If you have arthritis in your knees, you probably live with chronic pain. Unfortunately, that constant pain can make it difficult to live a normal life. If your doctor has given you a treatment plan for your arthritis, it's important that you follow that plan. Physical therapy can work wonders for alleviating the pain and discomfort of arthritis. In addition to the treatment plan your doctor will provide you with, here are a few steps you can take on your own to give your knees a break from the pain.
Watch Where You Walk
When it comes to arthritis, you don't want to go overboard on the exercises, especially hi-impact exercises. However, you do need to move around. Walking is a great way to get some exercise, while still taking it easy on your knees. However, if you're going to walk, it's important that you pick the right paths. Try to choose flat, paved surfaces to walk on, such as concrete walking paths, or running tracks. Uneven surfaces can wreak havoc on your knees, and can even lead to falls, which can cause further damage to your knees. If you experience pain after walking, cut your walks shorter, and apply ice packs for about 15 minutes after each walk.
Don't Wear Your Shoes Out
If you're in the habit of buying a good pair of walking shoes, and then wearing them until they wear out, you should get out of that habit. Once your shoes wear out, more pressure will be put on your feet, and knees, especially once the padding wears out. The padding in the soles of your shoes act as shock absorbers for your knees and feet. To reduce the pain associated with bursitis, always replace your walking shoes before they wear out, and choose shoes with sufficient padding in the soles.
Watch Your Weight
If you're overweight, the added weight you're carrying could be contributing to the knee pain you're experiencing. You may not realize this, but when you're overweight, your knees bear the brunt of it, especially while you're walking, or climbing stairs. Research shows that for every one pound you're overweight, your knees endure four additional pounds of pressure. You can reduce some of the pressure, and alleviate the pain, by losing some of that excess weight. If you've been having trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor.
Give Your Knees Support When You Sleep
If you're in the habit of sleeping on your side, you'll need to give your knees some support at night. Sleeping on your side, places extra pressure on your knees, and can bring on those achy joints in the morning. You can alleviate those morning aches and pains by sleeping with a pillow between your knees, especially when you're on your side. The pillow helps provide a natural position between your hips and your knees, allowing you to sleep comfortably, and awaken pain-free.
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