Every year, thousands of Americans visit the doctor’s office due to knee pain. Whether it’s from a previous injury flare-up, osteoarthritis, or a new injury, knee pain can be completely debilitating. Furthermore, knee and back pain are two contributing causes to people’s use of opioids, which has become a rising problem in America. Other than pain medication and surgery, are there any alternative out there for managing pain?
Even though opioids and surgery top of the list of ways to manage and take care of pain in the knees and back, there are other ways of not only reducing pain, but also eliminating it. Between physical therapy and manual therapy, as well as at-home methods, you can avoid undergoing the knife as well as addictive prescription pain medication.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise is a proven method of reducing knee pain and eliminating it. Furthermore, it can even help prevent it from returning in the future. From low impact cardio exercises to weight training and stretching, a proper exercise program can help you manage knee pain. Exercises such as walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and elliptical training are low impact ways of strengthening the muscles that support your knee.
Sometimes, however, setting an exercise program is easier said than done. What exercises should you choose? How often should you do it and for how long? How do you know if you’re doing it right? All these questions are quite common to ask. If you’re unsure of how much to do or what to do, it would be beneficial to seek advice from an athletic trainer or even physical therapist. They can assess your pain and give you a proper training program.
Weight and Diet
Weight is always a sensitive topic for many people. However, when it comes to your overall health, weight should never be overlooked. Especially when it comes to knee pain, weight is oftentimes the culprit. It may be difficult, and even unnecessary, to get to an ideal weight. However, smaller changes make all the difference when it comes to your weight. Even losing a few pounds can reduce the stress on your knee and limit pain.
Diet as also oftentimes overlooked when it comes to joint pain. Inflammation in the joints causes pain. High inflammatory foods – such as processed carbs and sugar – can add to that inflammation, causing pain in such places as the knees. A diet low inflammatory diet cannot only help you lose weight but decrease inflammation in the body, which will help reduce pain.
Therapy is another alternative to undergoing the knife or resorting to opioids. From physical therapy to manual therapy, these alternatives are proven ways of not only reducing pain but also preventing it.
Physical therapy can help focus on the muscles that support the knees, which reduce and prevent pain. Physical therapists will oftentimes use manual therapy in addition to a regular exercise therapy program for their patients, that helps decrease pain.