If you have ever suffered from aching knees, then you know the misery that comes with this condition. People may experience two conditions that result in knee pain — Acute or Chronic.
Acute knee pain
This knee pain is short-lived and results from an injury. For those who play sports or are very active, then you may know what it’s like to strain or sprain the knee. If you play sports, run, or simply twist it the wrong way while walking, you may end up with a sprained or strained knee.
Chronic knee pain
This is longer-lasting pain and could be caused by any number of conditions or situations. Although acute knee pain can sometimes be more painful at the time, it goes away quickly. However, chronic knee pain is more problematic for these reasons:
Since it is not due to an injury, there is no end date in sight
The pain may come and go for years
You must treat the symptoms because there is not really a way to heal it unless you discover the root cause
Ongoing pain can be depressing
If you are suffering from chronic knee pain, then you probably wonder what can be done to ease the discomfort. It’s important to understand the nature of chronic knee pain so that you don’t further aggravate it. In addition, you will find ways to eliminate the pain and increase your quality of life.
Anatomy of the knee
The knee consists of the largest joint in the body. Fibrous tissues form together making strong ligaments around the kneecap. These tissues make up four main ligaments in the knee: Anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, medial collateral ligament, and the lateral collateral ligament. When any of these ligaments become damaged, you’ll experience pain. If it’s an injured ligament, there will be a tear, even if it’s microscopic. However, inflammation, build up of fluid, and dislocation is all things that may lead to knee joint pain.
Main causes of knee joint pain
Several conditions can lead to knee joint pain. Sometimes it can be a combination of issues. Some of the more common problems that bring on knee joint issues are the following:
Activities that make knee pain worse
Many people think that when they are experiencing joint pain, they should take it easy. There is some truth to this statement. However, if you haven’t injured your knee, then resting it all the time could actually do more harm than good. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some things can aggravate knee joint pain. Here are their 5 things that will harm your joint if you have knee joint pain:
While running has so many positive benefits for people, it does put substantial pressure on your knees. Some people may be able to continue with a moderate amount of running if their joint pain is not too severe. However, you should avoid running on hard surfaces no matter what level of joint pain you have. Soft, grassy areas or tracks will put much less stress on the joints.
>Not enough exercise
While you don’t want to overdo it, you don’t want to baby your knee either. This will set your knee up for a great deal of stiffness. Once stiffness sets in, it becomes increasingly difficult to work out the kinks and pain. It’s better to continue moving those legs and knees with gentle exercises. Wearing a protective, flexible knee stabilizer brace or support will keep your leg steady while allowing you to continue moving around.
Being overweight seems to be a trigger for all types of health issues, and knee joint pain is no exception. If your knees have to carry added weight, then it’s going to put pressure and pain where you don’t want it. Losing any extra weight will alleviate some of your knee joint pain.
>Don’t have the proper gear
If you wear ill-fitting shoes or ones with poor support, then your legs and knees have to work even harder. That means you won’t walk with the best posture, which puts more pressure on those tendons. The same can be said about a knee support. Providing added support with a knee support or stabilizer helps make sure it doesn’t twist out of place.
>Your home and activities are not prepared
Every person’s situation is different, but making home modifications may help ease some problems. The key is to find solutions that help you stay mobile. In addition, many stores sell items that assist people with regular tasks that may be hurting their joints such as straining, climbing, and so on.
Activities that make knee pain better
Since we know that too much inactivity is not helpful for knee joint pain, people may wonder what types of things they can do. You may want to exercise but worry you will hurt yourself. The good news is that with the proper knee support apparatus, you can do some exercise and it benefits you too. Obviously, you want to double-check with your physician if you have a more severe case of knee joint pain and don’t do any activities that put you in jeopardy of falling. Here are a few safe exercises recommended by the medical professionals:
>All water aerobic exercise
These are probably the number one exercises you can do because they put virtually no pressure on your joints at all. Your knee is supported by water, yet water resistant exercises give you a good workout.
Lifting light to moderate weights is helpful for strengthening your bones and ensuring you don’t lose muscle mass. Since you’re working out in a more controlled environment, you can take care not to overexert your knee joint like you would with running on a hard surface. Strengthening your muscles is important for all age groups.
Anyone can do simple stretching. This will be especially beneficial to you if your joints have tightened up from lack of use. Actually, with any exercise you do, start with simple stretches to warm up your muscles. There is less of a chance for injury when you warm up first.
Exercise bicycles and elliptical machines are helpful for those suffering from knee joint pain. You can work out your legs without applying much pressure or stress. These are also good for a cardio workout as well.
Walking is one of the safest and easiest exercises you can do. You don’t need any equipment, just a good pair of shoes and your knee stabilizer. You can choose the pace that’s comfortable for you. Consistency in your walking routine is the key.
Living with chronic knee joint pain is difficult. However, with the proper knee support and exercises, you will move towards a more manageable situation. Becoming pain-free may become a reality for you depending on the severity of your condition. If not, you can ease the pain by using a knee support or stabilizer. With the right tools, you can continue to partake in the activities you enjoy.