Apr 22nd, 2012 by Kathryn Merrow
Have you been wondering why your knees hurt? Do you think it’s just “old age” or “arthritis”?
Well, maybe. But quite probably not.
Some things are hard on knees. And when knees aren’t happy they complain. It’s not just pain or stiffness–it’s an actual complaint! They are yelling at you: “Hey! Help me! I’m not happy!”
Here are some of the most common things that are hard on knees.
* Twisting is hard on knees. So are abrupt stops. This sounds a lot like basketball and football as I have observed it. However, a basketball player could still keep throwing the ball. Stretching and throwing overhead are really good for the upper body and heart.
* Running is hard on knees because of the pounding. That’s why walking helps–it uses all of the leg muscles without the jarring movements that usually accompany running.
* If your vehicle seat is high, that’s very good for your knee pain when getting out. But you may have to think about how you get in if it’s really tall. The goal is to keep your knees at a 90 degree angle or more open. Could you back onto your seat first and then lift your legs in? Perhaps you can ‘plant’ your feet getting in and out in a way that avoids twisting your legs, back or knees?
* If your car seat is very low, it makes your knees work harder trying to get you up. You might be able to lift your seat to a more neutral position by sitting on a cushion.
* Strengthen your leg muscles. Don’t forget the hamstrings! You also have muscles on the inner side and outer side of your thighs. But you want soft, relaxed calves so don’t pay too much attention to them.
* Do you need arch supports? If you have flat feet that is hard on knees because flat feet create angles in knees rather than allowing them to track normally. Running shoe stores usually sell good, firm orthotics for runners and anyone can use them.
Here’s the recap and a little bit more:
1. No twisting-turning at the knees. Keep your feet pointing in the direction you want to move. When I was 30, I thought I would need knee replacements. One day it dawned on me that I was twisting from sink to dishwasher…at the knees! So I stopped doing that and the knee pain went away.
2. Strengthen <em>all </em>of the leg muscles except for calves. You can do this when you are watching television or at a desk. Just lift your lower leg. That will strengthen your front thigh muscles. And when you stand up, lift one foot behind you, heel toward your buttock. That strengthens the back of your thigh.
3. Flat feet? Get good arch supports.
4. Ice is great therapy. Use cold packs around your knees whenever you are resting or even in bed. I’m talking often! Daily! At <em>least </em>once a day. Twenty minutes on/twenty off.
5. If you are overweight it causes pressure on knees. Losing just ten pounds will make a difference.
6. Watch your posture when sitting and standing. Lift your breastbone and the crown of your head.
7. Avoid sitting with your feet tucked under you or tucked under your chair.
8. If your favorite chair or couch makes you work to get up, make it higher with pillows. If you push yourself up with your hands, either the chair is too low or your legs are weak. We need strong legs.
9. When you walk for exercise (which is also fun) make sure to roll your foot from heel, through mid-foot and push off with your toes. Swing your arms at your sides with thumbs facing forward. Use Nordic walking sticks if you wish.
10. Examine the muscles around your knees, looking for tender areas. Warm them by rubbing, pressing and massaging. See if you can follow the tender spots to other tender spots. Massage is great natural therapy!
Here’s the deal: <em>Bodies heal all the time!</em>
Replace movements that hurt with more knee-friendly neutral-movement activities. Give your knees a chance to heal. It make take a few months and lots of adjustments to things you are used to.
Whenever you feel an ouch, pay attention to the movement that just caused it. Change the movement.
Remember, bodies heal all the time. Pain is a complaint. Your knees are saying they need some care and attention from you right now. That’s why they are complaining: They want help.
Walking is an excellent exercise for knees. Would you like to learn more about walking without pain? Just click here –> http://WalkingSmart.com and claim the free report that will help you start walking and getting rid of your knee pain naturally today.