Knee problems are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. This publication contains general information about several knee problems. It includes descriptions and an illustration of the different parts of the knee. Individual sections of the publication describe the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of specific types of knee injuries and conditions. Information on how to do knee care to prevent these problems is also provided.
Tips from an orthopedist
Our knees take a knocking, but the good news is, most knee pain is avoidable. Taking better care of your knees throughout your life, starting as early as your thirties, can strengthen your joints and, potentially, save you years of pain and discomfort later in life. Here are some of my top recommendations to keep knees healthy.
Your joints thrive on movement—the continuous movement of an active lifestyle keeps your joints well lubricated. It also helps to build leg muscle that can support your knees and decrease pain. Consider low impact activities such as bicycling, swimming, and walking as a foundation to exercise. Avoid activities that puts too much strain on your knees such as downhill running and excessive deep knee bends.
It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that carrying extra weight is putting stress on your joints, particularly those in the lower half of your body. One study found that a one pound weight loss resulted in a four pound reduction of pressure and stress on the knee joint. Shedding excess weight can improve symptoms, and sometimes they even disappear.
One symptom of dehydration can be joint pain. In fact, cartilage (the flexible tissue that makes up your joints) can consist of up to 80 percent water. Drinking the recommended two-to-three liters of fluids a day can help provide nourishment and reduce mechanical stress to the cartilage in your knees.
Proper nutrition through a diet full of vitamins and minerals plays an important role in bone health, particularly vitamins C, D and K and calcium.
One alternative to traditional anti-inflammatory medications is the spice turmeric. Turmeric acts very similar to the traditional anti-inflammatory medications by blocking or preventing inflammation. Several recent studies have indicated it may be more beneficial at reducing symptoms—like pain and swelling—than ibuprofen. Consult your medical provider before using turmeric, or other alternative medications, to determine if they are safe for you to use.
Sleep enables our bodies to repair and regenerate most of the damage from our often stress filled lives. Do not overlook the importance of getting adequate sleep on a consistent basis.
Reducing stress and “remembering to breathe” can actually improve your joint pain. The direct link between stress and joint pain is still unknown, however, some researchers hypothesize it can be related to the chemicals released with inflammation. Meditation can help improve mood, reduce distress and pain scores. Meditation can be as simple as focusing your attention on your breathing.
The key to a healthy set of knees or reducing current symptoms will likely not be found with one change overnight, but rather implementing consistency with the changes you’ve made. Finding your balance of physical, dietary and mental changes will enhance your ability to see results and enable your chances to maintain those results for years to come.
Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation can help reduce swelling and pain. Most joint pain does settle down and is not serious. The age-old mnemonic—RICE—is going to be the cure for most of your acquired aches and pains.
Early diagnosis can be critical to prevent permanent damage. Do not ignore persistent, sharp, intermittent or localized pain. Swelling is another symptom you should never overlook.
Knee Pain Dos and Don’ts
Don’t rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Don’t risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
Don’t overlook your weight. If you’re overweight, losing weight reduces the stress on your knee. You don’t even need to get to your “ideal” weight. Smaller changes still make a difference.
Don’t be shy about using a walking aid. A crutch or cane can take the stress off of your knee. Knee splints and braces can also help you stay stable.
Do consider acupuncture. This form of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves inserting fine needles at certain points on the body, is widely used to relieve many types of pain and may help knee pain.
Don’t let your shoes make matters worse. Cushioned insoles can reduce stress on your knees. For knee osteoarthritis, doctors often recommend special insoles that you put in your shoe. To find the appropriate insole, speak with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do get expert advice. If your knee pain is new, get a doctor to check it out. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with ASAP so you can prevent any more damage.
Source from Internet and from Personal Life