Do you spend most of your working hours standing or walking? Maybe you enjoy going on daily jogs or participating in regular sports activities. Even if you don’t fall into either of these categories, it’s likely that your knees are put under stress day in and day out, as this happens to nearly everyone. You might not experience the aches or pain now, but at some point, your knees will tell you when they need a little more care and attention.
Knee injuries and chronic knee pain are a huge problem in the United States and worldwide. The knee joint is one of the most “poorly designed” joints in our body and are very prone to serious injuries and debilitating wear and tear even under the best of circumstances. The knee is the joint where the bones of the upper leg and lower leg meet. The largest joint in the body, the knee moves like a hinge, allowing you to sit, squat, walk or jump. When knee problems arise, they can interfere with almost all of your daily activities, and certainly can compromise your participation in more advanced activities or sports. Sports injuries at a younger age will predispose patients to arthritic changes (and the disability and pain that invariably accompanies this condition), and this will occur earlier in life than it would have otherwise.
At Utah Stem Cells, we have helped many patients with their chronic and acute knee pain conditions. However, one approach we highly encourage is the prevention of knee pain. We’ve created a quick list of everyday tips to ensure your knees stay pain-free and functioning as they should.
Knee pain can strike in a couple of different ways. If you’re feeling an occasional spasm or twinge of pain, try these following tips:
- Water! Water! Water! Water can be the miracle solution to several different bodily ailments. Even if you don’t think you need water, there is a good chance you may be dehydrated. Water helps boost circulation, lubricates joints and removes wastes and toxins from your body. Adults should be drinking approximately eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, and if you’re active, that amount should be increased.
- Active individuals should also be weary of doing deep-knee squats, lunges and intense running on hard surfaces, like a treadmill or concrete. Sports activities that require sudden stops and twists, like tennis or basketball, should be avoided as well. If you’re looking for alternative exercises, look towards bicycling, swimming or using an elliptical machine. Or at the very least, switch up your regular activity to give your knees a break.
- Runners know the importance of a good pair of running shoes. If you own a pair of old, ratty shoes, throw them out! Worn-out inner and outer soles are good indications that your shoes are at the end of their lifespan. Worn-out shoes lose their spring and cushion, which makes them inadequate for providing support for your feet and knees.
- If you can, avoid kneeling. Knee caps take the brunt of the damage when we kneel. If you’re in the garden or stocking low shelves at work and you must kneel, wear knee pads, sit on the floor or try using a low stool or bench. This will take the pressure and stress off your knees, saving you years of future pain.
If you have persistent knee pain, you might have to be extra-cautious when it comes to proper care. Have a look the following bonus tips:
- If you don’t have time to visit us for treatment right away, use cold therapy to relieve chronic knee pain. Use a frozen gel or ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and apply it to the achy or painful knee. Cold therapy helps with reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Are you carrying an extra few pounds around? Shedding extra weight (even if it’s just 5 pounds) can alleviate pressure and stress on the knees.
- Before you begin your fitness or exercise routine, don’t forget to stretch. Stretching keeps your joints, ligaments and muscles limber for mobility and movement. If stretching ever becomes painful, never push past the pain.
Do you suffer from knee pain? Utah Stem Cells may have a solution for you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment. 801-999-4860