It doesn’t matter if arthritis or a sudden knee injury has you wondering what to do for chronic knee pain, the good news is that there are a number of pain management strategies you can employ to rehabilitate your knee joint and restore function. When you work with Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre, we employ an integrated approach to managing chronic knee pain, based on your personal needs and activity goals. Here are some tips to help manage chronic knee pain.
What Is Chronic Knee Pain?
Chronic knee pain is a long term or persistent condition that can cause swelling, pain or sensitivity in the knees. Patients tend to present with chronic knee pain for different reasons. Some of these include
- Tendinitis: this is pain situated in the front of your knee. It will get worse if you climb the stairs or walk up a hill
- Chondromalacia patella: this is when the cartilage under your kneecap is damaged
- Osteo-arthritis: this is deterioration of the knee joint is characterised by inflammation and pain.
- Bursitis: this occurs when the knee is overused or injured repeatedly
- Rheumatoid arthritis: this is an auto-immune disease that results in painful swelling and can cause deformity to your joints
- Torn ligament: There are four ligaments in your knee, and a tear in them can cause pain. The most common injury to knee ligaments involves the anterior cruciate ligament
- Dislocation: A dislocated knee cap is caused most often by trauma
- Meniscus tear: This is when there is a rupture or tear in the cartilage of your knee.
Your chronic knee pain management strategy will be based around the root cause of your chronic pain and customised for you.
How To Manage Chronic Knee Pain
Get Exercise …
Exercise is essential for strength, and different types of exercise offer different benefits. Weight training, cardio and stretching all off strengthening, toning and flexibility improvement and should be integrated into your fitness plan.
… But Be Careful
If your knee is weak or painful it can make you a little unsteady on your feet, and a fall during exercise can cause further damage to an already-injured knee. Your doctor can help you to remain stable during exercise, and give you tips to avoid a fall.
Don’t Be Tempted To Rest Too Much
Finding the balance between working your knee joint and resting it can be challenging without professional help.
If you rest too much, it can result in your knee muscles weakening, and this can exacerbate knee pain.
Your best course of action is to find an exercise routine that is gentle on your knees, and to stick to it.
Your doctor can advise you on a safe set of exercises to do that will maintain strength without strain.
Consider Your Weight To Improve Chronic Knee Pain
Your knees need to support your body so if you are carrying some extra weight, it is going to make knee injuries feel worse. Losing some weight will reduce the amount of strain on your knees. Speak to your doctor about weight loss to support your injury recovery.
Learn To Practice RICE
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and it’s a great combination to relieve pain caused by an arthritis flare-up or an injury. Put your feet up, apply an ice pack and compress your knee. Rest with it elevated. This is a good pain management strategy to use until you can get an appointment to see your doctor
Manage Lifestyle Factors
If your chronic knee pain is being caused by osteo-arthritis, you will need to learn to manage the triggers that can cause flare-ups. Your doctor will evaluate your lifestyle and give you insights into how you may be able to manage arthritis. This may include removing inflammatory foods from your diet, and stopping alcohol consumption.
Consider Your Ergonomics
Not only can your doctor help you with invaluable information on how to exercise correctly with a knee injury, he or she can also coach you on daily ergonomics to improve chronic knee pain.
This would include your posture and body position when you are working, watching TV or doing your chores. At Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre we can help most of our patients to manage their chronic knee pain by improving their posture through simple hacks that ensure correct weight distribution on your joints.
Still wondering about what to do for chronic knee pain? If it is persistent, you need professional help to avoid serious injury. Please contact Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre for a convenient appointment: (02) 9884 9300.