A world without healthy knees can be a small one as you hobble from one place to the next, and you long for healthy knees again. Or, maybe your knees are in good shape, but starting to show some small signs of wear and tear.
Wherever they are, it pays to do whatever you can to promote better knee health, and we’re here to help with that goal. As musculoskeletal experts, the team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management understands what it takes to maintain healthy knees, and we share five best practices here.
1. Stay one (literal) step ahead of wear and tear
Like most of the joints in your body, your knees are meant to move. Unfortunately, major joints like your knees are also the first ones to be hit by wear-and-tear issues, such as osteoarthritis, which affects more than 32.5 million Americans.
If your knees are showing signs of degeneration, this isn’t a sign that you should stop using them. On the contrary, we encourage you to keep moving to encourage better circulation that will keep joint pain and inflammation to a minimum.
2. Strengthen supporting muscles
One of the best things you can do for your knees is to strengthen the muscles that surround the joints, including your:
- Calf muscles
- Abductors and adductors
By strengthening the muscle groups above and below your knees, you spread out the already large workload in your knees. To get started, click here for a knee conditioning program.
3. Get the right gear
If you enjoy being active, please make sure you have what you need to support your knees. Shoes that fit your feet well are a great place to start. If you have a weak or injured knee, you might want to consider a brace, and we’re happy to help you find the right one for your needs.
4. Alter your activities
If you’ve been enjoying a certain activity, such as pickleball, but your knees really ache afterward, it may be time to switch. While we encourage you to remain active, we also don’t want to accelerate wear and tear. For example, it might be a good idea to try cycling (or another activity that doesn't pound on your knees) so you can preserve your knees for getting around.
5. Listen to your knees
It’s important to recognize when your knees are trying to get your attention. If your knees hurt, stop what you’re doing and implement the RICE method for 24 hours:
If your knee still hurts after 24 hours of RICE, it’s time to come see us. This early intervention and expert oversight can go a long way toward preventing a short-term problem from becoming a long-term one.
For comprehensive care of your knees, please contact one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York, to schedule a consultation.