has a lot to do with your posture, the position that your knee is in, and also the way that you walk. You want to be sure to wear shoes that correctly fit your foot (not too tight and not too big). If your shoes are too small/big then it causes a problem with the way you walk.
If the shoes are too small, your toes will feel cramped and you won’t have the full support of the base of your foot to walk correctly and your knees will try to compensate for the lack of support. If the shoes are too big, you will feel like a clown or your heel will slip out of the back of your shoe while walking. On special occasions, you can wear high-heels and then when you don’t need them, don’t wear them. If you are someone who is frequently at the gym or running, be sure to get fitted for proper running shoes. Many sporting goods stores will fit you.
8. Practice Good Posture- A majority of people have poor posture, some worse than others. Those of you who sit at a desk all day are most likely slouching while you stare at your computer screen. Others who are attached to their phones and their neck is constantly tilted slightly down, towards the phone screen, poor posture for sure! But why is posture so vitally important to our knee health?
Poor posture actually leads to knee pain among many other symptoms of pain. The best way to fix this is to build those core muscles! The muscles in your abdomen and lower back can be strengthened by doing daily repetitive movements. Try doing planks, yoga or Pilates, and even back extensions or torso twists can help.
9. Swim or Walk Regularly– If you have a hard time with physical activity and are not sure how to exercise or get your heart rate going to help those knees, try walking or swimming. The regular activity helps your knees and allows them to be properly used, the way that they should be. Walking helps you lose weight and strengthens your joints. It is also very safe to take up swimming.
While swimming it is almost impossible to injure yourself if you know how to swim and stay afloat. Swimming can reduce joint stiffness, strengthens muscles around your joints and strengthens your bones. you can also combine the two and create an osteoarthritis friendly workout!
10. Avoid Walking on The Grass– The last of our 10 Ways to prevent knee problems and keep them healthy just applies to those of you who are already experiencing knee pain or if you have a knee injury and are trying to get better. Walking on the grass can increase the risk of falling or slipping on the slick area. On the contrary, grass has also been found to help with your knee health because it is a softer surface.
The debate remains, if you are trying to recover from an injury and need a padded surface, try artificial grass. Artificial grass has also been found to help out those who do not want to put pressure on their knees while gardening.
If it does come down to you experiencing any kind of knee pain, notify a professional immediately. Getting a professional opinion can speed up the recovery process or prevent any further knee pain. At Anodyne Pain and Wellness, we strive to eliminate pain without drugs, injections, or surgery.
With the non-surgical treatment that we provide that is designed for people experiencing Chronic Knee pain, “Bone on Bone” Knee pain, Degenerative Knee pain, knee pain after failed injections (steroid, rooster comb, stem cell, etc.), pain from knee arthritis, pain after failed knee surgery or knee replacement surgery, “popping” and “cracking” knees, Tendonitis, Bursitis, and Cartilage Damage.
If you or someone that you know is struggling with one of the above-mentioned knee problems, Anodyne Pain and Wellness would love to sit down for In-Office consultation to help them discover the best solution to their pain.