You don’t have to be a professional athlete to experience knee pain. Even if you run occasionally or stay at home/office most of the time you’re bound to come across an injury like this that may really affect your ability to perform daily activity with the same frequency and intensity that you usually do. So if you like running and don’t want to be held back by an injury, here are natural ways to help you with your knee pain and hopefully keep it from coming back.
1. Exercise And Allow Ample Time To Heal
Not giving your body time off from training can over exhaust your muscles and even worsen your injury, especially if you always do high-intensity workouts. But if the idea of idling around doesn’t sit well with you either, better incorporate low-intensity exercises like walking and swimming, which are great for those with chronic knee pain or conditions that affect the joints, in between your regular high-intensity ones. This way, you get to stay active without overdoing it.
If you run a lot, you can protect yourself from injury by decreasing your mileage or take a few days off running once you start feeling pain in the area. Warm up by walking a quarter mile before you run. Run in the middle of the road where it’s flat. Make sure your shoes aren’t worn along the outside of the sole. When running on a track, change directions repeatedly.
2. Physical Therapy
When you’re suffering from chronic knee pain or conditions that affect the joints, your movement becomes restricted. Physical therapy will help improve your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Therapists often use specific exercises and stretches with intensity depending on the patient’s particular condition.
3. Invest On A Good Pair Of Shoes
In general, people with knee pain should try to avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, Crocs, boat shoes, high heels, and boots. These types of shoes are not very supportive and can aggravate back, knee or hip pain.
If you’re having knee pain when exercising and suspect your shoes might be contributing to the problem, it’s helpful to visit a running store to speak with a specialist about your specific stance, stride, and needs. You can have a free, simple test done on your feet that will identify which types of shoes are best for your posture and gait. You can also visit a podiatrist (a doctor that specializes in treating foot-related problems) for custom insoles.
4. Foam Rolling
Massage from a therapist or self-massage AKA self-myofascial release (SMR) with foam rollers can reduce muscle stiffness, promote circulation and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle, although research has been equivocal. It can help break up adhesions in the legs that can contribute to knee pain. It might be painful during, but SMR can be performed the night of a hard workout to remove scar tissue, adhesions in the muscle and restrictions in the fascia (a type of connective tissue that wraps around the whole body).
You can try both soft and hard foam rollers, but some people with pain find that using a soft roller is more manageable, especially when starting out with foam rolling. While rolling, if you find a place that really hurts, take a couple minutes to sit there and let the tension in the muscle start to ease up. This will feel uncomfortable at first but should gradually go away as you loosen up the tight area. Remember, you should never use a foam roller to roll over a large joint like the knee, as putting too much pressure here can cause injury.
5. Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Aside from what you do outside your body, what you put inside your body can either make you feel better or worse. So take your diet seriously. Include more anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil, clean and lean proteins, and fermented foods that contain probiotics. Drink bone broth or use protein powder from bone broth. Add antioxidant-packed herbs and spices to your meals. Limit or avoid excess sugar, hydrogenated oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil), processed/refined grains, flour products, synthetic additives, processed meats, and fast food.
6. Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care offers a lot of health benefits but many people do not realize this. This alternative form of medicine is focused on the diagnosis and treatment involving the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. However, it doesn’t carry the same risk and side-effects that pain medication and surgery often have which patients usually resort to.
Nowadays, most people seek chiropractic care for low back pain relief or injury treatment, while others have no idea when and what should they be consulting a chiropractor for. Instead of waiting for pain or injury to take place, know that you can seek a chiropractor for muscle injury prevention.
If you play sports like golf, tennis, or football or you run a lot, you are more likely to develop inflammation on your knees because of the constant repetitive movement not to mention the regular impact of the activity. This can result in injury like runner’s knee. When this happens your joints becomes weaker and painful when you try to continue doing the same activities that you often do. Aside from that, you kneecaps may also be out of alignment. By seeking injury prevention from a chiropractor your inflammation can be reduced, your kneecaps can be put back into alignment and your joints can become stronger which can prevent the said injuries from happening in the future.