Have you ever suffered with knee pain? Are you worried that your knees are getting weaker as you age?
Knee pain can arise for a multitude of reasons. Pain can come from the joint structures inside of the knee, and it can come from the muscles, ligaments, and tendons on the outside of the knee.
Because your knees are weight-bearing joints that are susceptible to a large amount of wear and tear over time, I’m sorry to say, your knees are a common site of body pain. Back in the day, they used to call this Housemaid’s Knee.
- If you are overweight, you are putting more stress on your knees. It’s best to lose weight if you have bad knees; do this by adopting a healthy diet and exercise.
- Get on a low-impact exercise program, and commit to exercising 3 to 4 times a week. Swimming and rowing are great exercises for bad knees because they put no pressure on your knees, while they strengthen your leg muscles.
- Buy a new pair of running or walking shoes every 3 to 4 months. You’ll be surprised what a positive difference new shoes make when you strap on a well-fitting walking or running shoe. Don’t go more than 6 to 8 months wearing old shoes if you run, jog, or walk often.
When you wake up in the mornings, and definitely before you exercise, do at least 15 minutes of warm-up stretches.
And, when you run, jog, or walk, select a soft surface as opposed to hard ground or cement.
If your knees are swollen and stiff, alternate hot and cold packs at the swollen spots.
Hot and cold packs stimulate the circulation of blood flowing through the knee, which helps flush toxins and brings oxygen to the sore area.
Hot and Cold
Prepare an ice pack by wrapping ice cubes in a kitchen towel, or use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel. Then, prepare a hot water bottle, and wrap that in a towel.
Elevate your leg, and hold the cold pack on your knee for about 10-minutes. Then, do the same with the hot water bottle.
Repeat 3 times several times a day, if necessary.
Massaging your knee has the same effect as rotating hot and cold packs; it increases oxygen and circulation to the knee, and helps flush out toxins.
Massaging also relaxes tense muscles and ligaments.
You can get regular massages from a professional, or you can do this yourself. Either way, massages feel great, and are a real plus when you have a sore knee.
Do It Yourself Routine – Stripping the Muscle
- Sit with your knees bent;
- Place your thumbs on the outside of your leg;
- Rest your fingers and palms on the sides of your legs;
- Run your thumbs down your muscles, slowly exerting pressure until you reach your ankle bone;
- This is called stripping the muscle;
- Move your hands around to the inside of your ankle, and massage up the inside of your leg;
- Finally, put your thumbs in front of and below your knee, and place your hands around your calf;
- With your fingers behind your knee, strip down the back of the calf with your fingers.
Ummm. THIS feels wonderful.
Here are some home exercises that you can do to strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you;
- Place a rolled towel under your sore knee;
- Tighten the muscles in your leg without moving your knee;
- Hold for about 30 seconds;
- Repeat at least 10 times, if possible. (You may need to work up to 10 times, so start slowly, especially if your knee becomes weak.)
- Sit with your back against a wall;
- Stretch your legs out in front of you;
- Raise the leg with the sore knee a few inches off of the ground;
- Hold steady for 3 seconds;
- Release slowly;
- Repeat 10 times;
- Repeat 10 more times.
- Lie on your stomach on the floor;
- Place the strap of a weighted bag over your ankles;
- Bend your knees, lifting your legs and the bag 10 times;
- Rest and repeat.
If you are worried about your knees, remember: prevention, prevention, prevention. You can support healthy and pain-free knees if you start “babying” them now.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.