Knee joint pain is one of the most common joint injury. It can be caused by sudden jerk, overuse or by underlying condition like arthritis. Symptoms of knee injury can include pain, swelling and stiffness.
Knee joint has the main function to bend, straighten and bear weight of the body. Knee joint is more than just the hinge joint as it can twist and rotate to some extent. In order to have this balance of stability and flexibility, knee joint relies on its ligaments and cartilage.
Knee joint involves 4 bones. Thigh bone, two bones of lower legs, and a knee cap. The joint has four main ligaments out of which ACL provides front and back rotational stability to the knee, which is why it is most commonly injured ligament in the knee. The joint surface of the knee is covered by cartilage which produces joint fluid to have smooth movements in the joint line. The joint also has to menisci, which are shock absorbing cushions in the joint.
As joint has got perfect balance between stability and mobility, it is one of the strongest joint in the body. Unless there is any accidental trauma, injuries to knee joint happen due to wear and tear from excess use of the joint. So then, what could be done to avoid worsening of the knee pain knee pain?
· Avoid positions which require excess knee bending e.g. sitting cross legged.
· Avoid standing or sitting in one position for longer time.
· Bear equal weight on both knees when standing or walking
· Avoid wearing high heel shoes
· Avoid wearing open footwear
· Take support from handrails when getting up from chair
· Avoid excess stair climbing if possible
· Preferably use western toilet.
· Avoid heavy and high impact exercises like skipping running jogging
· Swimming and water walking, will work best in order to lose weight and not to have any strain on knee joint.
· Low impact exercises like mat workouts, cycling are preferred.
· Try to keep your weight under control to avoid excess use of joints.
· If diabetic keep diabetes under control by proper diet and medication.
· Do stretching exercises regularly to avoid stiffness in calf muscles.
· Confirm with physiotherapist on heat or ice pack application.
These guidelines will help you to minimize the impact of existing disease. It is advisable to talk to your physiotherapist in understanding which specific exercises you need to perform, which treatments you need to seek in order to improve the health and quality of knee joint so that you can get back to your normal routine pain free life.