Knee pain can be frustrating, especially if it is a chronic problem, such as patelloefemoral pain syndrome (chronic pain of the knee cap). Fortunately, many knee problems can be solved without surgery or other extreme measures. By being diligent about taking care of your knees, you can experience relief from knee pain. Here are four ways to get started:
If you are experiencing knee pain, you might think that your problem is so bad that ice won't do anything. You might even be offended by such a simple suggestion. What you might not know is that a lot of the pain you are experiencing in your knee is probably a result of inflammation. Icing your knee can reduce the inflammation and subsequently the pain. Icing can also prevent tissue damage to an acute injury. For best results, ice your knee quickly after your workout, when you are finished stretching. Elevate your knee and apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes. Ice again, but wait an hour in between sessions.
While losing weight is not the answer for everyone, if you are overweight you can only benefit your joints by losing weight. The more you weigh, the more pressure you are putting on your knee and the more impact your knee will have to absorb with every step. Losing weight will also make it easier for you to move.
If you have knee pain, the culprit could be your favorite exercise. While you don't need to give up exercising entirely, you might want to consider a low impact activity until your knee feels better. Low impact activities will still allow you to maintain your fitness, while giving your knee a break. When you do resume your favorite activity, make sure to build in days off to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Swimming and aqua-jogging are ideal, because there is no impact to your knee.
Practicing good form may even be the key to alleviating your knee pain. This is especially true in activities that require running. Instead of taking long strides to cover more ground, try to pick up your knees more quickly. Using this technique takes pressure off of your knees and joints.
Part of having good technique is also having good equipment. Make sure you are exercising in shoes that meet your needs. For example, if you have flat feet, you should be exercising in shoes that support your arches to lessen the impact of your stride. If you are a bigger person, you need a supportive shoe with cushioning to reduce impact. Your knees and joints will thank you for it!