9 Ways to Be Nice to Your Knees

painful knee illustration made in 3d software  



Click, clunk, pop, crack. . . these are the words our knees use to speak

to us as we get older.  If your body is speaking this language you are normal.


Over time, as your knees absorb the shock of each step, the cushion

(protective cartilage) begins to wear down.  As you move, your knee joint

rubs together with less of this cushioning clicking noises occur.  The more

active you are and the more impact your knees experience, the earlier in

life you will likely start to hear these sounds.


If you are not experiencing pain, it is nothing to be concerned about. However,

it is a sign that pain and stiffness may  be on the way as breakdown continues

over time.


Don't start panicking yet! If you choose to do something about it now, you

may be ale to stop the progression of knee pain in it's tracks.


Are we in agreement that our knees are important?  That we need them to

remain active and continue to participate in our every day and recreational

activities.  So, let's be nice to our knees now, in order that they continue to

work for us in the future.


Here are 9 ways to be nice to your knees today


#1 - Warm up before exercise 

Proper dynamic stretching and warm up to initiate blood flow before you

exercise is important.  It can help you walk, jog, or run further with more

ease and less risk of knee injury.


#2 - Cool down after activity

Stretching after exercise is key to  ease stiffness (especially the kind you

experience the next morning).  It improves circulation and flexibility of the

surrounding joints and muscles. If you have a job that requires heavy lifting

or a day of chasing your grandchildren, consider this exercise and properly

stretch when you get home.


#3 - Avoid kneeling

The increased pressure of supporting your full body weight with the added

force of them pushing onto the hard ground can be damaging. Use a knee rest

when gardening or sit on a cushion instead.  If you must kneel, try not to do

it for longer than 10 minutes.  Get up often and move around before kneeling

down again.


#4 - Strengthen the surrounding muscles

If the muscles around your knees are weak they are not going to be able to

support your knee joints and you are much more likely to suffer from aches

and pains.


#5 - Avoid sitting for long periods

When you sit at a desk with your knees bent underneath you, the ligaments

and muscles around your knee are stretched. When seated, bend and straighten

your knees under your desk, vary the position your legs are in and alternate

sitting with standing and walking activities.


#6 - Avoid crossing your legs

Again, this seated position puts your knees in an unnatural position.  your joints

are twisted, muscles stretched, and you are more vulnerable to injury.


#7 - Position a pillow between your knees

When laying down place a pillow between your knees.  This can help reduce pain

and swelling, as well as keep your knee joint properly aligned for their protection.


#8 - Wear supportive shoes with good cushioning

The base you stand on effects all your joints.  If you have a shoe with good

cushioning and shock absorption, you will decrease force put through your knee

joint. If a shoe doesn't have good support, an added orthotic may be the answer to

properly aligning and cushioning your ankle and knee joints.

(We have some awesome orthotics that we can fit you for at our clinic)


#9 - Alternate activities

If you do a lot of running, aerobics or hiking try to occasionally alternate these

activities with cycling or swimming that puts less stress on your joints.  Replacing

a high impact activity just once a week can make a big difference on the wear and

tear of your knee joint.  This also gives the muscles and tissue around the knee

time to recover and build strength.


Bonus #10 - There are many other ways a physical therapist can help regain and

maintain good movement and strength in and around your knee joints, so don't suffer

in silence.


Contact us HERE today for a free phone consultation with one of our physical therapists

or to schedule an orthotic fitting.