Our knee is the largest joint of our body. Thus, it has a massive share of impact on our overall wellbeing. Not surprisingly, joint pain or knee pain is a common problem regardless of age. Over the years, we all encounter a lot of wear and tear while fighting against gravity to work and move. Apart from the natural and inevitable aging process, other factors can also make our knee more amenable to pain. Excess body weight, reduced muscle strength, osteoarthritis, and injury can contribute to knee problems.
The most common reasons for painful knees include inflammation caused by improper lifting of heavy objects, poor flexibility, bad shoes, muscle weakness, starting high-impact fitness routines without warming up and structural knee problems, such as arthritis, torn cartilage or ligament damage.
.“Knee pain can happen to anyone at any age,” says Dr. Mir Jawad Zar khan. “Usually if patient’s knees are swollen and they are in pain, I have them ice the knees, stretch and take some anti-inflammatory medications for seven to 10 days. If their knees are still visibly and persistently swollen for longer than that, that warrants further evaluation, including imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI.”
But the good news is that there is some expert advice that can help protect your knees’ health, no matter your age
5 Expert Advice for Strong, Flexible, and Pain-Free Knees
Maintain A Healthy Weight
When we put extra stress on the knees, we come closer to the risk of knee pain. Our excess body weight not only hastens joint weakening but also heightens the risk of degenerative arthritis.
Remember that every pound of weight we put on our knees will have four times more force on them. And the pressure will increase while going up or downstairs. And for every pound of excess weight we lose, we will spare our knees from having four additional pounds of extra loads.
Strengthen Your Muscle to Support Your Knees
To support our knees, we must have strong thigh muscles, especially the hamstrings, adductors, and quadriceps. With strong thigh muscles, we protect our knee cartilage and reduce stress from placing on our knees. Doing squats and lunges twice a week and making sure that our knees are above our feet during those exercises helps strengthen our thigh muscles enough to support our knee joints.
Rectify Your Posture
People often slouch as they get older. And this is problematic because slouching can change the center of gravity in our body while placing added stress on our knees and hips. Dr. Mir Jawad suggests standing tall while keeping your head in line with your shoulder. Your shoulder must be directly over your hips, and your hips must be aligned with your knees. You can also practice exercises such as Pilates, yoga, and core strengthening exercises to improve your posture and prevent irritation around the kneecaps.
Wear the Right Shoes
Comfortable, supportive shoes promote proper alignment in your knee joints. Believe it or not, your shoes contribute to your personal abnormalities and knee osteoarthritis. Thus, it’s essential to choose your shoes prudently. It’s a good idea to pick up your shoes from a top-notch sporting goods store.
Don’t Avoid Your Knee Pain.
If you are developing joint pain or knee pain you need to take a break from your daily activities, including running, walking, and other high-impact activities. Also, give your knee the RICE treatment (rest-ice-compression and elevation) along with taking anti-inflammatory medications. You can indulge in gentle exercises such as bicycling, swimming, and aqua aerobics during the resting period.
When to See a Doctor
You can treat many causes of knee pain at home, but some will need medical attention.
Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- severe pain and swelling
- deformity or severe bruising
- symptoms in other parts of the body
- symptoms that persist longer than a few days or get worse instead of better
- other health conditions that could complicate healing
Your knee absorbs a massive amount of force with every step. And with time, the muscles and ligaments of your knees get weaker. If you are dealing with swollen knees or extreme knee pain, it can indicate damaged cartilage. You always need to talk to an orthopedic surgeon or knee specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment measures for your knees. Remember that your knee supports your entire range of motion. Thus, they require some extra support and care. An expert can help you to stay healthy, uplifted, and informed, along with keeping your knees flexible, strong, and pain-free.