8 Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Christina Lasich, MD | Jul 25th 2012
If you are getting older, then you might want to read about how to prevent knee pain. Here are a few tips to help you avoid knee pain.
Keep your legs strong
Those big thigh muscles really do support the knee when you’re walking, lifting, climbing and squatting. A simple, but effective, exercise is simply doing a short-arc knee extension while your knee is supported on a pillow. Ankle weights are optional.
Be kind to your knees
The days of old when you could pound the pavement are gone. Now, as you are getting older, there is less cushioning in your knees. Runners might need to switch to biking or swimming. Tennis players might need to switch to playing doubles or find a different, knee-friendly sport.
Wear good shoes
Time and time again, someone complaining of knee pain is wearing flip-flops, a shoe that is in the Hall of Shame. Please stop complaining and become smarter than your problem. If you have a tendency to develop knee pain, wear well-cushioned, supportive, flat shoes all the time, not just some of the time.
Use knee pads
If you have a job that requires frequent or long periods of time on your knees, knee pads can prevent a lot of unnecessary pain. Carpenters, gardeners, dancers, etc. could all use some cushioning to kneel on.
Use trekking poles
If you like to go for walks and/or hikes especially on uneven terrain, use some trekking poles to help support your weight and give your knees some added stability. You’ll be able to enjoy longer distances for longer periods of time if you do.
Studies have shown that you can control pain and inflammation if you eat a low-glycemic diet that is plentiful in unprocessed grains, whole fruits and vegetables that all have a low glycemic index. You can also help to prevent knee pain if your diet has a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. Good nutrition prevents more than just pain.
Try adding joint-healthy supplements
If you are hard on your knees, try supplementing your diet with things that can help maintain good joint health. The most popular supplement is glucosamine. A lesser known dietary supplement that is well known to have joint-protective powers is turmeric, a spice.
Easier said than done, avoiding knee injuries like torn ligaments or torn menisci is critical to avoid problems with knee arthritis in the future. Keep your knees out of harm’s way on the ski slopes, on the soccer fields, on the football field, and on the basketball court. Those early injuries do come back to haunt you.