Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I doing the right things to reduce my knee pain?” or, “Are the things I’m doing making my knee pain worse?” Anyone who has dealt with knee pain is aware how much it slows life down, and really throws a wrench into how you operate efficiently. Normal daily activities can even seem like a chore, when your movement is limited or you have to avoid certain tasks due to pain. Did you know that your everyday activities could be worsening knee pain? There are several triggers of knee pain, and not all are from old age and arthritis.
Before you go on diagnosing yourself (we’ve all done it), it is important to see a doctor or physical therapist to give you a professional diagnosis. Without one, you could be doing more harm than good. Read through this list and ask yourself again, whether you are taking the right steps to reducing your knee pain.
1. You’re pounding the pavement: The impact of running, especially on hard surfaces, stresses the knees. Whether you can keep it up depends on your level of damage and pain, but you might consider alternative exercises. If it’s too hard to give up your favorite form of exercise, at least try running on a more forgiving surface, such as softer trails or tracks instead of cement or pavement.
2. You’re taking it too easy: Rest is a critical part of recovering from a knee injury. But if your doctor clears you for exercise, don’t be a couch potato. Try low-impact exercises that are easy on the knees. For example, swimming or cycling can help you maintain your overall fitness while increasing the range of motion and strength in your knees.
3. You’re carrying too much weight: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing osteoarthritis and other conditions; your knees bear your weight every time you take a step. Fortunately, losing weight also can slow the progression of arthritis once you have it.
4. You’re wearing the wrong gear: Are you wearing flip-flops to walk around the neighborhood? If you have knee pain, that’s not a good idea. You need shoes with the proper support, such as a good pair of athletic sneakers if you are walking for exercise. The same goes for knee braces. Relying on a flimsy drugstore brace is like putting a bandage on a major wound.
If you would like to learn more about how you may be making your knee pain worse and how to avoid it, call Watauga Multi-Specialty Orthopedics at (423) 282-9011 or request an appointment online