You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury you’ve had for years.
Follow these do’s and don’ts to help your knees feel their best.
Do exercise: Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines.
Do use “RICE”: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or a stiffness burn. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
Do play with temperature: For the first 48 to 72 hours after a knee injury, use a cold pack to ease swelling and numb the pain. A plastic bag of ice or frozen peas work well. Use it for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day. Wrap your ice pack in a towel to be kind to your skin. After that, you can heat things with a warm bath, heating pad, or warm towel for 15 to 20 minutes, three or four times a day.
Do get expert advice: If your knee pain is new, get a doctor to check it out. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with, so you can prevent any more damage.
Don’t rest too much: Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain.
Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and sticks with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Don’t overlook your weight: If you’re overweight, losing weight reduces the stress on your knee. You don’t even need to get to your “ideal” weight. Smaller changes still make a difference.
Don’t be shy about using a walking aid: A crutch or cane can take the stress off of your knee. Knee splints and braces can also help you stay stable.
Don’t let your shoes make matters worse: Cushioned insoles can reduce stress on your knees. For knee osteoarthritis, doctors often recommend special insoles that you put in your shoe. To find the appropriate insole, speak with your doctor or a physical therapist.