Once you reach a certain age, you might feel like your joints don’t work as well as they used to. In fact, you may feel as if your muscles, your back, your feet and your brain don’t work as well as they used to.
But all joking aside, knee pain is a common condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 15 million people, just in America, claim they suffer from chronic joint pain. Most of that pain is felt in the knees.
There are a few causes of knee pain, and a few things you can do about it. Here’s a look at why your knees and joint may be aching, and how you can begin to feel better.
Causes of Knee Pain
It’s important to note that there are two types of knee pain: temporary and chronic. What we’re talking about here is chronic knee pain, the type that you wake up with in the morning and requires those two Aleve at night.
Chronic knee pain, like the temporary kind, may be caused by an injury or an accident. That wipeout you executed skiing yesterday may affect your joint health for a long time to come.
But, more commonly, chronic knee pain is caused by another disorder. Some examples of causes of knee pain may include:
- Arthritis – arthritis doesn’t just affect the older crowd. Young people can suffer from this pain as well, and the knees are sometimes the hardest hit.
- Bursitis – bursitis is common in athletes, as it’s caused by overuse of the knee. But people who stand on their feet all day can be susceptible to bursitis, too.
- Gout – gout is an extremely painful condition. You may hear most frequently of gout in the big toe. However, it’s commonplace to suffer the buildup of uric acid in the knees as well.
- Failing to warm up – warming up before exercise isn’t just good for your muscles. It’s good for your joints, too. Failure to warm up properly before your workout can cause chronic knee pain.
- Bad posture – when you think of bad posture, you may think of pain in your back or even your feet. But bad posture is a common cause of chronic knee pain, as well.
- Obesity – along with other health conditions, obesity contributes to knee pain.
And that’s not all. Tumors, ligament issues and more can also cause knee pain So what can you do about it? Here are a few things you can try.
What to Do About Chronic Knee Pain
The first thing you’ll want to do is, obviously, visit your doctor. In rare cases, chronic knee pain might be a cause of something more serious. Bone cancer, dislocation of joints and infection can cause knee pain. Left untreated, they can be seriously harmful, even fatal.
Once you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor will give you a few tips to help with your chronic knee pain He or she may just tell you to take some ibuprofen to keep the inflammation down. Or, he may “prescribe” you one of these tricks.
Wear Orthotic Insoles
If it’s your pronation or your posture that’s causing your chronic knee pain, you can try a good pair of orthotic insoles. Orthotic insoles will cushion your feet as well as have a profound effect on your posture.
Wearing orthotic insoles will also correct your pronation. Your feet will rotate in the “proper” way, reducing your knee pain and warding off many other foot, bone and joint issues.
Change Your Shoes
Before you buy those insoles, invest in a good pair of shoes. The wrong shoes can place undue stress on your joints, including your knees.
Switching to a cushioned pair of shoes with good arch support well have your feet thanking you in no time. You’ll almost immediately feel the difference.
If you’re overweight or obese, your doctor has probably already talked to you about weight loss. Reducing the amount of weight on your joints can have a wonderful effect on your chronic knee pain.
People who are overweight are at a greater risk of joint pain and arthritis. Plus, losing weight now is good for your whole body: your heart, internal organs and, of course, your energy levels.
Wear Compression Socks
If you suffer from chronic knee pain, you might want to look into compression socks. These socks are great whether you’re an athlete or not.
There’s a condition called Runner’s Knee which is a cause of chronic knee pain. It’s caused when the muscles, tendons and cartilage around the knee become irritated.
But it’s not just runners and athletes who experience this condition. Foot or arch problems, obesity and overexertion are causes, too. Runner’s knee doesn’t discriminate!
Studies have shown that compression socks can correct a host of problems which cause knee pain. Try them out – they may be the perfect solution for your knee pain!
How to Prevent Chronic Knee Pain
If you don’t suffer from chronic knee pain, that’s great! But, as you know, there are a few factors which could cause this pain to begin. Thankfully, that means there are also ways to prevent it.
First, be sure that you always properly warm up before physical activity. Stretch your legs especially, focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps (the fronts of your thighs). But also be sure to stretch your back and your core to keep your posture great while you exercise.
Secondly, keep away from the hills. I know, I know. You’re an avid hiker and you don’t want to hear that. In your case, take it easy on the hills, as they’re much harder on your knees than flat surfaces. The same is true for running or walking in sand.
Finally, be sure your feet are always supported. Flip flops in summer seem like a good idea until the podiatrist bill comes in. Be sure you’re wearing flat shoes. (Men, this goes for you, too.) Be sure they fit properly. And be sure you’ve got all the arch support you need for the shape of your feet.
Chronic knee pain isn’t just a part of getting old; it can affect anyone. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk. And, if you already suffer from chronic knee pain, there are simple ways you can feel better in a hurry!
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