The joint that’s most likely to cause pain and discomfort is the knee joint. Injuries, wear and tear, and inflammation occur in the knees more often because the knees carry a lot of weight. Also, because the knee is a hinge joint, it’s more likely to get injured when you suddenly twist or rotate your leg.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce your chances of developing knee problems. Below, Dr. Shoeb Mohiuddin, our board-certified expert in pain medicine at Regenerative Pain & Spine, explains how you can prevent knee problems.
1 Don’t overuse your knees
One of the most common causes of knee problems is overuse. For example, runners are more likely to experience inflammation and pain in the knee if they run long distances or if they run every day.
Joints, tendons, and muscles need time to recover after a period of stress. Alternating between days in which you exercise using mostly your legs and days in which you use mostly your upper body can help prevent overuse and the damage associated with it.
2 Maintain a healthy weight
For every extra pound, your knee must carry about 4 extra pounds of force when you walk, run or climb. In obese patients who suffer from knee pain, losing weight reduces the severity of the pain proportionally to how many pounds the patients lost.
3 Give swimming a try
If you’re looking to stay active but even low-impact exercises such as jogging or walking cause you to experience knee pain, switching to swimming could help.
When you swim, the water buoyancy takes the pressure off your joints while your muscles are still stimulated. You also burn a lot of calories.
4 Warm up before exercising
Warming up before workouts increases blood flow and the fluid in your knee joints, which is responsible for smooth movements. This reduces your risk of injury.
5 Increase your vitamin K2 levels
Arthritis of the knee is a common condition, especially in older adults. Fortunately, there are ways to delay or prevent bone loss density as you age.
One of them is increasing your vitamin K2 levels. Vitamin K2 is responsible for transporting calcium to the bones, helping decrease the risk for bone loss. Foods high in vitamin K2 include organic eggs, aged cheeses, liver, and natto.
6 Increase your protein intake
Weak muscles in the knee increase your risk for poor control of the knee leading to injuries. Two of the best predictors of muscle gain are protein intake and exercise. In the absence of protein, even with enough exercise, your muscles won’t have the building blocks necessary to grow. The easiest to absorb proteins are found in whey, meats, and eggs.
7 Invest in high-quality shoes
Shoes with arch support and cushioning are better at keeping the knees and the spine in alignment. They help reduce the shock to the knees from walking on hard surfaces.
8 Avoid prolonged rest if your knees hurt
Resting may seem like a good idea. However, if it’s prolonged, the muscles around the knees atrophy, making it more difficult to bear your weight and worsening the joint pain in your knee.
Learn more about managing knee pain
If your knee is causing you pain or discomfort, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Mohiuddin specializes in the treatment of painful knees. He can help you get an accurate diagnosis and quick relief from your symptoms.