Knee pain is common for many people. Whether it’s because of older age or simply because you participate in a sport that puts added strain on this part of your body, it’s a troublesome problem for many. In the worst cases, surgical intervention is needed in the form of a knee replacement.
Fortunately, there are ways to support your knee and prevent further damage and pain. We explore what these are and outline some tips and strategies for avoiding more serious treatments and surgeries.
Place Your Feet appropriately
The way we use our feet has a great impact on the load placed on the joints higher up, the knees, hips and lower back can all suffer. Many of us need to work on mobilising and strengthening the feet to do their share of the work so that other areas don’t get overused and become painful or worn out. It is strange to think about learning how to walk or stand differently, but years in restrictive footwear can weaken the foot structure and lead to poor alignment habits.
Strengthen the Muscles
Boosting muscle strength can seriously stabilise the knee joint. Focusing on areas of your body like your quads and hamstrings helps to absorb some of the stress from your knees. Other areas like your hips, core and overall posture are vital for smooth and efficient bodily movements, avoiding any unnecessary pressure on any particular part of your body, such as your knees.
You don’t need to head to the gym to achieve this, and in some cases, it’s probably best that you don’t embark on a self-made weights program to build muscle if you don’t have experience in this area or are already suffering from knee pain.
Gentler more fluid exercises and stretching like pilates or yoga might be all you need to achieve more muscle resilience and strength in your body. Classic squats and basic core exercise are also great for improving strength. It’s all about evaluating your weaknesses, identifying your needs and developing a sustainable strengthening program that’s right for you.
Most people’s joints get stiffer with age and it’s important to maintain and even improve range of motion as you get older. This can stop you from developing problems in your joints caused by the way you move your body, stand, walk, run and even sit.
If you’re suffering from strain or pressure in certain parts of your body, it might be necessary to address this first with bodywork treatments or myofascial release treatment, which can help you reduce trigger points and achieve a full range of motion in your limbs
Consider Acupuncture for Joint Pain
Studies have shown that acupuncture can be used as a method for treating people with knee joint issues. A systematic review by McMaster University looked at whether acupuncture could improve pain and joint function in people with chronic osteoarthritis knee pain, compared to ‘fake’ acupuncture, usual care, or no treatment.
It found that people who received acupuncture had less short-term pain (up to 13 weeks) and better short-term (up to 13 weeks) and long-term (up to 26 weeks) physical functioning.
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