Whether it is caused by a sports injury or arthritis, knee pain can be debilitating and prevent you from doing your normal activities. Sometimes the pain can be so severe that you can't even walk on your own. However, you can decrease the risk of knee pain if you come in tune with your body and avoid exercising incorrectly. Here are seven effective ways to prevent knee pain:
Choose Low-Impact Exercises
If you are prone to knee pain, you have to be careful about what types of exercises you do at the gym. A workout that is too intense can increase the risk of a knee injury. Gaiam Life recommends doing partial squats. They are not as intense as traditional squats and can still keep you in shape. Instead of bending your body all the way to the ground, only lower it partially. It is also a good idea to wear a knee support product before you do this workout. Speed walking, swimming and dancing are also great low-impact workouts.
Wear the Right Shoes
The proper footwear is even more important for someone who is at risk of knee pain. When shopping for shoes, you should get fitted by a professional. He or she will help you pick out a pair of shoes that fit comfortably and have enough support for your knees. It is also a wise idea to avoid wearing high heels as much as possible. If you wear heels, your body has to work harder to keep your knees straight, leading to pain.
Are you currently overweight? If so, dropping even a few pounds can have a positive impact on your knees. When you are carrying around excess weight, it can put a lot of pressure on your knees. If you start eating more nutritious foods and working out at least four times a week, you can lose the weight in no time.
Eat Calcium Rich Foods
The stronger your bones are, the less likely you will experience knee injuries. One of the best ways to keep your bones strong is to eat more calcium rich foods, such as yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens and milk.
Stop Walking on the Grass
Walking on the grass might not seem like a big deal, but it can harmful if you have had a knee injury before. If you walk on grass, it can put more tension on your knees and increase your chances of falling. It is safer to stick to the sidewalks.
Work Out Your Inner Thighs
Another effective way you can reduce the risk of knee pain is to regularly work out your inner thighs. If your inner thigh muscles are strong, they can take on more stress while you walk, taking some of the pressure off your knees. For example, you could use the hip abductor machine at your gym to train your inner thigh muscles.
Do not Skimp on Rest
Getting enough sleep at night is especially crucial if you are prone to knee pain. If your body is not properly rested, it can't recover properly and you may experience more knee pain. If you can't seem to rest soundly for seven to eight hours every night, you should speak to your doctor about the best solution.
Knee pain does not have to take over your life. If you follow these helpful tips, you can keep your knees in good shape for a long time. However, if you still suffer from severe knee pain, you may want to consider knee replacement surgery. Ask an orthopedist, like Joseph P. Spott, DO, if it is the right choice for you.