How to avoid pain in the knees?

Story by  Eman Sakina | Posted by  shaista fatima | Date 17-02-2023
A representational image
A representational image


Eman Sakina/ New Delhi

The largest joint in the body is the knee. This joint is used by people for a variety of activities including walking, running, climbing, etc. It is hence most vulnerable to pain, discomfort and injury. Exercise is challenging for someone who has knee pain or an injury, especially if they are overweight. However, exercise aids in weight loss, pain relief, and knee function restoration. Yet, some workouts make knee pain worse and place additional stress on the muscles that surround the knee. Therefore, it's crucial to understand which workouts to do and avoid painful knees.

There are certain do's and don'ts for painful knees. Such as:

Don't overdo any workout: To prevent overusing a joint, it's important to vary your exercise routine. More specifically, it is advisable to quit exercising when the muscles in the legs become exhausted. Fatigued muscles are unable to absorb additional shock, which causes a shock to be transferred to the knee joint.

Avoid excessive knee bending: Certain exercises call for knee bends that are more than 90 degrees. These motions aggravate the problematic knee issue. Health professionals advise avoiding these kinds of exercises as a result.

Walk: Moderate walking is advised for individuals with painful and stiff knees.  It has minimal contact, so it doesn't put strain on the knee joint. For those who prefer to avoid brisk walking, long and slow walks are ideal. Additionally, walking every day promotes weight loss because carrying additional weight strains the knees.

Use exercise equipment that is gentle on the knees: It's essential to use equipment that eases the strain on the kneecap and the muscles that surround it. Stationary bikes and elliptical machines are knee friendly as one has to bend forward while exercising on these machines. More weight is relieved from the knee joints when one uses this bent posture.

Don't engage in activities with a significant impact: If one has knee pain, they should stay away from exercises that have a significant effect on their knees. Sports that require quick starts, stops, and changes, like tennis, squash, basketball, and football, are difficult on the knees. Activities that suddenly jolt the knees are usually bad for the knee joint. Hence, it is advised to avoid playing such sports.

Knee pain can have a variety of reasons. There are some more severe reasons for knee pain.  However, a common cause in young people, especially those who exercise or play high-impact sports, is patellofemoral pain syndrome.   The runner's knee is another name for it. The soft tissues and bone around the kneecap are painful in this condition. Repetitive trauma brought on by overdoing an exercise is the most common cause of the runner's knee. Physical rehabilitation and rest are possible forms of treatment to help stabilize the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is another prevalent cause of knee pain. Since it manifests after years of regular activity, it is known as the normal wear and tear type of arthritis. Anyone can develop this chronic condition, but older individuals are typically more susceptible. Ageing, being overweight, and knee infections are among the potential causes of osteoarthritis. Last but not least, the third most typical reason for knee discomfort is injury. Injury can occur at any moment or place, and its severity determines how painful it is.

However, exercise is one of the best remedies for any type of knee pain. It alleviates stiffness, swelling and strengthens muscle around the knee. According to a study, exercise reduces the progression of arthritis and often yield better results than medications, injections or surgery. Moreover, strengthening exercises help in building quads and hamstrings muscles group that give direct support to the knee and reduce the chances of pain and injuries.

Exercise is a healthy way to help with minor knee pain due to overuse, arthritis, or other causes. Although knee pain may present some exercise barriers, many kinds of exercise are easy on the joints and make one’s knees feel better, not worse. Therefore, it’s essential to diligently choose and bring into action those exercises that are easy to perform and may ease the pain. 

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