According to the Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, “Every year over five million people visit orthopedic surgeons for knee-related injuries and problems.” With so many knee issues you think people would be more careful with their joints, but most people are unaware of how to properly care for them. Here are a few suggestions to help you take better care of your knees.
It is important to stay active. Too much rest can actually make your joints stiff which will cause you pain. The best thing to do is to have a set exercise routine that you do regularly. Exercising can strengthen your muscles and help with flexibility. WebMD suggests doing cardio exercises because those typically tend to help with building up the muscles around your knee.
Stretching is very important to keep muscles loose and flexible. You do, however, need to be aware of overstretching. Don’t ever push or pull on your knee while stretching. If you do this you risk the possibility of pulling or snapping something out of place.
Do your knees a favor and wear the proper footwear. You need shoes that give you the proper support as well as a little cushion. Every time you step, there is a shock wave that goes through your leg. If you don’t have shoes with adequate padding then your knees have to take the blunt force of that trauma.
People will say that weight doesn’t matter, but it definitely does to your joints. The heavier you are the more stress is being placed on your knees. You don’t have to be at your “perfect” weight. Just dropping a few pounds can be a tremendous stress reliever for your knees.
If you are already experiencing some knee pains then you should consider adding “RICE” to your daily routine.
- Rest – try to stay off of your knee as much as possible.
- Ice – when you get a chance, apply ice to your knee to help reduce any swelling.
- Compression – think about wrapping your knee for added support and to help reduce swelling.
- Elevate – during those moments of rest try to prop your foot up to help take pressure off of your knee.
This seems like it should go without saying but if you have knee problems, try to avoid activities that could make them worse. Anything that would make you slip, like skating or skiing, should be avoided. Basketball is one of the top places to sustain a knee injury, so play safe or opt out until your knees are feeling up to it.
If you start to or continue to experience knee pain then you should speak with your doctor about possible causes and treatments. Solutions for joint pains can range from doing a little “RICE” to receiving complete joint replacement surgery. It’s better to get in with your doctor sooner than later to avoid becoming a more extreme case. Take care of your knees so they can continue to take care of you for years to come.