If you suffer from knee pain, you’re not alone. Knee pain affects countless people in the U.S. and can be a very difficult condition to live with. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about your pain. Here are some knee pain do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind.
Do Stay Active
When you’re dealing with knee pain, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. However, regular physical activity can actually strengthen the muscles that support your knees, improving your flexibility and range of motion. Choose low-impact activities that won’t be too hard on your knees, such as brisk walking, swimming, and cycling. Avoid activities that involve a lot of jumping, as they can be tough on the knees.
Don’t Overlook Your Weight
Excess weight can make a big impact on the health of your knees. If you’re carrying around too much weight it can put extra pressure on your knees, resulting in pain. Even losing a few pounds can take some of that stress off and help you feel better. Cut down your portion size, eat more lean meats like chicken and fish, and add more physical activity to your routine.
Do Wear the Right Shoes
What you wear on your feet could also be contributing to your knee pain. High heels and shoes that have little support can put a lot of stress on your knees. To avoid this, wear sturdy shoes that fit comfortably on your feet. For added comfort, put cushioned insoles in your shoes.
Don’t Risk Falls
Knee pain can increase your risk of falling, which may make your condition even worse. That’s why it’s important to minimize the risk of falling as much as possible. Keep clutter off your floor, make sure there is good lighting, and use handrails on staircases when possible.
Do Apply Ice
If your knee pain is due to a minor injury or an arthritis flare, it may help to apply an ice pack. This will take the swelling down and help relieve some of the pain. If the temperature of the ice feels uncomfortable, try putting a small towel under it.
Don’t Hesitate to Use a Walking Aid
There’s nothing wrong with using a crutch or other walking aid if you have knee pain. These devices can take a lot of the pressure off your knee, reducing pain and the risk of falls.
Do See a Knee Doctor
If your knee pain persists, you should make an appointment to see a knee doctor, soon. He or she can evaluate the extent of your knee pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.