If you have knee pain you know how annoying it can be, especially when your knee pain makes simple things like walking, shopping and doing things around your home more difficult. Not to mention being unable to keep up with your regular exercise program or participate with in your favorite recreational activities.
Knee pain is an extremely common problem, especially for people over 50, but in most cases it’s not something you “just have to live with”.
I had a patient come in this week who had been to see his primary doctor about his knee pain and was told to take pain pills and rest, otherwise there was nothing he could until it was bad enough for a knee replacement.
It’s so frustrating to hear this is the advice people are getting, because there is so much that can be done to alleviate (or even eliminate) knee pain for most people.
Yes, even if you have ARTHRITIS!
In today’s blog we’ll cover:
Knee pain that seems to come on gradually and slowly gets worse over time is much more common than knee pain caused by an injury, like stepping wrong or twisting your knee doing your favorite activity or sport.
Most people who sustain a knee injury are more likely to get proper help right away, which is obviously a good idea. Unfortunately, when knee pain develops gradually most people just try to figure it out on their own.
But it can be very frustrating when everything you try to get rid of your knee pain doesn’t work.
Knee Pain Caused By Your Feet
There are many causes of knee pain including a sudden injury, an overuse injury, a symptom of an underlying condition like arthritis…and YOUR FEET!
Most people have never considered that their knee pain could be caused by their feet, but it's actually a very common problem.
Unfortunately, the feet are often overlooked by many medical professionals as a cause of knee pain.
Your feet are the foundation for your entire body and having structural imbalances in your feet leads to other problems throughout the entire body, including knee pain.
My Knees Click...Should I Be Worried?
I have a lot of people who ask me why their knees pop, click or crack and whether it’s something they should be worried about it. In fact, it’s one of the most frequent questions I’m asked when someone is worried about Knee Pain.
I’m sure many of you at some point have had a knee ‘pop’ or make a ‘cracking’ sound when squatting or kneeling. It’s likely you may have heard you knees ‘clicking’ or ‘creaking’ when bending your legs or changing positions.
The good news…most of the time it’s just noise. These noises are common as we grow older and are generally nothing to worry about.
But to make sure it’s not the beginning of a bigger problem, it’s always a good idea to have your knees checked. If muscles around the knee become tight or weak it can cause popping or clicking that can lead to tendonitis or more serious injury if the underlying problem isn’t corrected.
Is Squatting Good (or Bad) For My Knees?
I’m going to get right to the point and clear this up…squatting can be a great exercise for your knees...
...WHEN DONE PROPERLY!
When done improperly, squatting can lead to Knee Pain and injury.
So as promised in my last blog, today I’m going to discuss several key elements of doing a proper squat to help you get the most benefit…without pain or injury.
Squatting is not only a great exercise for your knees, it’s good for your whole body! For most people it seems obvious that your hips, knees and ankles are involved in a squat, but your core, spine and even your shoulders and arms get involved…especially if you’re using dumbbells or picking up one of the many things you lift on any given day.
One of the most common questions I get around the topic of Knee Pain is “How do I do a proper squat?”, which I’ll elaborate on more in my next blog.
But today I want to talk about THE ONE THING you don’t want to do, especially when exercising…if you want to avoid Knee Pain.
This ONE THING just happens to be a very important part of a proper squat, which is why I’m starting here!
So, what is it?
DO NOT let your knees move left or right with activities like squatting, lunging or stepping up or down.
Let me explain how you can test yourself to see whether or not your knees move left or right.
When I have people ask me “Why do I have Knee Pain?” Sometimes it can be difficult to answer. Not because I don’t know how to ease Knee Pain, but I don’t know their personal circumstances or health history in the same way I do with my patients.
What I can suggest, however, is that they start by looking at their routines and habits for things they may be doing that can put extra stress on their knees. Then stop doing those things!
The problem is that most people don’t know what those things might be…otherwise they would have stopped doing them a long time ago.
I see a lot of people who suffer from Knee Pain and are looking for advice or tips on what they can do to ease it.
But today I want to “debunk” a few myths around a few common "quick fixes" that a lot of people try thinking it will help their knee pain....that actually makes it worse!
First I want to share an example of a patient's story...
She came into the clinic limping with knee pain and asked: “I’ve had Knee Pain for the past few weeks. I’m not sure what I did, but it just doesn’t seem to be going away. I’ve tried taking Ibuprofen, but that didn’t help much. Resting seems to help, but only while I’m resting. Every time I stand up and start moving again it hurts. I went and bought a knee brace to see if that would help, but I can still feel the pain and it gets worse when I take it off. What else can I do to get rid of this Knee Pain?”
I’ve been hearing from a lot of people the past few weeks with complaints of pain that is holding them back from being as active as they’d like to be. Knee Pain has been the biggest complaint, but Back Pain and Shoulder Pain aren’t far behind.
Regardless there seems to be a common theme here!
It's the weather! Not the cold weather, but the Springtime weather that will be heading us into Summer before we know it!
We naturally want to be outside and be more active this time of year and we typically see more people who start to exercise more around this time too.
Whether it’s walking, running, hiking, yard work or prepping your garden…why does Knee Pain get worse when you exercise or are more active? Isn’t exercise supposed to help you feel better?
Well, yes…and NO!
Let me explain.
Helping active adults FINALLY get rid of their aches, pains and injuries, so they can keep moving, stay active and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery.
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger