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3 Tips for Knee Pain Relief and Prevention

Posted Apr 05 2013 12:00am
Guest post by health writer Amanda Guerrero.

Despite the fact that many types of knee pain can be avoided, most people will experience knee pain at some point in their lives – whether it is due to overuse, injury, excessive weight gain or arthritis. Taking even small steps to take care of this important part of the body can prevent discomfort from occurring and can provide knee pain relief to those with chronic joint disorders.

Here are a few recommendations from the experts at Rehability
1. Maintain a healthy weight.

Excess weight can put an unnecessary burden on the knees and strain the joints beyond their capabilities. It can also increase the chances of developing knee arthritis. Therefore, it is important for people to follow a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. To prevent extra strain from being placed on the knees, it is recommended that patients perform low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling and water aerobics, in addition to exercises that can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee.

2. Strengthen your core muscles.

Strengthening the core – including the abs, spine, hip muscles and gluts – can help improve posture, ensuring that minimal strain is placed on the knees and joints. Yoga, Pilates and kickboxing are great activities for strengthening core muscles. Other, simple exercises such as crunches, push-ups and plank variations can be performed at home.

3. Don’t rush into surgery – consider your other options.

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, exercise and physical therapy can be just as effective for relieving chronic knee pain as surgery. In fact, patients who were subjected to intensive physical therapy were doing just as well after a year as those who had undergone arthroscopic surgery. Plus, the cost for several weeks of physical therapy is approximately half the price of the cost for surgery.

One low-cost physical therapy option that provides pain relief to chronic knee pain sufferers is thermo-electric compression therapy . Many physical therapy practices offer this fast-acting treatment as part of a knee pain relief program or regimen. Thermo-electric compression therapy involves applying a hot or cold wrap (depending on the patient’s condition) in order to compress the knee and pressurize damaged tissues. This allows the full thermal effect to reach deeper tissue layers. When the pressure is reduced, a healthy flow of blood can surge back into the surrounding knee joint, further facilitating the healing process.

Other alternative treatment options for knee pain include:

•    Acupuncture
•    Massage
•    Chiropractic care
•    Knee injections
•    Shoe orthotics or knee braces

Treatment options such as these can provide immediate knee pain relief and are much more cost effective than surgery.

References
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301408
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/core-strength/SM00047
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