If you’re like most people, one of your least worries would be your knees. Besides, who really gives their knees a second thought? That is until they start to hurt. Knee pain can sideline even the most active person and make everyday activities, like going up and down stairs, a real challenge.
Knee Pain and Treatments
According to a study, up to 46.2% of respondents have knee pain. As you age, your knees can become weaker and more susceptible to pain and injury. This condition is more prevalent in older women than in men.
Most knee pain results from overuse, injury, and even arthritis. The treatment varies depending on the cause of the pain. In some cases, physical therapy and knee support may be all that’s needed to relieve the pain. More severe conditions may require surgery.
Sometimes, doctors recommend a knee transplant to relieve the pain from arthritis. But like any surgery, a knee transplant has risks, including infection and rejection of the new knee. Know that you can consider alternatives to knee replacement if you are unsure about getting surgery.
An offloading knee brace can help remove pressure from your sore knee joint. This can be a good alternative if you don’t want to undergo surgery yet. Make sure to do your research before buying a knee brace, as different types offer varying levels of support.
Another alternative is to use a cartilage patch. This can help repair damage to the knee joint and relieve pain. The downside is that it may only be a temporary fix, and you may need more surgery down the road.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Help
You can make certain lifestyle changes to help relieve knee pain and keep your knees healthy. If you’re looking for more natural ways to alleviate your knee pain, you can try the following:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying around extra weight puts added stress on your knees. This can lead to pain and long-term damage. If you’re overweight, work on losing those extra pounds. Even a slight weight loss can make a big difference in the health of your knees.
You can use a BMI (body mass index) calculator to know your ideal weight. This calculator considers your height and weight to give you a number indicating whether you’re at a healthy weight.
Once you know what your ideal weight is, you can start planning ways how you can reach your goal. This may include making changes to your diet and getting more exercise.
Consider Low-impact Exercise
If you’re dealing with knee pain, high-impact activities like running can worsen the pain. Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or biking. These activities put less stress on your knees and can help strengthen the muscles around your joints.
If you’re not used to exercising, start slowly and gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts. Remember to warm up before beginning any exercise routine. This can help prevent injuries.
Wear the Right Shoes
The shoes you wear can either help or hurt your knees. Wearing high heels or shoes that don’t provide enough support can lead to knee pain. Wear shoes that fit well and offer good arch support.
If you’re unsure what type of shoe is best for you, talk to a salesperson at a running store. They can help you find a shoe that fits well and provides the support you need.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Inflammation can also cause knee pain. Inflammation makes it hard for your body to repair itself. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Certain foods help reduce inflammation, including omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, ginger, and green tea. You can also take supplements if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from your diet. It would be best to consult with your doctor, so they can recommend the type of foods that will best help with your knee pain.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t repair itself properly. If you already have knee pain, this can make the pain worse. Ensure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Remember that your quality of sleep also matters. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. They may be able to recommend some changes or even prescribe medications that can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Manage Your Stress Level
Your body releases cortisol whenever you feel stressed. This hormone can lead to inflammation, which in turn can cause knee pain. Managing your stress levels can help reduce knee pain and other symptoms of inflammation.
Some people find that regular exercise helps them feel less stressed. Others may prefer relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Some find relief in talking to a therapist. Doing what works for you can help lower your stress levels and improve your overall health.
The above lifestyle changes can help reduce knee pain and keep your knees healthy. Remember to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re ever unsure about an exercise or activity, talk to your doctor. They can help you find the best way to stay active without putting too much strain on your knees.