Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:
Exercise And Knee Pain
If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion.
Exercising a knee thats injured or arthritic may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to go about your daily activities.
Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint. Having stronger muscles can reduce the impact and stress on your knee, and help your knee joint move more easily.
Before you start an exercise program for knee pain, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you. Depending on your situation, they may recommend some modifications.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 6 Avoid Overtraining
Doing too much too soon is the recipe for knee painand all sorts of injury.
In fact, whether youre motivated to lose the pounds as soon as possible or have just signed up for a race, its important not to increase training intensity too abruptly.
Instead, ease yourself into running, regardless of how incentivized you feel.
Start with low to moderate intensity runs for shorter distances, then progress as you feel up to itnot the other way around.
One simple rule is to follow the ten percent principledo not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.
Also, be sure to take enough restwhen neededto allow for proper recovery.
Furthermore, listen to your body and train accordingly.
So, for instance, if youre experiencing knee pain, back off and assess what youre doing.
In fact, stop running whenever youre experiencing knee discomfort or pain.
To deal with the pain, opt for the PRICE method.
This consists of:
If pain persists, seek medical help ASAP.
Dilly-dallying with knee pain will only make your case way more severeand thats not something youd want to.
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Area : Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Another painful condition thats very closely related to patellar compression syndrome is called iliotibial band syndrome.
The iliotibial band is a thick brous strap of tissue that runs all the way down the lateral thigh, from the pelvis to just below the knee. Its the structure that has a habit of tightening up over time and pulling the patella off centre if your vastus medialis oblique muscles arent strong enough to counteract.
Because of where it sits, as the knee is repeatedly bent and straightened, it moves back and forth over the knobbly end of the thigh bone just above the knee, cushioned by a uid-lled bursa. Its at this point that inflammation can occur, which is then irritated each time the knee is bent.
Most commonly seen in runners, its an unpleasant condition thought to be exacerbated by weakness of the gluteus medius muscle another essential core muscle that gets neglected by cycling and also by wearing cleats that point the toes too far inwards.
How to manage iliotibial band syndrome
In the acute phase of the injury, the mainstay of its treatment is the same as any for an inammatory condition: rest, ice and regular anti-inammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, if tolerated.
Rehabilitation after this is very similar to that described above for patellar compression syndrome, but with a focus on building up the gluteus medius muscle instead of the vastus medialis oblique.
Physical Therapy Knee Pain Treatment
After your physical therapist has completed a focused examination, they can work with you to start the proper treatment. Also, it would help if you were engaged and active in the program.
Often, they will prescribe exercises that help in effectively strengthening and improving the mobility of the knee. In this regard, you may be required to perform exercises at home and as part of a home exercise program.
So, for the treatment of your knee pain, exercising should be your primary tool. Some of the best exercises that may help your knee pain include:
Short arc quads
- Straight leg raises and quad sets
- Balance exercises
- Lower extremity stretches
- Exercises which help in strengthening your hips. Your hip muscles help in controlling the positioning of your knees. Weakness in this region may be responsible for knee pain.
Your physical therapist will also let you know how often to perform your exercises at home.
Whenever you consider visiting a physical therapy clinic, they will monitor your progress. While you are in the clinic, they may also perform other treatments such as:
- Application of ice or heat
- Knee joint mobilization or soft tissue massages
But, passive treatments such as e stim or ultrasound have not been proven to be the most effective knee pain therapy. They may feel good, but your main focus with physical therapy should be to restore your functional mobility.
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How To Stop Knee Pain From Squatting
What Are The Benefits Of Squatting? There are a whole host of benefits of squatting:
- Improves Muscle Strength & Function: in the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals and back muscles
- Improves Balance: particularly helpful as you get older
- Help Prevent Injuries: by improving strength, flexibility, balance and joint health
- Improves Bone Strength: Weight-bearing exercises help improve bone density
- Improves Health & Fitness: Performing fast sets of squats, especially if using weights, can help to improve fitness levels, burn calories and reduce body weight
- Improves Posture: Another benefit of squatting is that it increases core stability which in turns helps to improve overall body posture
- Makes Daily Activities Easier: such as getting in and out of a chair or bed
Why Do My Knees Crack When Squatting? There are a number of possible reasons why knees crack when squatting. If the cracking noise is accompanied by knee pain, it is most likely due to a cartilage injury or arthritis.
Often knees crack when squatting without there being any pain, which is usually due to gas bubbles in the joint popping. Visit the knee pain and popping section to find out more.
What Causes Knee Pain After Squatting? If you get knee pain after squatting down rather than during squatting, chances are you are overworking your knee. There is most likely a problem with muscle strength and endurance and as the muscles fatigue, they are unable to provide adequate support to the knee, resulting in pain.
Make Sure Your Hips Are Mobile
A majority of people spend most of their day sitting or at a desk, which can lead to tight hip flexors, adductors and loss of external rotation around the hips. This combination can cause the knees to come into valgus again placing increased stress through the inside of the knee, as well as decreasing the depth in a squat.
Its important to mobilise the hips to gain more range through the adductors, hip flexors and external rotators. The frog stretch mobilises these areas quite well while in an unloaded position. On the ground, come into a 4 point kneeling position with your hands under your shoulders and your knees slightly behind and outside the hips. Gently move back as if you were going to sit onto your heels. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 4 times.
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Knee Pain During Squats Heres How To Prevent It Moving Forward
One of the most common joints in the body that we see is the knee. Besides shoulder and low back, the knee is a common area for injury ranging from a tweak/twinge to something needing surgical intervention.
With knee pain, we often hear that lunging and squatting are painful for our athletes and clients. There can be various reasons for knee pain during squats and lunges, ranging from a limited hip or ankle mobility to exercise technique.
For the brevity of todays post, we are going to go into some unorthodox options on how to train legs and lower body. These exercises are designed to avoid and prevent knee pain during squats and lunges.
Exercises To Reduce Knee Pain
Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic conditions for which people seek medical treatment. It includes pain felt behind and around the knee cap, especially during activities like stair climbing, squatting, running, and walking while carrying a heavy load. Knee pain can prevent you from participating in your favorite activities and performing daily tasks. Without proper treatment, it can linger for years.
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which include knee stiffness, incorrect positioning of the knee cap at rest or with movement, flat feet, improper exercise form, and weakness of the muscles that control the hip and knee.
A physical therapist can work with you to address your knee pain. After an evaluation, a physical therapist will design an individualized comprehensive treatment program to address the specific factors causing your knee pain. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation.
To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
These exercises are proven by research to reduce pain and improve your ability to participate in the activities you love.
Consult your health care provider before starting these exercises to determine if they are right for you. If you experience any symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness at any time, you should stop immediately. These exercises are provided for educational information only.
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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
While pain can disrupt your sleep, you can promote a more restful night when you include these sleep hygiene strategies into your daily routine:
- Avoid taking long naps during the day.
- Make your bedroom cool and dark.
- Avoid eating heavy foods or exercising right before you sleep.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about taking melatonin supplements or other sleep aids.
- Dont use phones or computers before bed since the blue light from the screen can disrupt sleep.
- Use a pillow and supportive mattress to avoid straining your back or your knees.
Upper Iliotibial Band Stretch
Standing upright, cross your bad leg behind your good one, making sure you keep it locked straight.
Then, without bending forwards, gently lean sideways from the waist over to the good side.
You can support yourself against a wall by leaning away from it. You should feel this stretch over the outside of the hip and upper thigh.
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Use Targeted Exercises To Build Muscle
Moderate exercise is an excellent way to help protect your knee joints. Building up the muscles around your knees helps reduce the stress on your joints. Your outer, middle, and inner thigh muscles and calf muscles help support your knees.
Your local gym may offer senior exercise classes with instructors who have been specially trained to work with men and women over 50. Water aerobics is also a great way to get non-weight bearing exercise. If youd rather work out by yourself, check in with a trainer whos knowledgeable about senior exercise needs.
At your next physical, ask your doctor to check your leg strength. If youre weak, physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles, and the therapist can show you beneficial exercises for your knees.
Strengthen Your Hips And Glutes
Knee pain when running can be caused by problems above and below the knee cap. Weak hips and lazy glutes are common causes of runners knee.
If you have weak hips or weak glutes, this means the knee joint has to cope with a lot more weight and pressure. Over time, this causes the muscles in your knee to malfunction and eventually cause pain.
There are lots of exercises that you can do regularly as part of your training routine to help prevent runners knee. Strength training is a vital part of becoming a stronger and faster runner, and they also help during recovery from a knee injury.
The following exercises target muscles that help align your hips and knees. You can complete them purely as body weight exercises, or you can add weights or a resistance band to add resistance and make them a bit more challenging.
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Is It A Problem If My Knees Crack When Squatting
you squat for various reasons, and you may hear a popping or cracking sound in your knees. Knee crack when squatting is a problem or not? Read in this article
During the day, you may squat for various reasons, such as exercising, lifting heavy objects, or picking up your babyâs toys. And most of you may hear a popping or cracking sound in your knees when you squat. This sound, commonly called Crepitus, may be overlooked by some people, but it may be worrying for people who are concerned about the health of their knees. Are you worried about this too, and do you think your knee has a problem? The knees crack when squatting, which is normal if you do not have a knee problem. Although crepitus is painful, it can indicate a problem affecting your knee, and you should take it seriously. Knee crack when squatting is a problem or not you will read more about it in the rest of this article.
What Not To Do
- Do not let the back arch during the exercise.
- Do not jerk or bounce the leg or lift it above the knee on the bent leg.
- People who have osteoporosis or a back compression fracture should not perform this exercise.
Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
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Dont Skip The Exercise Even If You Have A Structural Problem
The key is to know your limits. Strength training that focuses heavily on building up muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings can decrease pain and help people better tolerate arthritis and other structural knee problems. Staying active helps control weight and build muscle, both of which can help protect your knees from further damage.
The best exercises for people with structural knee problems include nonimpact aerobic exercises, such as walking on level ground, training on an elliptical machine, using a stationary bike, swimming and doing water aerobics. Its also wise to avoid activities that put extra stress on the knees such as kneeling, deep knee bends and downhill running.
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When To Seek Formal Care For Knee Clicking
There are a few primary symptoms to watch out for that would warrant a visit to your sports medicine doctor for further investigation.
- If you are experiencing locking or catching sensations, this is an indicator that you may have torn your meniscus. A meniscus tear is best managed with medical guidance.
- If you hear a loud pop or have sudden knee instability, especially after a high impact knee injury, the integrity of your ligaments such as the ACL, may need to be assessed.
- If your knee clicking is associated with joint pain and stiffness that is gradually getting worse, you may need to start formal treatment for osteoarthritis.
- Depending on the severity of your injury, you may then be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
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How Can You Make Your Knees Stronger For Running
Bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges are great for strengthening the major muscle groups around your knees, to make your knees stronger for running. Single leg exercises that work your glutes and challenge your balance will also help to protect your knees.
I cant believe Ive made it this far into the article without talking specifically about exercises to strengthen your knees for running.
As I described in the warm up section above, its vital to work on stability of the joints above and below the your knees, to allow you to maintain proper knee alignment and control as you run.
That said, you also need to strengthen the muscle groups that cross the knee it self and influence the patellofemoral joint. So we definitely also need to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, adductors and calf muscles!
Heres a great selection of exercises you can use to strengthen your knees to prevent knee pain when running: