A few days ago, I was on the phone to one of our regular patient, Lisa, she’s 56 from Lacey and she said… “I was making the most of the Labor Day weekend by visitng Capitol State Forest. I was fine when I got home, but then in the morning when I woke up, my knees had a dull aching pain. At first I thought ‘it’s just an aching knee, I’ve probably overdone it, it’s happened before’… but the pain got worse as the day went on, and it’s still bothering me. My knees ache when I walk, and I’m finding it hard to go up and down the stairs. Any ideas?”
Now, this isn’t an uncommon problem, especially not after holiday weekends! And when you consider that 77% of people are more active during holiday weekends, that’s a lot for knees that could potentially become sore. The thing is, many people will put up with bad knees for days, weeks, even months, hoping that the pain will go away on it’s own. But the problem with that is that 9 times out of 10, the pain gets worse and hangs around – which pains me when I know you really don’t have to suffer. So, how about I give you three tips to help you make knee pain much less of a frustration in your life? And even if you don’t go out walking often and suffer from knee pain – these tips will still be beneficial to you in helping to ease knee pain.
Tip 1: The shoes you wear.
What does do you wear on a daily basis? Believe it or not, the shoes you wear can have a big impact on all sorts of pain – knee, back, ankle… But when it comes to knees, wearing shoes with a heel, (or a shoe that makes you walk differently) can encourage tight calf muscles and put pressure on your knee joint. A tight calf can pull the foot inward to a position called pronation, which causes your feet to collapse and your lower leg to roll in, placing stress on your knee. So choose flat shoes and stretch out those calves. On the flip side, replace your trainers and walking shoes frequently – every 300 miles, which could be three months or a year depending on your level of activity. This is a safe way to avoid wearing a shoe with poor cushioning support for your feet and joints.
Tip 2: Resting.
I know it’s tempting to rest if you’ve got knee pain, but too much rest can actually make knee pain worse. When you rest all day, you’re not using your muscles which causes them to become weak, tight, and to ach even more when you go to move. My advice would be to find a few exercises that are safe for your knees and stick to them daily. If you’re not sure what motions are safe and how much you can do, speak to a professional. Gentle walking on flat surfaces and getting up to walk around the house frequently are safe options to keep your knees moving.
Tip 3: Simple Exercise.
Here’s a simple exercise you can do from home: Grab hold of a chair, or hold onto a stable surface for support. Squat down until your kneecaps cover your big toes. Return to standing and then repeat 10 times. As you improve, try to squat a little lower, but be sure not to bend your knees beyond a straight right angle. If you start using these tips, you’ll be keeping your knees safe and your independence won’t be knocked! And there you have it, three super simple tips that could help ease your knee pain after the holiday weekend. You can try these tips at any point, or you can call us at the clinic with the information below if you ever get stuck or need some more help with knee pain. That’s it from me this week, have a great week!
If you’d like more tips on how to stay healthy and optimize your living experience, check out Jen’s monthly podcast entitled “Stay Healthy South Sound”! Each episode she interviews a local expert in their respective field to bring you top tips. This month on Stay Healthy South Sound, Dr. Penrose interviews our very own Marissa Ang! Marissa is a certified athletic trainer and she is currently heading up multiple classes aimed at helping seniors stay active based on their needs!
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Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/sulp
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