Have your knees been causing you pain for some time now? Given their heavy use daily, even more so if you are sporty, this is unfortunately not uncommon. If your pain is severe or particularly bothersome, a medical consultation is necessary to receive a precise diagnosis and good treatment.
In any case, or while waiting for your doctor’s appointment, here Kulkuf describe 10 ideas for always useful measures to relieve your knee daily.
1. Rest your knees
This may be obvious, but we can’t repeat it enough: if your knee is painful, the first thing to do is to avoid putting strain on it while the pain is present!
In practice, this means:
- Avoid walking and climbing stairs when not essential
- Elevate the painful leg while you sleep
- Avoid running while you are in pain
Be careful, however, not to stay still for too long; a minimum of exercise (non-traumatic for the knee) is necessary to keep the muscles and the joint in good shape!
2. Avoid violent sports for the knee
Exercising regularly is excellent for your health…unless you have knee pain, and the discipline you are practicing involves dangerous movements for it!
The main sports to avoid are those that put a lot of strain on the knee, through repeated shocks or sudden changes in trajectory. We can cite :
- And rugby
On the other side, you can practice:
- The bike
- Tai chi
Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or physiotherapist for advice!
3. Avoid being overweight
When you walk, your knees experience a force corresponding to 3 to 6 times your body weight. If this is too high, we can imagine to what extent this force is accentuated. The result is greater wear and tear on the knee: increased pain and increased risk of osteoarthritis in overweight people.
If you are concerned, consider adapting your diet and lifestyle habits to lose the excess pounds that weigh on your knees! Of course, a health professional can help you on this point.
4. Choose suitable shoes
We tend to forget it, but the shoes you wear can significantly impact the health of your knees! To prevent and reduce knee pain, it is advisable to avoid:
- Pumps and high heels, which shorten the calves
- Wedge heel shoes
- Ballerinas, which insufficiently support the arch of the foot
- Pointed toe shoes
- Running shoes, apart from the practice of it
On the contrary, choose comfortable shoes, without high heels, and in which you feel comfortable.
5. Do not carry heavy loads
Carrying suitcases, shopping bags, and other heavy objects can cause back pain. But did you know that these constraints can also worsen your knee pain?
If your knees hurt following an injury or osteoarthritis, avoid aggravating your condition by carrying heavy loads. Get help, and limit these excessive constraints as much as possible.
6. Correct your posture
Perhaps your knees are turned inward or outward; perhaps you suffer from a foot malformation, causing abnormal stress on the knee.
Sometimes, certain posture disorders go unnoticed until pain appears. An appointment with the podiatrist can also be useful in the event of foot deformity, to obtain corrective insoles adapted to your morphology.
In some cases, rehabilitation sessions may be prescribed. You will learn how to correct your posture and walk in a way that limits the stress placed on your joints.
7. Practice stretching
Stretching is one of the best ways to reduce knee pain. They can be done after your sports sessions, or outside regularly.
Some examples are:
- Stretching your calf against a wall
- Using a tennis ball stuck to the back of your knee while seated
- Stretch your hips and quads by placing one knee on the floor, before grabbing the ankle and pulling it towards your buttock
To be effective, these stretches must be done in sets of 10 to 15, several times a week. Some can be done using accessories like a foam roller or a rubber band. If these exercises cause pain, or if you have the slightest doubt, ask your doctor or physiotherapist for advice!
8. Maintain the knee muscles
Your pain may be a sign that you need knee muscle strengthening. The more toned the muscles surrounding the joint are, the more stable your knee is, and the less prone it is to trauma and other pain.
To strengthen the thigh muscles, you can, for example:
- Practice the chair exercise, which consists of standing with your back to the wall for as long as possible, with your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Perform straight leg lifts, lying on your back and without bending the knee
- Perform knee walks while sitting on a chair
Again, consistency is the key to achieving results. These exercises are not meant to cause knee pain; on the contrary, the idea is to stress the thighs and relieve the joint. If you have pain while doing them, stop and ask your doctor or physiotherapist for advice.
When knee pain is moderate, and is not linked to significant trauma, you can start by self-medicating. To relieve your pain, choose paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, in reasonable quantities.
If you opt for paracetamol, be sure to space the doses at least 4 to 6 hours apart; As for NSAIDs, they can be accompanied by side effects, and should therefore be consumed with caution.
In any case, do not use medications for more than 5 consecutive days. If the pain persists after this time, make an appointment with your doctor!
10. Natural remedies
For those who wish to avoid medications, there are also natural methods to effectively relieve a painful knee. In particular, you can:
- Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, favoring vegetables, vegetable oils, and foods rich in omega-3.
- Massage your knee regularly with olive oil, a natural muscle relaxant often used by athletes.
However, in the event of a proven injury or pathology, they do not provide medical and physiotherapy treatment.
In conclusion, managing knee pain involves a holistic approach, combining rest, appropriate exercise, weight management, and lifestyle adjustments. Choosing the right footwear, maintaining proper posture, and incorporating stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises are essential.
Additionally, self-medication and natural remedies can offer relief for mild pain, but seeking professional guidance is crucial for persistent or severe cases. Prioritizing knee health through these measures contributes to overall well-being and mobility.