How to Avoid Knee Injury
No matter where you are, knee pain travels with you. Along the way, some of the basics of everyday life can become painful.
Here are just a few ways to reduce your knee pain and avoid knee injuries:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Give your knee less of a load to bear.
- Take up low-impact exercises, like bicycling or swimming.
- Make sure your shoes fit well and are supportive and comfortable.
- Stretch before exercising or walking.
If you experience greater pain:
- Rest and avoid activities that cause pain.
- Apply ice. The first day, apply every hour for up to 15 minutes. After the first day, apply at least 4 times a day.
- Wear support, like an elastic bandage or sleeve.
- Take ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) for pain and swelling. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) does not reduce swelling.
- Elevate your knee to reduce swelling. When sleeping, put a pillow under your knee.
How to Keep Your Knees Strong
If you have mild to moderate knee pain, exercises that target the joint muscles can help significantly reduce it. Here are five simple, at-home exercises that can help get you started:
- Mini-squats: While holding onto a chair with knees shoulder-width apart, bend hips and knees as if you’re about to sit on the chair. Then, slowly stand back up.
- Standing hamstring curls: Hold onto the back of a chair, and without moving your hip, bring your heel up towards your buttocks as far as possible.
- Marching in place: Take alternating steps and bring the knee up to a comfortable height.
- Heel raises: Rise up on toes, lifting heels off ground, and slowly lower back down.
- Straight leg raises: Sit on the floor, flex your quad muscles and lift your legs one at a time as high as you can off the ground; hold for 5 seconds.
Including these exercises in your daily routine will result in stronger legs and less painful knees.