Knee pain can be caused by many things, including inflammation in the joints, torn muscles or ligaments, too much stress on the joints from obesity, pressure from an unbalanced or improper gait, among other things. Knee pain can be the result of repetitive motions that stress out your knee over a certain amount of time, or a single injury. If you are interested in learning how to prevent knee pain, keep reading.
How To Prevent Knee Pain
There are several things that you can do to help prevent knee pain. Here are some 7 common ways.
- Know your limits – Whether you want to suddenly take your dog for a run, or you are out with a new group of friends on a hike, know your limits. Your body does a good job of telling you when it needs to rest, so do not push it with high intensity activities if there is already some level of pain or inflammation. Pushing it will only exacerbate your pain.
- Stay fit – Staying fit and healthy seems obvious, but it is particularly beneficial for the knees. Think of it this way: your knees are going to absorb shock each time you step. So even if you do not move around a lot, every step you take around your home, outside, up the stairs, or to the mailbox puts pressure on your feet and knees. If you are overweight, that adds extra pounds of pressure and shock to your knees with each step. The more you are active, fit, and work hard to keep the weight off, the less weight your knees have to bear. Also, focus on strengthening the muscles around your knees, to give your knees more stability:
- Make moderate changes – Do not decrease your level of activity quickly. Doing so will lead to weakness around the knee and will increase the chances of getting injured. On the opposite end of that, you don’t want to increase quickly either. Whether you want to get started in a new sport, you want to train for a marathon, or you just want to start losing weight, the key to avoid pain as much as possible is to start slowly. Any immediate and intense change in your activity levels will seriously impact your knees. So start slowly and let your knees work up to a good place.
- Wear the right shoes – The wrong shoes, whether for work, play, or at home, can lead to improper gaits or shock sent up to the knees. Make sure you are wearing supportive and comfortable footwear especially if you are on your feet all day. As a teacher, nurse, server, or anything in between, good footwear can go a long way toward protecting your knees at the end of the day. The same goes for sports. For example, if you are a runner, wear the proper shoes depending on the surface you’re running on and make sure you change them often. For more information, refer to our post: Are Your Shoes Causing Your Knee Pain?
- Don’t forgot to stretch! – Many people who go for long walks, runs, or other exercises forget to stretch, or just neglect it. Even if you are only going for short, regular walks around the block, understand that the muscles surrounding the knee are there to provide you the protection against pain and injury. If they are properly stretched and warmed up before you go, there job becomes easier.
- Wear a knee sleeve – Knee sleeves compress the knee joint area which prevents or at least limits muscle and joint vibration. They also keep the muscles and joints warm before and during physical exertion.
- Avoid heel strikes – If you are a runner, or your hobby/sport involves a lot of running, try to avoid heel strikes. Do not let your feet get ahead of you and try to let your legs swing to the back not to the front if you are running. Landing on your feet ahead of yourself means hitting the ground with your heel. This means the shock goes up through your legs directly to your knees.
We hope that you find these tips on how to prevent knee pain useful. If you have any other tips or comments on the ones we listed above, we’d love to hear from your. Please use the comment box below to leave us feedback. Until next time.