The knees are essential joints for our mobility. Every day, they undergo significant pressure by supporting the weight of the body with each step we take and during standing movements. As a result, the knees are the joints most commonly affected by joint pain related to osteoarthritis. In addition, many people suffer from knee pain while doing sports, like running.
Although it is impossible to prevent all knee injuries, there are a few tips that can be applied on a daily basis to prevent knee pain.
Whether you are walking, jogging, hiking or doing any other activity, the right shoes are essential, and will make all the difference in preventing pain. The sport we do guides us in the choice given the particular needs of each discipline (shock absorption, stabilization of the foot or ankle, sole grip for snow or trails, etc.) We must also consider the shape of each person’s foot. In this sense, specialized stores can provide valuable assistance, as well as a podiatrist or an orthotist.
Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on the joints, by causing excess weight, but also by participating in the inflammatory process. Unfortunately, the knees are not spared. It is important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent knee pain, but also to enjoy all the other health benefits!
We often tend to favour running on the streets around our homes, since this is the easiest choice, and asphalt is commonly found in our cities. However, the hardness of this surface leads to greater impact. Grass or forest paths are softer on the joints. Moreover, varying the running surfaces helps prevent the repetition of a bad running pattern (execution of movements), since our body is used differently depending on the surface.
Regularly doing different types of exercises can help prevent pain. First of all, stretching exercises should be done to make the muscles and tissues around the joints more flexible. Mobility exercises help maintain an optimal range of motion in the knee while encouraging the secretion of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint. Next, come strengthening exercises to improve muscle strength and power. Many exercise programs are available online, but it is always a good idea to consult a health professional who can guide you, such as a physiotherapist.