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
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
#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
#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
Contact us HERE today for a free phone consultation with one of our physical therapists
or to schedule an orthotic fitting.