Keeping Your Knees Healthy
Knee pain is an extremely common complaint, and it can stem from any number of causes. It can be due to an injury such as a kneecap dislocation or patella fracture, which should be treated on priority. Knee injuries can also happen as a result of torn or stretched ligaments. Putting excessive strain on your knee can cause problems such as tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons. The knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, osteoarthritis can take hold, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees. As you get older, the cartilage in your knee joints can begin to rupture, causing the development of osteoarthritis.
Talking to a medical professional is very important if you are suffering from knee pain. Once it reaches a chronic stage, it is very difficult to totally get rid of it. Treatment of a knee problem differs depending on the cause, but the focus is mainly on effective non-surgical methods of reducing pain and stimulating healing, if the stage is not chronic. The sooner your doctor finds out about the cause of your knee pain, the faster will be the treatment.
However, you can avoid knee problems with day to day measures:
- Lose Weight:
The knee bears three times a person’s body weight going up stairs and nearly five times the weight going down stairs. Even a five-pound weight loss can make a huge difference in overall knee health. This tip should be implemented as early as possible. If you have carried a lot of weight for a long time, your knees may already have arthritis. Losing weight then can help prevent further deterioration, but it can’t undo arthritic damage that is already present.
- Don’t ignore pain:
When the knees begin to hurt, or swell on a regular basis, listen to your body and take a break. Don’t think you can push through the pain. Take time off or adopt a low-impact activity like walking, cycling or swimming. Too many people wait until knee pain has gotten out of control. At that point too, surgery is not the only option, but the truth is that the majority of overuse problems don’t require surgery and can often be treated efficiently through activity modification, shoe inserts and weight loss.
- Strengthen the supporting muscles:
Weak muscles and lack of flexibility can result in knee injuries. When the muscles around the kneecap, hip and pelvis are not strong, the knee stays unstable and imbalanced. All orthopaedic doctors focus on the importance of strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscles to support the knee, as well as the body’s core muscles, including the oblique, lower back muscles, and upper thigh.