Prevention is the most important alternative to pain management. Learning how to prevent common injuries, and taking the time to stretch appropriately can save you from years of dealing with pain. That’s why we’re happy to present this information – in hopes that it will help you live pain free.
Knee pain is a common symptom with many causes. The most common cause of knee pain is arthritis, but there are a variety of other causes such as muscle pulls, ligament damage, and injuries to the cartilage. Treatment for knee pain depends on the underlying cause and can include medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. Prevention, however, is the best way to avoid developing pain in the first place.
The best ways to prevent knee pain are:
- Weight loss
- Proper footwear
- Improving your posture
Losing weight isn’t easy, but it can have a major impact on preventing and even relieving knee pain. Studies have shown that a 10 pound weight loss results in 20% less knee pain.
Exercise is important for weight loss, but there are specific exercises you should do if you have knee pain. The goals of the exercises are to improve the strength and increase the flexibility of the muscles around the knee. These exercises can be done in 5-10 minutes and require no equipment.
- Butterfly stretch – Sit with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet pressed together in front of your body. Hold your feet with your hands and lean your body forward. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Try to prevent your knees for raising too high off the ground
- Hip flexor stretch – Stand like you are about to start running with one front in front of the other and both feet facing forward. Keep your body straight up and tighten your stomach muscles. Keep your front knee bent and you back leg straight while you lean forward lean forward. You should feel the stretch in the front of the back leg. Hold the position for 30 seconds
- Step ups – Stand at the bottom of a flight of stairs and step up on to the first step with your right leg. Lift your body weight off the ground without putting your left leg on to the step. Put the left leg back down on to the ground and then step off the step with the right leg. Do this 15 times with one leg then repeat with the other leg. If a step is too easy try a stable stool or exercise bench. For safety reasons, don’t try this in the middle of a staircase.
- Straight leg lifts – Lay on your back with your legs straight out. Keeping your knee straight, lift one leg off the floor. Repeat that 15 times on one leg then switch to the other leg.
- Hamstring curls – Lay on your stomach with your arms and head in a comfortable position. Start with both legs straight. Bend one knee and bring your heel to your buttock for 15 reps. Repeat with the other leg.
Proper footwear is important during exercise, but is often overlooked in everyday life. Supportive shoes help to keep the entire leg in proper alignment and reduce stress to the knee. High heels move your body weight forward, which causes the muscles in your knees to work harder to keep your knees in the right place.
Incorrect posture can cause the same issues as wearing the wrong footwear. If you lean forward your weight moves out in front of your knees causing them to work harder. Keep your head, neck and shoulders back so your body is in a straight line.
These are just a sample of the most beneficial ways to prevent development or worsening of knee pain. There are many other exercises, stretches and treatments we recommend for our patients who either have or are at risk of developing knee pain. To learn more about how to prevent and treat knee pain, talk to one of our doctors or physical therapists at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today by calling (201) 962-9199.
At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine, we specialize in nonsurgical pain management, and knee pain is just one of the many conditions we diagnose and treat in our Ramsey, NJ medical center. For more information, please see our full list of our nonsurgical services, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.
We look forward to being your #1 solution for nonsurgical pain treatment.