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October 12 is observed as World Arthritis Day. It is observed to raise and promote awareness of the symptoms connected to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and the importance of gaining early diagnosis. This year the theme of World Arthritis Day is 'It's in your hands, take action'. In this article, we will discuss the dos and don'ts for knee pain.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition which causes pain and stiffness in the joints that worsens as you age. Arthritis mostly affects the elderly who are above the age of 65. However, around 30 per cent people suffering from arthritis are under the age of 65. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 31 Million people live with osteoarthritis pain, which frequently appears in the knee joints.
Have a look at these dos and don'ts for knee pain so that your knees can feel better.
What You Should Do For Knee Pain
1. Choose knee joint-friendly exercises
Choose low-impact exercises like walking, swimming and cycling. These exercises help to build strength around the affected knee joints, keep them aligned and help them to function properly. But, before starting with these low-impact exercises consult your doctor.
2. Use RICE
Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) is good for knee pain caused by arthritis or other minor injuries. This method is a simple self-care technique that helps reduce swelling, pain and speeds up the healing process.
- The first step is to rest your knees which helps to prevent further bruising.
- The second step is applying an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling.
- The third step is compression, which means wrapping the injured area with an elastic medical bandage.
- The fourth step is elevation which means raising the affected knee above your body at the level of your heart. This will reduce throbbing pain and any internal bleeding.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
When your knees are already in pain, excess body weight pressure or stress on it can damage your knees. If you are obese and suffering from knee pain then you need to lose weight as it helps relieve knee pain and even slows down the rate of cartilage degeneration.
4. Wear knee-friendly shoes
If you are suffering from arthritis the choice of shoe matters. According to the study 'Improvement in knee loading after use of specialized footwear for knee osteoarthritis: results of a six-month pilot investigation', published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, flat and flexible shoes which comfort the foot's natural mobility can decrease the pressure on the knees during daily activities.
5. Take medications as prescribed
Arthritis pain can be eased with over-the-counter or prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, it's advised that you talk to your doctor before taking these medications.
What You Shouldn't Do For Knee Pain
1. Don't rest too much
Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen the pain in your joints. Small movement of the joints is required to make them flexible. You can do low-impact exercises such as walking, or cycling for movement in the joints.
2. Don't engage in high-impact exercises
High-impact exercises such as running, jumping, lunges, and squats can affect your already damaged knees. Because these type of exercises will injure your knees more, your muscles get hurt, you start losing strength and the knee alignment changes which can further lead to joint replacement surgery.
3. Don't be afraid to use assistive devices
Decrease knee osteoarthritis pain with the help of canes and knee braces. Sometimes, you might feel that your knee pain is becoming worse this is where the assistive devices come in handy. Ask a therapist which assistive device is best for you.
4. Don't ignore new symptoms of knee pain
If you feel that your knee pain is terrible which makes it difficult for you to sleep, it could mean that your arthritis is progressing. You will notice symptoms like swelling or a locked knee. It is important to discuss the new symptoms with your doctor and receive appropriate treatment.
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