Knee pain is a common medical problem for both men and women, and it can occur at any age. The problem with knee pain is it can make just about any movement painful, including exercise.
But at the same time, you need to exercise to stay healthy — and to prevent that knee pain from getting worse. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your knees and decrease your discomfort while you work out.
At New Hampshire Regenerative Center LLC, we can help patients by creating custom workout routines aimed at improving strength, flexibility, and overall health while decreasing joint discomfort.
But there are some things you can do to make sure you get the most from your workout without putting too much strain on your knees. Here are seven tips you can incorporate to get the exercise you need without endangering your knees.
- Warm up before you exercise
Warming up is pretty standard advice, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do it or don’t do enough of it. When you warm up, you send blood to your muscles so they’re more flexible and ready to work. Low-impact cardio exercises are great for warming up since they won’t strain your joints, but they’ll still get your blood flowing. Be sure to incorporate a full set of warm-up exercises rather than just focusing on your knees. Otherwise, if your body tries to compensate due to knee discomfort, other muscles might get strained.
Stretching also improves circulation to your muscles and joints, and it helps improve flexibility during activity. Plus, muscles that are more flexible are less likely to become strained. Don’t just stretch before you exercise; stretch afterward too to help relax muscles and prevent stiffness and strain. As with exercise, don’t overdo it. Gentle stretching is what you’re aiming for.
- Wear the right shoes
Your footwear has a big bearing on your joint health, especially when you exercise. Look for shoes that provide plenty of arch support and cushioning in the soles to protect your knees from impacts. Also, make sure your shoes fit well and provide plenty of room — but not too much. Shoe inserts can provide extra padding and a better fit for some people.
- Avoid high-impact exercises
If you have knee issues, it’s important to avoid exercises that involve running or jumping to prevent impact-related strain on your joints. Repetitive deep-knee bends and some stair-climbing exercises should be avoided as well unless your therapist recommends modified versions. Instead, opt for low-impact options like walking, swimming, or biking using a stationary bike.
- Use the right technique
Exercise is about more than moving your body. To get the most from any workout and to protect your joints and muscles at the same time, you need to use good technique and proper form. Before using any gym equipment, make sure you know how to use it; ask a trainer if you don’t. And watch your posture — poor posture can increase the strain on your knees and other areas of your body.
- Don’t overdo it
Everyone wants to see results when they exercise, but those results take time. Know your limits and stick to a slow but steady pace when it comes to ramping up your routine. Working out isn’t a race, so take your time to build up strength and flexibility before moving to the next level.
- Ask about knee supports
Depending on what’s causing your knee pain, you may need to wear a brace or other knee support during your workouts. By providing support, braces help you get the exercise you need without placing too much strain on the joint itself. Plus, some braces can provide additional cushioning in case you fall. Don’t buy a brace on your own; ask the doctor or nurse practitioner to recommend one specifically for your needs.
Get relief for your knee pain
If you’re suffering from knee pain, you know the effect it can have on your everyday life. At New Hampshire Regenerative Center LLC, we can help you relieve your knee pain and stiffness so you can get back to the activities you love. To learn more about the treatment options we offer, contact the practice today.