The biggest joint in your body is sort of like a Swiss Army knife. It helps you sit, stand, lift, walk, run, and jump. It also has lots of parts that can get injured: tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that you can crack, tear, dislocate, and more.
Knee problems are, unsurprisingly, very common. After all, the knee is the largest joint in the body and is responsible for bending and straightening your legs!
Here are some dos and don’ts.
Do: Rest a Sore Knee
Take a break so your knee has time to heal. You’ll only need 1 or 2 days of rest to ease minor knee pain, but severe injuries may keep you off your feet longer. Talk to your doctor/physical therapist if it doesn’t get better after a few days.
Don’t: Stay on the Couch Too Long
Exercise builds strong muscles around your joints, and that helps prevent injuries. Once your knee has had enough rest, get back out there. Low-impact water workouts or tai chi are good options. But don’t overdo it or you’ll risk more pain.
Don’t: Risk Slips, Trips, or Falls
Wear shoes with good tread on them to cut your risk of a slip. You can also spend on a good quality custom orthotics. Choose low-heeled ones with soft, rubber soles. Keep your home’s hallways and stairwells well lit, and clear floors of things you could trip over.
Do: Use a Cane If You Need One
Feel unsteady? Use something to steady you as you move around. Choose a sturdy, strong, light cane with a rubber tip and a handle that’s easy to grasp. Hold it at a 45-degree angle to be sure it’s the right height. Find one in a color or style you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.
Do: Watch Your Weight
Extra pounds add strain to your knees and raise your risk of painful arthritis and injuries. But even moderate weight loss can make it better. If you need to drop a few pounds, set a goal to lose just 5% of your current weight over the next few months.
Do: Consider Acupuncture
Tiny needles are put into the skin around your sore joint. Research shows it can ease knee arthritis pain, though it’s still unclear how. Look for someone who’s trained and experienced.
Don’t: Forget to Stretch
The muscles around your knees can get tight, and that can lead to painful injuries. Daily stretches can prevent that and muscle pain. Ask your physical therapist for easy moves to help you limber up before you walk or do any other activity.
Do: Use Heat and Cold
If your knee pain flares, try hot or cold treatments. Moist heat is better for pain relief than dry. Soak in a warm bath, or zap a damp washcloth in the microwave.
Don’t: Sleep in the Wrong Position
This can make your knee pain worse. Try out different positions, and put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Don’t prop up a bent knee on a pillow, though — that can make it harder to unbend your leg the next da
Do: Try Braces or Sleeves
Support a sore, weak knee with a brace, sleeve, or tape. Ask a physical therapist to fit you with one or to tape your knee. A simple sleeve that fits over your knee can offer short-term pain relief, too.
Do: Custom Orthotics To Support Your Arches
Your feet are the foundation of your body; as you walk, run, and play, they support you and help protect your ankles, knees, hips and/or back from damaging stress. Your feet perform better when all of the muscles, arches, and bones are in their ideal stable positions. When the supportive structure of the foot is compromised, it can result in dysfunction and pain in the feet, knees and back. Custom orthotics can be the solution to enhance the structural support of your feet and eliminate your pain.
Don’t: Wear Out Your Knees
You may get knee pain because you overload your joints. Movements you do over and over again, like go up and down stairs every day, can jar and wear down your knees. But don’t sit for long periods, either. That puts extra pressure between your knee and leg bone that can cause pain.
Do: Talk To Your Physiotherapist
You don’t have to deal with knee pain alone. Your physiotherapist might prescribe exercise programme, physical therapy, acupuncture and custom orthotics.