The biped mobility makes humans unique and knee plays a very important role in making mobility efficient and effective. Knee, working in coordination with other bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, enables smooth mobility. But, the hyper-active life of modern society added by unhealthy food and cut-throat competition showing the serious impact on the natural body-balance, especially knees. Unfortunately, knee pain is showing signs of early-onset, meaning younger population approaching doctors to seek help to reduce inflammatory pain.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain is very common and causes vary depending on areas affected. Your hyperactive physical activity could put undue stress on knee joint, kneecap, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage causing progressive deteriorations and inflation. Doctors normally divide knee pain into three major categories.
- Acute injury: Bone fracture, ligament break, or meniscal tear falls under this category.
- Medical conditions: Infections, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis come under medical conditions.
- Overuse conditions: Patellar syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, osteoporosis, IT band syndrome are caused by overuse.
Dos and Don’ts When in Knee Pain
Acute knee pain can make you immobile. A heavy dose of painkiller might help temporarily, but it isn’t a long term solution as chances of recurrence are quite high. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you manage knee pain and recover faster.
- Orthopedics recommends that excessive rest weakens the muscles resulting in worsening of joint pain. It is better to keep your knee mobile by following a suitable exercise program. However, you should do it only if your therapist recommends, because overdoing could aggravate the inflammation.
- A set of cardio exercises like walking, swimming, water aerobics and cycling could be beneficial as it helps in strengthening supportive muscles. If you are overweight, you should be a little cautious in exercise selection. If your problem is related to balance and stiffness, then Tai chi could be of great help.
- Since you are in pain, you should take all precautions to avoid the risk of jerks as this might aggravate the pain. Be in control of your mobility by using some kind of support while walking.
- The time tested “RICE” model i.e. rest, ice, compression, and elevation is very effective in knee pain treatment, especially if caused by arthritis or minor injury. It is best to cut mobility and apply an ice pack to subside inflammation. If it is acute, wearing a compressive bandage could help in reducing pain.
- Your knee is conditioned to manage progressive weight gain, so if you have gained weight it is better to focus on weight loss to keep the knee healthy in the long run. However, you should avoid aggressive dietary control to cut weight.
- Your knee is under stress, so it is better to pass on the stress to a crutch or cane to get reasonable support for the knee. For stability, you can try splints and braces.
- Depending on your case of knee pain you can try acupuncture to relieve muscular pain. However, you should take extra precautions in the selection of acupuncturists.
- Your shoes could do wonders if you are using the customized insoles. Studies suggest that cushioned insoles are highly effective in reducing stress on knees. However, it should be done under the guidance of your physiotherapist as a simple mistake could worsen the situation.
- If your knee pain is fresh you should use a cold pack to reduce inflammatory pain. Be practical here anything that is frozen in your refrigerator will work well. Apply it for 15-20 minutes there four times a day until swelling subsides. That is not all, once the swelling is gone you should play with temperature variation by applying a heating pad or even a warm towel to make muscles mobile.
- You have to avoid high impact activities for the time being to regain musculoskeletal balance. Your trainer will guide you on what not to do while suffering from knee pain.
If your knee pain sustains longer than expected you should consult a podiatrist and seek a proper diagnosis. Based on a thorough diagnosis your doctor will recommend measures to regain the natural strength of knees. Prevention is always better than cure, so be careful about your lifestyle, diet and weight to have a healthy knee for effective mobility.