When your knees are sore, simple everyday activities like getting up out of a chair, kneeling in the garden, or taking the stairs may make you wince. The stiffness and soreness associated with knee problems is one of the main reasons many of us slow down as we age, leading to a whole host of other health-related issues like weight gain and lack of flexibility. Sore knees can be attributed to injury or overuse. Running too far for your fitness level, pounding on hard pavement, or just being on your feet all day for work – it can all take a toll on your knees.
See your doctor for help if your knees are sore due to arthritis or serious injury, but for occasional soreness and minor injuries, the best way to feel better is to follow the RICE formula, a home care regimen widely recommended for all kinds of joint discomfort.
If you’ve been running too much, and can trace your knee soreness back to overuse, give your joints a break. Take a short hiatus from your usual routine. Switch out your run for a long walk at an easy pace. Hop on an exercise bike to get your cardio in without pounding the pavement. Even better, jump in the pool for a swim to completely eliminate any impact on your knee joints.
If your knees are swollen and warm to the touch, chances are the knee joint is inflamed and needs to cool down. Ice can help reduce swelling and heat, and is best applied in the form of an ice pack with a protective cover, rather than placing ice directly on the skin.
Wrapping your knee with a compression bandage, or using a knee support that you slip on and pull up over the affected knee provides support while allowing for full range of motion. When your knees are slightly compressed and supported, the joints don’t have to work quite as hard, lessening the chance of developing soreness.
You know how good it feels to put your feet up after a long day? By putting your feet up, you allow the blood that has pooled in your feet and legs to recirculate into the body. Elevating a sore knee can provide some much-needed relief too, by moving fluid away from the affected joint and taking pressure off the entire leg.
The next time your knees are sore and tired, try the RICE regimen for some “knee TLC” to feel better!
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