We rely on our knees in almost every activity, from walking and climbing stairs to lifting objects and sitting down. However, knee pain is a common complaint among people of all ages. When your knees hurt, it affects your daily life.
Acute knee injuries, like meniscus tears, may require immediate surgery. When your pain is chronic, though, the right course of treatment might not be so clear. Chris Boone, MD and our orthopedic team specialize in treating chronic knee pain and osteoarthritis to keep you as active and healthy as possible.
Although knee replacement can be a great option for people with severe chronic pain and joint deterioration, we understand that surgery might not be your first choice. That’s why we’re here: to help you find ways to prevent your chronic knee from getting worse.
Get regular exercise
Contrary to popular belief, exercising can actually improve chronic joint pain. Not moving painful joints only increases your risk of stiffness, loss of mobility, and worsening pain, but regular exercise builds strength, helps you maintain mobility, and minimizes pain.
The key to exercising with joint pain is choosing low-impact activities that don’t strain your knees. Try water aerobics, swimming, or cycling. Remember to gently stretch before beginning exercise, and don’t start a new workout program before checking in with your health care team.
Try physical therapy
Physical therapy is beneficial for many people with arthritis and other types of chronic joint pain. It includes targeted activities, stretches, and exercises that build strength and flexibility in target joints. If you struggle to find ways to exercise that aren’t painful, your physical therapist can help keep you active and move your knee through its full range of motion.
Talk to Dr. Boone and your physical therapy team about the benefits of assistive devices. An assistive device, like a cane or walker, or even shoe inserts, could take strain off your knee and make it easier for you to perform daily tasks.
Maintain a healthy weight
If you’re within a healthy weight range, maintaining your weight could keep your pain from getting worse. Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on your joints, including your knees. If you are overweight or obese, losing even a few pounds could alleviate some of that excess stress and lessen your joint pain.
Along with regular exercise, strive to eat a balanced diet to maintain your weight. Chronic joint pain is often linked to inflammation, particularly in people with arthritis. Consider adding anti-inflammatory foods, like fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts, to your diet to help reduce inflammation naturally.
Consider nonsurgical joint injections
Dr. Boone and our team take a holistic approach to knee care. Along with lifestyle changes like exercise and healthy eating, joint injections can help you manage your condition and keep joint pain from worsening.
We may recommend steroid injections, which reduce inflammation to quiet pain. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are a type of regenerative medicine that stimulates tissue healing to address pain. Both types of injections can help you manage pain, so you can keep moving.
Chronic pain doesn’t mean you have to stop living your active lifestyle. For more tips to keep your pain in check, schedule an appointment with Dr. Boone. Call the office nearest you, or request an appointment online.