8 Ways to Take Care of Your Knees
Pay Attention to Knee Pain
When they begin to have knee pain, many people brush it off believing it will eventually go away or that its normal, especially if they're athletes. Sometimes the pain does go away, but that doesn't mean the seed hasn't been planted for a more serious injury in the future.
Roller derby skater Rachel Piplica was one of those patients who ignored her symptoms. Piplica had pain in her knee and would temporarily ease her pain by keeping her leg straight, but when she had surgery for a torn ACL, doctors discovered that she also had a torn meniscus in the past.
Piplica told WebMD, "In hindsight, maybe that first injury could have been repaired earlier, although I don't know if I could have avoided this one altogether, she says. "At least I would have been more careful."
Plain and simple, being overweight puts more strain on your bones and joints. The extra weight can worsen your arthritis by degrading the cartilage in your knee more quickly.
WebMD says that every pound of body weight is equal to five more pounds of force on your knees. With that in mind, every little bit of extra weight lost can ease the pressure on your knees.
Eat the Right Foods
Certain foods have been touted to help reduce knee pain, particularly because they contain nutrients that can reduce inflammation like:
- Fish, specifically salmon and mackerel
- Fruits like kiwi, orange, mango, papaya, grapefruit
Note: EverydayHealth says a glass of orange juice can help 25% more than eating a whole orange
Treat and Rest Your Knees After an Injury
After being immobilized because of an injury, many patients are eager to get back on their feet, especially once theyve stopped limping. However, according to WebMD, "The rest and rehabilitation period after a knee injury is critical to avoiding future pain or reinjury."
During the recovery period, an experts eye is necessary to advise you on whether or not the pain you feel is just something you can grit through, or if its something more serious that can do lasting damage.
Go Easy When Working Out
Low-impact exercises are best. When you have arthritis, high-impact sports can speed up the degradation of cartilage, making your condition more painful. One of the best exercises for people with arthritis is swimming it is a low-impact workout that benefits all of the muscles in your body.
If you play a sport, its best to train and condition year-round rather than going all out in short bursts. If youre not in season, its perfectly acceptable to train at a lower intensity.
Stretching before and after you exercise is also important.
Pay Attention to Surrounding Muscles
By paying attention to and strengthening the muscles around the knees, you are adding much needed support to your joints.
To develop surrounding muscles -- particularly quadriceps and hamstrings -- as well as core muscles (obliques, lower back, upper thigh), WebMD suggests knee extensions, hamstring curls, leg presses, and flexibility exercises.
Wear the Right Shoes
There are conflicting reports about whether or not flip flops are good for your knees, but according to research conducted by Rush University Medical Center and published in the Arthritis Care & Research journal, flip flops are kind on the knees. This is because flip flops are lighter than regular shoes, putting less load on the knee joints.
But when you want to work out, flip flops arent going to cut it theyre downright unsafe. Try out running shoes built for maximum comfort. The Avia 2244 Lateral Support Mesh Running Shoes or the New Balance WR850 are highly recommended.