In America, 20% of the population suffers from knee pain. It is the number two leading cause of chronic pain in the United States according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The most common knee pain conditions are:
- Acute Injuries: Due to trauma or abnormal actions (wounds inflicted during exercise or severe impact)
- Chronic Conditions: As a result of “wear and tear” (damage or deterioration of tissues because of aging or normal wear) seen in older people and athletes.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the joints. There are other chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis or joint inflammation.
Knee pain limits your normal activities, and it can cut down the quality of your life.
Here are some tips that will help you prevent knee pain and help you live a better life:
1. Keep a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent knee injuries and complications because being overweight puts extra pressure on the joints and ligaments in the knee. On the other hand, lowering one’s weight can relieve knee pain and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
2. A healthy diet
Eating healthy reduces joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids helps a lot.
Avoid food and drinks that cause inflammation and swelling, drinks like sodas are a potential risk for redness, swelling, and pain.
Tuna, mackerel, and salmon are good sources of vitamin D. Also, meat from grass-fed animals, organic eggs, milk, walnuts, yogurt, cereals, fresh vegetables, and fruits help to reduce pain associated with inflammation.
3. Walk and exercise
Walking is excellent; it helps you lose weight or maintain a proper weight, it increases strength and flexibility and reduces pain, physical fatigue and inflammation.
Walk on low impact surfaces to avoid burdening the knees, for example, by using an elliptical machine instead of a treadmill at the gym.
Low impact exercises like walking, bicycle riding, and swimming are great to strengthen knee ligaments and joints and promotes a healthy active life.
4. Use proper protection
Use comfortable, good-fitting cushioned shoes (sports shoes) that supports your knees and is low impact.
Adding inserts (shoe orthotics) also helps to ease the pain.
5. Avoid sport injuries
As mentioned before, avoid high impact exercises. Fortify and strengthen your leg muscles to help prevent injuries, for example by stretching and warming up your muscles before exercising. Make sure to cool down after a workout.
Always seek medical advice, the proper treatment will help you prevent knee pain and injuries. It is recommended to stop any exercise immediately if you have acute knee pain because it can lead to chronic knee pain or a complex knee injury.