No matter what your age, we’re all susceptible to knee pain. According to Robert Gotlin, DO, and a director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center’s orthopedic surgery department in New York, “Knee problems are catching up and maybe even exceeding lower back problems. Knees are now on the top of the list as the No. 1 physical injury.”
Unfortunately, this is one of those rare cases where moving more (which is encouraged for a healthy, fit lifestyle) may actually increase your risk of pain and problems in your knees. This is because people rarely strengthen their knees, so suddenly adding lots more movement to your routine increases the probability that you will injure or overwork your knees, causing pain.
However, exercising your knees is actually the biggest step you can take to relieve knee pain and prevent injury. Here are five of the top fitness tips to help with knee pain …
- Start with a professional examination. If you struggle from chronic pain in an area, such as the knees, you should never jump right into a new, aggressive workout routine without an assessment from a physical therapist or sports medicine professional. They need to ensure any injury is treated, and can provide direction for how you can and should approach your recovery.
- Stretch and warm up. One of the most common reasons why people injure their muscles and tendons is by neglecting to stretch or warm up appropriately before exercise.
- Do daily exercises focused on strengthening your knees. This means you should look for exercises that target the quadriceps, hamstring, and hip muscles. Squats and lunges are easy, machine-free exercises that help strengthen your knees, among other leg muscles.
- If you feel major pain, stop! You will probably feel discomfort as you exercise, but if the pain is severe, or becomes serious after a workout, you are overdoing it.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your knees and other joints than they are designed to endure. So, that’s just one more benefit of exercising regularly and losing weight: relief from knee pain!
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com