The biggest joint in your body is your knee. It helps you sit, stand, lift, walk, run, and jump. It also has lots of parts that can get injured: tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that you can crack, tear, dislocate, and more. The dos and don’ts recommendation for knee pain from APMS of Greater Houston.
Do: Rest a Sore Knee
Take a break so your knee has time to heal. You’ll only need 1 or 2 days of rest to ease minor knee pain, but severe injuries may keep you off your feet longer. Talk to our doctor if it doesn’t get better after a few days.
Don’t: Stay on the Couch Too Long
Exercise builds strong muscles around your joints, and that helps prevent injuries. Once your knee has had enough rest, get back out there. Low-impact water workouts or tai chi are good options. But don’t overdo it or you’ll risk more pain.
Do: Use “RICE” Technique
Try the RICE formula to treat a knee injury:
Rest for a day or two to heal.
Ice your knee to calm inflammation.
Compress (wrap) your joint for support and to stop fluid buildup.
Elevate it on a pillow or stool to curb swelling.
Don’t: Risk Slips, Trips, or Falls
Wear shoes with good tread on them to cut your risk of a slip or fall. Choose low-heeled shoes with soft rubber soles. Keep your home’s hallways and stairwells well lit, and a clear pathway on floors to avoid tripping over.
Do: Watch Your Weight
Extra pounds add strain to your knees and raise your risk of painful arthritis and injuries. Even moderate weight loss can ease the strain. If you need to drop a few pounds, set a goal to lose just 5% of your current weight over the next few months. Talk to our doctor about nutrition, and physical therapy options.
Don’t: Forget to Stretch
The muscles around your knees can get tight, and that can lead to painful injuries. Daily stretches can prevent that and muscle pain. Ask our doctor for suggested stretch moves to help you limber up before you walk or do any other activity.
Do: Use Heat and Cold
If your knee pain flares, try hot or cold treatments. Moist heat is better for pain relief than dry. Soak in a warm bath or a damp washcloth in the microwave. To ease a swollen knee, press a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel against the joint.
Don’t: Sleep in the Wrong Position
This can make your knee pain flare. Don’t prop up a bent knee on a pillow, that can make it harder to unbend your leg the next day.
Do: Try Braces or Sleeves
Support a sore, weak knee with a brace, sleeve, or tape. Ask our doctor to help fit you with one or to tape your knee. A simple sleeve that fits over your knee can offer short-term pain relief. You can find them at the local pharmacy.
Don’t: Wear Out Your Knees
You may get knee pain because you overload your joints. Movements you do over and over again, like go up and down stairs every day, can jar and wear down your knees. But don’t sit for long periods, either. That puts extra pressure between your knee and leg bone that can cause pain.
Do: Support Your Arches
Choose shoes that support your arches or use slip-in inserts at your local drugstore. If those don’t work, you can ask the doctor about custom supports. But those can be expensive and don’t always work better than the ones available over the counter.
Don’t: Keep Wearing the Same Old Shoes
Shoes can stretch and wear out after a while. Don’t keep wearing your favorite pair after their support and tread have worn out. You may find that new shoes that support your feet and ankles well, ease your knee pain.
Do: Talk to Dr. Carter or Dr. Okezie
You don’t have to deal with knee pain alone.