Don’t Let Knee Pain Bring You Down
Knee pain is a common, yet frustrating part of getting older, which often keeps baby boomers from maintaining the active lifestyle they’ve come to know and desire. More than 60 percent of people age 45 and older experience periods of moderate knee pain at least once per year. Whether your knees ache when getting out of bed, going up the stairs, tending to the yard or during a morning mountain biking session, how can you make sure that these aches and pains don’t get the best of you?
When people go to their orthopedist for knee pain, the physician will usually look to see if the person has muscle imbalance around the knee. In my practice I find this tightness and imbalance to be the main underlying contributor of knee pain in approximately 85 percent of patients.
How can you best avoid knee pain?
- A simple program of focused stretching for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles done 3-4 times per week is very effective and can often completely alleviate certain types of knee pain in just a few weeks. Studies show that large muscle groups like the quadriceps are best stretched when held for 30-45 seconds rather than in short bursts. A physical therapist can be helpful in providing you with a solid home stretching program.
- Simple lifestyle modifications, including maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in exercises that are easy on the knees, such as swimming or cycling; and incorporating a stretching into your weekly routine can help keep your knees in check, and “tuned up” over time.