|Keith Monchik, MD |
While the causes of knee pain varies, chronic knee pain is usually a result of arthritic wear (loss of cartilage). There are many conservative treatments you can do to help alleviate the discomfort including exercise. Arthritis will usually progress more rapidly with a sedentary lifestyle as opposed to an active one. Unfortunately, patients convince themselves that “I would exercise if I didn’t have knee pain.” The opposite is in fact true: If you don’t exercise, your knee pain won’t improve.
- Weight loss is extremely important. Three to five times your body weight goes through your knee joint with every step. Losing weight will have an immediate effect on your knee pain.
- The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends switching from running and jumping exercises to non-weight bearing activity such as biking, swimming or elliptical machines.
- Strengthening your core muscles is also very important for healthy knees. Core muscles are ones that run the length of the trunk and torso and include the abdominal, hip, glute and low back musculature.
- Working with a physical therapist is often useful, as they can help you develop a home exercise program that works well for your lifestyle. Remember, there are no easy fixes. Making these few changes will help you stay off the progression of arthritis and will make for comfortable knees.