Knee pain is something we see a lot here in the clinic. Here are some basic tips that can help you to keep your knees as healthy as possible to prevent pain from starting in the first place, plus help alleviate that pain when you're having it. For a more detailed report, you can request our free e-book on managing knee pain by clicking here: https://www.thegreenroomptny.com/events-and-offers
Wear supportive shoes/take care of your feet. If you spend all day on your feet, or a good amount of time standing and walking, this is especially important. Wearing a supportive sneaker is best, and custom orthotics can be a great option if you have structural issues including flat feet, really high arches, or knees that turn in or out. Spending some time barefoot is totally fine to build the muscles and natural alignment in and around the feet, ankles, and knees, as long as you don't find it to be painful. You do want to avoid any heels, high heels, or unsupportive sandals and flip flops. For more information on how our custom orthotic and orthotic flip flop options can help you, click here: https://www.footlevelers.com/
Maintain flexibility in the muscles around the knee, hips, and ankles. The joints of the lower body all work together, so you don't want to ignore your hips and ankles. It is best to have a routine that incorporates mobility and stretching for all the joints of the lower body, focusing on the quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors and rotators. If you aren't sure how to do this, consult your local Physical Therapist.
Strengthen the muscles around the knees and hips. Some key muscles to strengthen include the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, though there are other muscles that are important. Some exercises to try as long as they don't increase your pain include bridges and squats.
Keep moving, keep those knee joints lubricated! All our joints have a fluid inside of them called synovial fluid, which help to keep our joints lubricated and moving smoothly. If we stay static too long, this fluid can become thick and less mobile, making our joints less fluid and mobile. One simple way to do this is to avoid sitting for too long. Make sure to get up and move, if even a little, every 30 minutes or so. You can also do "long arc quads" while sitting at your desk or chair throughout the day to keep the knees lubricated and looser. Try this exercises 30 reps on each leg every hour of sitting, as long as it doesn't increase your pain.
5. Make sure to take your knees through their full range-of-motion every day. Knees can tighten and stiffen up over time, and before you know it, you're unable to straighten or bend your knees all the way like you used to. Each day, make a point to bend your knees with heel slides and straighten them with quad sets, seen below. These can easily be done in bed first thing in the morning or at night before going to bed. 10 of each on each leg should be plenty to maintain the mobility that you already have, and to prevent losing more mobility over time.
If you've tried all the tips above and are still dealing with knee pain, your best resource in figuring out what's causing your pain and knocking it out for good is your local Physical Therapist. If you don't have one of your own already and would like a free consultation by phone, video, or in-person with our office, feel free to schedule one with us at this link: https://www.thegreenroomptny.com/events-and-offers
In good health,
Dr. Ashley Bertorelli, PT and Founder, The Green Room PT