Often we come across few precautionary measures to prevent knee pain but which one to really follow or do they all imply to you or do they have any effect on your knee pain. Don’t worry here are the answers to those nagging questions but as my other articles go; here's a note: read them judiciously but follow them with the advice of a practitioner:
1) Cross leg sitting: This is the first advice that follows every knee examination, but what does it really mean- you can't sit with cross Legs on the floor (as Indian custom of eating) but you can on a high rise bed. The funda is when you sit on the floor and get up there is a tremendous pressure on your knees but when you sit on a high bed this mechanism is avoided and hence the reduced pressure. Also when you cross your legs it helps to maintain the full range of knee joint and the good property of muscles around the knee.
2) Kneecaps: With my experience, I would say to make the use of knee cap very judiciously as they are not always your friend. People with mild pain or grade 1 or 2 Knee OA should refrain from its use as it weakens the VMO thereby worsening the pain in long-term, however, people with severe knee pain and swelling need to use it as a support keeping in mind to do the knee exercises religiously.
3) Walking: Any exercise that increases your pain needs to be avoided-this saying also goes with walking. You need to walk in a pain freeway at a pain-free speed. Kneecaps can be worn while walking and obese people need to do a warm-up and muscle strengthening exercises before they decide to walk in order to capacitate their knees to take their heavy bodyweight.
4) Hot packs: You can use it to get a temporary relief from pain and swelling. The mode of the application needs to be hot water bag rather than the electrical bag or just pouring hot water above the knee as the heat penetration is very superficial in latter one.
5) Weight loss: As stated in my previous articles, I would suggest the overweight ladies and gentlemen reduce their weight with proper exercise and dieting and have some mercy on your knees and body.
6) Ergonomics: Maintain your body posture while sitting and standing. While sitting for long hours take a walk break every 30min or do few knee movements. While standing, take a break every 30 min by having a walk or sitting or taking some sort of support.
7) Knee exercises: Start your day with a good deed of exercising your knees and do few knee movements if have been immobile for a long time like an afternoon nap. For basic knee exercise, you can refer my other blog.
8) Avoidance: Apart from cross sitting you knee to avoid squatting i.e. using Indian toilets, shift to the Western system to reduce excessive loading of your knees. Stair climbing also needs to be avoided whenever possible. Another way to climb stairs is by using side rails or stick and instead of climbing the steps with a forward step take a side step by facing the side railing instead of the front steps.
9) Footwear: Wear comfortable shoes or whatever you prefer but avoid heels -both male and female-were ergonomically designed footwear that provides adequate cushioning and reduces ground reaction force.
10) Best activity for knee pain: Swimming, elliptical trainer, static cycle and yoga.