Your knees go through a lot on a daily basis. It’s not uncommon to experience knee pain as your joint goes through the natural wear and tear process as you age, but aside from taking pain relievers what can be done about it?
It turns out there are several things you can do to help keep your knees healthier and maybe even relieve your pain. Here are a few!
Shake Up Your Routine
Knee pain should never hold you back from doing the things you enjoy, such as running or walking for exercise. If your knees really start to become painful during these activities, however, you may want to consider shifting to something new for a few weeks. Throw some pool exercise or stationary biking into your exercise routine, or try out some yoga. This can help to give your knees a rest and not put so much strain on them while still keeping you active.
Get a Foam Roller
You’ve probably seen these at your gym. Foam rollers are used to help keep you flexible and to keep your muscles loose. This is important because it helps to take the pressure off of your joints, which will hopefully reduce any discomfort you experience.
If you have knee pain, taking the time to roll out the muscles in your thighs can make a big difference. Rolling out the big muscle groups in your thighs such as your quads and hamstrings will help your kneecap move more freely and in the correct path.
Strengthen Your Hips
How strong your hips are has a direct impact on how well your knee functions. By building up the strength in your hips and your glutes (the buttocks), you will help to keep your knee in better alignment. If your hips are stronger then the pain in your knee should improve. A great move for strengthening your hips is the clamshell. For this, lie on your side with your legs bent and place a resistance band around your knees. Raise and lower the top leg 8 to 10 times in a slow and controlled fashion. Change sides and repeat. Think about your legs opening and closing like a giant clamshell!
Neoprene knee braces have their advantages, so wearing them on your knees when doing activities that cause discomfort can be helpful. These braces help to keep swelling at bay through compression and help to stabilize the joint through the activation of surrounding muscles. Plus, the brace will keep you more aware of moves you may be making that increase your pain.
Knee pain is, unfortunately, a fact of life for many people. Just remember there are things that can actively be done to help reduce or eliminate pain. Take care of your knees and they will take care of you!
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of kcxd
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.