Remember the time when you could refer to your knees as right and left, instead of good and bad? Those were the good times! But you can regain those days of painless jumping jacks and burpees with our really cool Do’s and Don’ts.
As one of the largest and most complex joints in the body, the knee is under almost constant stress (1,2). It is prone to damage, particularly when you’re running, climbing stairs or pulling something up off the ground (3).
While doing these high-intensity activities, you rely more on your knees. An increasingly active (and stress-driven) lifestyle is the number one reason for the increase in knee-related woes these days. Pain in the knee joint or in the tissue surrounding it has become one of the most common musculoskeletal problems that literally brings you down on your knees (4).
The most common causes of knee pain include:
- Injury (5),
- Work your knee more can cause sudden pains in the knee (5),
- Mechanical problems such as dislocated kneecap, loose body, hip or foot pain, and Iliotibial band syndrome are also at the core of knee pain (5),
- Some types of arthritis (5, 6, 7),
- Being obese and overweight (5),
- Lack of muscle flexibility (5), and
- Any previous injury may increase the risk of having knee problems (5).
Types of Knee Pain
There are several types of knee pain (including the degrees in which they very nearly cripple us) and each of them shows distinct characteristics. It is important to know these in order to find the right and most effective remedies. Knee pain might be acute or chronic. Intense pain may be caused by an acute injury and chronic pain may be caused by some kind of arthritic condition or serious injuries. (8)
Also, the location of the pain in the knee may also be a vital sign of what type of knee problem you may have. Anterior knee pain happens in the front part of your knee, due to patella abnormalities, extensor mechanism disorder, tight muscles, overdoing your workout or others. (9) Iliotibial band syndrome is a normal lateral knee pain that may be caused by inflammation of the distal part of the Iliotibial band (10).
There are rising instances of knee pains and related maladies. In fact, many people in the UK may have knee pain, especially people who are more than age 50 (11).
Not all is lost. There are a plethora of things that you can do to reduce the strain on your knee joint and manage your pain!
Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when dealing with knee ailments:
Lose Weight: Losing body weight is important for the knee. If people keep their weight in check – especially those who are overweight and obese or suffer from osteoarthritis – it may reduce the risk of knee pain symptoms. Keeping a watch on those scales may also improve physical functions, pain relief and help you lead optimally healthy lives. In fact, joint pain may be more punishing for obese as compared to normal weight or underweight individuals. (12)
A study published in Arthritis Care & Research has suggested that adding regular exercise in your routine increases the pace of weight loss and this can reduce knee pain (13).
Think “RICE”: ‘RICE’ (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a method that is known for managing pain, especially sprains (14, 15). This therapy involves giving your knee some rest, applying ice, cold compression and then keeping your knee elevated (14, 16). However, more evidence to support this therapy’s efficacy in reducing knee pain is needed.
Consider Alternative Medicines: It might be a good idea to consider alternative medicines to support knee health. Some herbal medicines may offer a much-needed reprieve to patients with osteoarthritis (17). Using natural plant-based herbs such as devil’s claw, ginger extract, Boswellia serrata extract is good to stimulate healthy knee functions because of their anti-inflammatory properties (18).
Add these herbs or dietary supplements in your regular diet to enjoy freedom from pain and worry-free life!
Don’t Overwork It: While it is good to do exercise for healthy living, too much of a good thing can also be bad. For instance, mild exercise may help ease pain related to arthritis; but high energy exercises such as running or swimming for long durations may actually cause more damage instead of healing. Doing so may worsen the problem, especially if you are already in pain. (19)
Don’t Rest Too Much: The risk of developing pain or osteoarthritis is greater in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or are overweight, obese or have suffered sports injuries (20). Hard and high-intensity exercises are risky when you are in pain. But therapeutic exercises are often recommended as an awesomesauce practice for knee health (21).
Don’t Be Shy About Using A Walking Aid: If you’re finding difficult to walk, then using a walking aid is a good idea. A crutch, knee brace or cane may support knee health by reducing the stress on it (22, 23, 24). Additionally, using knee splints and braces during exercise or activity may also help you stay stable and balanced (25, 26).
It is important to remember these factors if you care for your knees. If this vital part of the body is neglected, you might end up with constant pain and discomfort. Reclaim a pain-free life and freedom of movement for your knees. Banish acute or chronic knee pain with these useful tips and our new free eBook. A copy of [The Secrets of Pain Management: What Big Pharma Hopes You Never Find Out] offers you a fresh new look at inflammation, and you’ll find useful information on how to effectively manage pain.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- “Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain” Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/why-weight-matters-when-it-comes-to-joint-pain
- Bhatia, Dinesh et al. “Current interventions in the management of knee osteoarthritis” Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences. 5:1 (2013): 30-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612336/
- Teixeira, Renata Nakata et al. “PREVALENCE OF MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN IN MARATHON RUNNERS WHO COMPETE AT THE ELITE LEVEL” International journal of sports physical therapy. 11:1 (2016): 126-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4739041/
- Symmons, DPS. “Knee pain in older adults: the latest musculoskeletal “epidemic “”. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 60:2 (2001): 89-90. https://ard.bmj.com/content/60/2/89
- “Knee Pain”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/knee-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20350849
- Heidari, Behzad. “Knee osteoarthritis prevalence, risk factors, pathogenesis and features: Part I” Caspian journal of internal medicine. 2:2 (2011): 205-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766936/
- Nguyen, Uyen-Sa D T et al. “Increasing prevalence of knee pain and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: survey and cohort data” Annals of internal medicine. 155:11 (2011): 725-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408027/
- Hosny, Sherif & McClatchie, William & Sofat, Nidhi & Hing, Caroline. “Knee Pain in Adults & Adolescents, Diagnosis and Treatment”. ResearchGate. 10 (2012):5772/51077. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232886226_Knee_Pain_in_Adults_Adolescents_Diagnosis_and_Treatment
- Werner, Suzanne. “Anterior knee pain: an update of physical therapy.” Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 22:10 (2014): 2286-2294. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997734
- Khaund, Razib, and Sharon H. Flynn. “Iliotibial band syndrome: a common source of knee pain.” Am Fam Physician. 71:8 (2005): 1545-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15864895
- Fernandes, G S et al. “Knee pain and related health in the community study (KPIC): a cohort study protocol” BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 18:404 (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5609004/
- Bliddal, H et al. “Osteoarthritis, obesity and weight loss: evidence, hypotheses and horizons – a scoping review” Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 15:7 (2014): 578-86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4238740/
- White, Daniel K et al. “Can an intensive diet and exercise program prevent knee pain among overweight adults at high risk?” Arthritis care & research. 67:7 (2015): 965-71. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482772/
- “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE)”. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tw4354spec
- van den Bekerom, Michel P J et al. “What is the evidence for rest, ice, compression, and elevation therapy in the treatment of ankle sprains in adults?” Journal of athletic training. 47:4 (2012): 435-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396304/
- Block, Jon E. “Cold and compression in the management of musculoskeletal injuries and orthopedic operative procedures: a narrative review” Open access journal of sports medicine. 1: (2010): 105-13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781860/
- Long, L., K. Soeken, and E. Ernst. “Herbal medicines for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a systematic review.” Rheumatology. 40:7 (2001): 779-793. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK68863/
- Ghasemian, Mona, Sina Owlia, and Mohammad Bagher Owlia. “Review of anti-inflammatory herbal medicines.” Advances in pharmacological sciences. 2016 (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4877453/
- “Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20047971
- Musumeci, Giuseppe, et al. “Osteoarthritis in the XXIst century: risk factors and behaviours that influence disease onset and progression.” International journal of molecular sciences. 16.3 (2015): 6093-6112. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394521/
- Susko, Allyn M and G Kelley Fitzgerald. “The pain-relieving qualities of exercise in knee osteoarthritis” Open access rheumatology : research and reviews. 5: (2013): 81-91. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074793/
- Uboldi, Francesco Mattia et al. “Use of an Elastomeric Knee Brace in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Short-Term Results” Joints. 6:2(2018): 85-89. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6059862/
- Petersen, Wolf et al. “The Patella Pro study – effect of a knee brace on patellofemoral pain syndrome: design of a randomized clinical trial (DRKS-ID:DRKS00003291)” BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 15: 200(2014). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4089925/
- M. Porcheret, K & Jordan, C & Jinks, P. “Primary care treatment of knee pain—a survey in older adults”. Rheumatology. 46:11 (2007): 1694–1700. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/46/11/1694/1786460
- Thoumie, Philippe et al. “Effect of unloading brace treatment on pain and function in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: the ROTOR randomized clinical trial” Scientific reports. 8:10519( 2018). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043544/
- Lee, Paul Yf et al. “Unloading knee brace is a cost-effective method to bridge and delay surgery in unicompartmental knee arthritis” BMJ open sport & exercise medicine. 2:1 (2017): e000195. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569259/