[ read time ~ 2 minutes + VIDEOs ]
Over 4 million adults have knee arthritis, and roughly 1/3 of them experience pain. The majority would love to take a vacation from the pain. Here are 5 ways to do so:
Wear supportive shoes with soles that provide some shock absorption. And place a Springbak insert^ inside your shoes to absorb additional shock. As you walk, each foot repetitively hits the ground and countless impacts occur. Each impact is a force that must be absorbed by your leg. When your knee is affected by arthritis, absorbing these forces may eventually cause pain. However, walking is less likely to create knee pain when the impact of your foot hitting the ground has been decreased by shoes and inserts. (^This insert is not an orthotic.)
Increase the thickness of the joint fluid inside your knee by frequently performing this simple exercise. Watch this video to learn how to perform the exercise. If you have any pain when doing so, try one of these adjustments. (To learn about the positive impact this exercise had for one of my clients, click here. For the science behind this recommendation, read this.)
Avoid prolonged stillness; move your knee in gentle ways -- like this one -- throughout the day. Research shows that cycling, swimming, and practicing yoga decrease knee arthritis pain. But if you're stuck standing at a desk or sitting on a plane, perform this exercise instead.
Try pool walking. Admittedly, this takes more time than the other recommendations. But even though there's an additional time commitment, walking in water provides remarkable pain relief for people with knee arthritis. Begin in water that is chest or waist deep, and walk up to 20 minutes. Stop sooner if you feel even a slight increase in pain. (Learn additional ideas for decreasing the pressure on your knee here.)
Apply an ointment or cream with capsaicin. Capsaicin is a component of chili peppers. It won't cure knee arthritis, but it will provide a warm distraction from the pain. There are several brands available.
My colleague, Doug Kelsey, PT, PhD, and I have developed Better Knees for Life, a program for people with tolerable knee pain. Better Knees for Life offers step-by-step instructions that can be performed at home with very little equipment.
What people are saying about Better Knees for Life :
"...well thought out, easy to understand and implement."
"It is almost like a computer algorithm. (That's how clear it is!)"
"BKL (Better Knees for Life) is an outstanding program -- with graded exercise programs and guidelines for advancing, and outstanding support with the Zoom sessions."
"I've already recommended BKL to 2-3 friends because of the noticeable difference in reducing pain in my left knee."
Better Knees for Life helps you get stronger, feel better and maybe best of all, feel more in control of your life.
To share these insights with friends who have knee arthritis pain, click a social media button below.