Bad Knees? The Do’s and Don’ts, Plus How to Protect Them

Knee pain is an ailment that can affect anyone. Regardless of age, fit, or unfit, everyone is susceptible to experiencing knee pain at least once in their lives. But if you suffer from bad knees, it’s important to protect them! We use them not only to support ourselves but to get around and even sit. When they’re injured, it can cause a great deal of stress.

To ensure our knees are healthy, and avoid causing any further damage, here are some personal tips on how to better protect them….

Do Avoid Painful Activities

Because we use our knees for most activities, it can be hard to avoid those that make the pain worse! These activities are often things like going up or down the stairs, sudden twists and turns with the knee or running.

The goal isn’t to avoid these aggravating activities forever, it’s just to avoid them until the knee pain settles down and can be better managed by a health professional through rehab or physical therapy.

Don’t Prolong Seeking Help

While it might seem surprising that people ignore pain without addressing it, it happens more often than you’d think! People with knee pain will sometimes wait weeks or even months to seek help. The unfortunate problem is that the longer a person waits to address the problem, the more they’re prolonging their recovery.

Visit a local physical therapist who can help manage injuries like knee pain.

Don’t Stop Physical Activity Altogether

When someone is suffering from knee pain, they’re likely going to stop exercising in fear of making the pain worse. This can be harmful to the rest of the body as stopping all activity just weakens the surrounding muscles which in the long run, makes the pain worse and increases recovery time.

The best line of defense against knee pain is to seek out help from a physiotherapist early. A professional can help find activities that work around the pain while rehabilitating the knee at the same time.

Don’t Push Through the Pain

While we don’t want to stop activity altogether, we also don’t want to push through the pain. The key is to find activities that don’t aggravate the injury, but rather build strength around the knees to make them stronger and more durable.

People will often push through the pain in hopes that it will disappear all on its own. This is a dangerous mindset as it can either make the injury worse, add more damage, or cause more significant pain.

Do Stop and “RICE”

When it comes to an injury like knee pain, it’s best to follow RICE which stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevation. This will help prevent any further damage to the knee and help kick start the healing process until seeking professional help.

Do Exercises That Strengthen Surrounding Muscles

Your main focus should be rehabilitation and strengthening those surrounding muscles. The muscles to target for knee pain are ankles, hips, and lower back. All of these have a direct impact on our knees. An injury like knee pain is the perfect time to focus and address other weaknesses in the body that might be contributing to this current injury.

A physiotherapist can help assess these other problem areas to make sure that rehabilitation encompasses all areas of concern to not only recover from knee pain, but also make sure this pain is avoided in the future.

Do Wear Proper Footwear

Our feet are the first part of the body that come into contact with the ground. They’re responsible for getting us from A to B and supporting our own weight. They have a very important job, yet we tend to neglect them!

Anyone who’s experiencing knee pain while walking or doing any kind of physical activity is likely due to the fact that they are wearing improper footwear. If that’s not the direct cause, it is most certainly making the problem worse. To avoid this issue, be picky about what footwear to use and if necessary, head to a local podiatrist or shoe store to get assistance choosing the right footwear.

Wear and Tear is Natural

You’re naturally going to experience some wear and tear in the knee joints overtime. The only line of defense against this is to complete exercises that can help strengthen the muscles in the lower body that surround these joints. You should also seek out help immediately when in pain.

Other factors that can help are to maintain a healthy body weight which will avoid unnecessary strain on the joints. For more information on how to better protect and maintain knee health, visit a local physiotherapist or personal trainer to get started.

Eric Leckie, PT

Eric Leckie, PT

Eric Leckie is a men's health Physiotherapist specializing in prostate cancer treatment. He completed his studies in Australia earning his Doctor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. He currently works in a private practice, in addition to owning his own Telehealth Physiotherapy clinic which focuses on treating men with prostate cancer.