Home Rehabilitation for Sore Knees
Are your knees hurting more (especially in the mornings), now it’s winter? Finding it a little harder to walk up and down stairs? Or are you like me, and struggling to squat or run any sort of distance without pain in your knees?
If so, you could have a condition called Osteoarthritis in your knees. It is a wear and tear (degenerative) disorder that develops over time, and mostly affects those over the age of 50. Of course, if you’ve had an active youth, or copped a few sports injuries along the way, it may develop earlier.
Why do my knees hurt?
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in your knee joint wears away over time, and exposes the underlying bone. This can cause pain and swelling in your knee, often worse at night or in the morning. It can also hurt after not moving the knee for some time, like getting out of the car after a long drive. The pain is usually in one or more fairly specific spots within your knee, with sharp jabs occurring when you stand or twist the wrong way. You can also have deep, dull aches within the joint that are more likely to occur when at rest. Diagnosis from your doctor may happen through an examination of your medical and musculoskeletal history, through orthopaedic testing, or through scans such as X-rays or MRI’s. Medical treatment can include oral anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections into the knee or surgery to remove rough bone growth or even replace the joint.
What can you do to manage this condition at home?
Here are some easy tips and exercises to help you deal with the pain associated with arthritis in the knees:
- Heat is your best friend. Whenever the aches and pain in your knee become too much, pop a heat pack on or around the knee joint. Make sure it’s not too hot that it may burn your skin, and that you have no other conditions that might be affected by the application of heat. But even a warm shower or bath may soothe the pain. Use as often as needed.
- Do some gentle rehabilitation exercises and stretches with your sore knee. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works! Ever heard the saying “move it or lose it”? Rehabilitation exercises such as heel slides, straight leg raises, quad and calf stretches and knee extensions can keep you moving and reduce your pain. They SHOULD NOT cause pain. If they do, pop into Mobilise and chat with one of our Myotherapists for some tailored exercises for you.
- Do some non-weight bearing exercise. Try an exercise bike, or go for a cycle. Swimming is wonderful for arthritic joints as well. These activities should not cause pain, and if your knees are having a bad day, don’t push through the pain but leave it for a day or so.
- Rest! When your knees are painful, don’t do activities that hurt. If you allow the knees to rest for a day or two, you may be able to do more vigorous activities again. Rest allows your joints time to recover, and just do the rehab exercises and gentle stretching during this time instead.
- Wear a compression brace on your knee when active. This can help with stability, pain relief and compression for the reduction of swelling. When on, the brace will help your knee to feel less pain and more stable.
- Get a massage! Talk to our expert Myotherapists about what treatment would be best for you. Remedial Massage can help relieve pain, reduce swelling and gently increase flexibility in your knees, which along with your own home rehab plan, can help manage your condition.
Osteoarthritis is a very manageable condition and the Myotherapists at Mobilise are very experienced in treating it. Book online here for an in-depth assessment, treatment and rehab plan for your sore knees today.