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Knee Pain

How can I treat and prevent knee pain?

Your best knee pain treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Often, a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected knee can help to alleviate some symptoms. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help to provide some knee pain relief.

Arch supports can help to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the side of the knee. For those with flat feet, orthotics prescribed by healthcare professionals may provide relief, by reducing the physical stress on the knee and improving foot and leg alignment. Braces may also be used to support and protect the knee.

Physical therapy and strengthening exercises can often be helpful in promoting knee recovery and preventing future injury. Increasing the strength of the muscles on the front and back of your thighs can help to make your knee more stable. Improving your techniques and movement patterns can also be helpful in preventing a knee injury.

Exercises for knee pain:

  • Range-of-motion:

    Exercises that help keep up normal joint movement can help to alleviate stiff joints.

  • Strengthening:

    Increasing the strength of leg muscles can help to strengthen and support the knee. Exercises can include leg lifts and dips, taking the stairs, or cycling.

    • Leg lifts:

      Lying on your back, extend one leg out straight along on the ground, while keeping the other bent, and foot planted firmly on the ground. Using the thigh muscles in your straight leg, slowly lift it off the ground. Hold for 3-5 seconds and then lower your leg. Repeat and switch sides.

    • Wall squats:

      Standing with your back against a wall, step your feet out from the wall about 60 cm, hip-width apart. Slowly slide your back down the wall, so you are in a near-seated position. Hold for 5-10 seconds, and then slide back up. Repeat.

  • Aerobic or endurance:

    Exercises that increase blood -flow and improve the condition of your heart can improve circulation and help you to maintain a healthy weight. Some studies have shown that this type of exercise can also reduce the inflammation in some of your joints.

Other prevention methods include maintaining a healthy weight, muscle conditioning, and improving patterns of movement and technique for sports, practicing good technique, building muscle, and maintaining flexibility, and possibly switching to a low-impact sports, sport (such as swimming) to reduce undue stress on your knees.