You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these dos and don’ts to help your knees pain.
Don’t rest too much. After an injury, it is very tempting to abstain from activity in attempt to protect the knee. During the first 48 hours after an injury, resting and allowing the body to heal is ideal. However, after this time frame, resting too much can also cause problems! Not using the joint and surrounding musculature can lead to stiffness and muscle atrophy, which can lead to weakness and discomfort. Stretching and working on range of motion after an injury is crucial; engaging in low-impact exercise is also beneficial to maintain muscle mass.
Do exercise. It’s great to keep exercising, even if you have knee pain, but choose low-impact exercises that won’t exacerbate the pain or cause more damage. Stretching, weight training, and low-impact cardio can improve flexibility and help strengthen the muscles that offer the knee joint support. Great low-impact options include swimming, biking, and walking. Before working out, make sure to stretch and warm-up to avoid further injury.
Don’t risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
Don’t overlook your weight. If you’re overweight, it’s putting more stress or pressure on knees that are already damaged. Reducing your weight can significantly reduce knee pain while improving the function of the joints. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a huge difference. Engaging in regular exercise helps accomplish your weight loss goals and reduce the stress on your joints.
Do play with temperature. For the first 48 to 72 hours after a knee injury, use a cold pack to ease swelling and numb the pain. A plastic bag of ice or frozen peas works well. Use it for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day. Wrap your ice pack in a towel to be kind to your skin. After that, you can heat things up with a warm bath, heating pad, or warm towel for 15 to 20 minutes, three or four times a day.
Don’t jar your joint(s). High-impact exercises can further injure painful knees. Avoid jarring exercises such as running, jumping, and kickboxing. Also avoid doing exercises such as lunges and deep squats that put a lot of stress on your knees. These can worsen pain and, if not done correctly, cause injury.
Do get expert advice. If you’re suddenly dealing with new knee pain, make sure you have it checked out by a physician. Knee pain can be indicative of a severe injury, and getting it evaluated and treated quickly can prevent more damage to the joint and surrounding tissues.
Why Jewett Orthopaedic?
Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic has made it easier than ever to access the fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeons specializing in the knee. Knee can occur to young athletes and seniors alike, and Jewett is happy to help. The experienced knee team at Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic can guide you to gain the best outcome for your situation. Call today for a consultation.
Seeing more than 250,000 patient visits a year, Jewett’s health care team is one of the most respected and experienced in the Southeast. All Jewett physicians are board certified as well as fellowship trained, and each sub-specializes in at least one area such as total joint replacement or sports medicine. As a result, Jewett physicians are experts in their individual fields but also work closely together, readily tapping into the resources and expertise of their Jewett colleagues.