5 Ways to Stop Knee Pain
Knee pain is a bummer to deal with, whether you are recovering from a serious knee injury or just dealing with sore joints from a lifetime of strenuous usage. Nobody wants to have their quality of life diminished by pain. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate knee pain without having to undergo surgery. I'll outline a few here today!
1. Dial Down Your Activities #stopkneepain
If you're having knee pain, it might be time to find a "low-impact" exercise that is enjoyable, sustainable, and fun. I see many athletes who go nonstop, 100 percent, all the time when it comes to their chosen pursuit-- but even the most competitive understand that when an injury strikes, it's time to dial it back a bit. Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Try swimming or walking
- Make sure to "warm up" before exercising and "cool down" after
- Avoid running or jumping if possible. These activities create too much impact upon the knees, even if you do them at half-speed.
- Stay away from big hills, which can create additional stress upon the knees
2. Get enough rest #stopkneepain
Not everybody can be a hero all the time, hotshot! It's important to maintain your physical fitness while you try to work through your knee pain, but it's even more important to give your knees the rest they need to recover from soreness and pain. Here are some tips on this front:
- Try to get extra sleep when possible
- Play close attention to how much walking you are doing. There are some new smartphone apps that can help you track your physical activity. Find a nice balance and stick to it.
- Sit and lie in a position that takes the weight off the knee- the less work it has to do, the better.
3. ICE IT Down #stopkneepain
I've talked about this before, but there's certainly a reason you see so many pro athletes icing the knee- it really does help to alleviate the pain and swelling. A good icing program would be an application of a cold pack or ice bag for 10 to 20 minutes at least three times per day. Also:
- Heat can be used to achieve a similar reduction of swelling
- Keep the leg slightly elevated when possible
- Compression can be used to stabilize the knee as well
4. Shed Some Pounds
If you are having persistent knee pain and you feel like you may be overweight, it may be time to consider a slight lifestyle adjustment to help lose some weight in order to take some of the burden off of your knees.
You don't have to go nuts with exercises that might cause the knee pain to get worse. There are plenty of exercises that can help you lose weight and keep the strain off your knees. Here's an article that will help you get started.
5. Try Light Physical Therapy #stopkneepain
I hear people talking about "gutting through it" on some occasions when it's obvious that they need help above and beyond just resting or icing the knee. There's no need to extend your agony if what you really need is outside help, and trust me, it doesn't reflect poorly upon your "toughness".
On that point, the first thing you can do is to try to give light physical therapy a try. Physical therapists are trained to design a program for your specific needs; they also know tons of "tricks of the trade" that they can help you with, whether it be creating a customized exercise program or helping you streamline and strategize your daily activities to reduce excess strain upon your knees.
Finally, if pain subsists, certainly consider visiting a physician for an evaluation. Knee surgery isn't the the end of the world, as these world-class athletes can attest.