Can reversing a few bad habits really help decrease knee pain? Yes. And it may be as simple as getting enough sleep and making a few changes to your exercise routine.
Award-winning physician and former NFL Super Bowl champion John S. Michels, MD, understands pain and how it can affect your daily routine. He’s dedicated his impressive medical career to helping residents throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area overcome the challenges associated with chronic pain and its debilitating effects on your quality of life.
Dr. Michels offers the most effective and innovative medical treatments available in his busy practice. He’s also committed to providing his patients with the practical information they need to help decrease and potentially prevent chronic pain symptoms.
To that end, he’s happy to talk about the good habits you can adopt that help protect your knees and lessen your risk of knee pain.
Knees are the largest and possibly the most overworked joints in the human body. They’re in action whether you're sitting, standing, walking, or running.
Any of the many complex structures that form the knee joint are susceptible to injury and stress related to overuse and/or the normal wear-and-tear of aging.
But we’re not saying that you should stop moving to prevent knee pain. Quite the opposite in fact. Fortunately, you can make a few changes in your routine that lessen your risk of worsening knee pain and help restore/retain knee mobility.
Absolutely work on building balanced strength and flexibility in your thighs to help protect and support your knees, but don’t forget your core in the process. Your core includes muscles in your:
Developing muscle strength and flexibility in these areas helps maintain the proper alignment your knees require.
The amount of pressure placed on your knees with every step is about one-and-a-half times your body weight. Losing excess weight can dramatically improve your knee health and lessen knee pain.
Don’t start a new sport or activity at the highest level, regardless of how fit you are currently. Instead, take time to develop and condition your muscles, and keep your workout balanced.
If you’re a runner, for instance, work on building strength and flexibility as well as stamina. For those who love the high impact of basketball, volleyball, and running, give your knees a breather by switching to a more knee-friendly activity such as swimming or cycling every other day.
Remaining active and eating right can help you retain many of the benefits of youth. But there does come a time when osteoarthritis and other effects of aging take a toll on your knees.
Continue with an active lifestyle, just tailor your routine to one that favors knee health. For example, switch from basketball to cycling.
Your body uses pain to signal that something has gone wrong. Ignoring the message can turn a minor issue into a chronically painful condition. Stop the activity if you experience sudden sharp, burning, or tingling discomfort or have difficulty bending and straightening the knee.
Strike a balance between overtraining and undertraining. Too much does more harm than good while too little interferes with or limits the many benefits of exercise or rehab.
Whether you’re working on your knees in construction or enjoying a hobby like gardening, protect your knees with padding and periodic breaks to relieve the pressure such activities create.
Wraps and bracing may also be helpful, but we recommend you seek professional advice first since the wrong type or wrapping technique may create problems.
Your body needs the hours you spend sleeping to perform various life-sustaining processes, including the cellular repair and rebuilding that affects your muscle and joint health.
Interestingly, individuals who routinely skip sleep are also more prone to developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Millions of adults in the United States experience knee pain that limits their activities, but you don’t have to live with these restrictions. The therapies Dr. Michels offers are minimally invasive and designed to relieve your discomfort and restore your mobility. Schedule your visit today.