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Preventing Knee InjuryIf you’ve run, walked or jogged ever in your life, then you know knee pain.  It happens to everyone at some point.  It is always better to prevent knee injury that to recover.  If you get the pain you may be tempted to just pop a pill to alleviate, but it’s only a quick fix. The most common pain medications may be able to help with short term aches and inflammation, but they also have downsides that range from intestinal discomfort to an increased risk of stroke and even cardiac arrest.

Try some remedies that are natural and, in some cases, more effective.  Ditch the pills by using one or more of these alternatives.

Turmeric

We’ll start off with something that is a natural home remedy, turmeric.  Turmeric is a spice that puts the brakes on the inflammatory process in the body.  You may have heard all the buzz with this seemingly miracle spice, but recent studies back up the chatter.  These studies show that turmeric worked as well to relieve knee pain as the maximum daily dose of ibuprofen, without all the health risks.

Change your Workout

There’s an old adage, “if it hurts when you do this, then don’t do that.”  Seems like common sense, but we tend to continue to run through the pain thinking it will just magically go away.  Knee pain shouldn’t stop you from doing things you love, but hey, maybe take a little break from the routine until your knees feel better.

Mix up your daily run for some time in the pool or even cycling.  These tend to be easier on the knees, less impact.  If you’re not doing it already, yoga can help with knee pain, and help with overall flexibility.

The Power of Neoprene

We sometimes underestimate the power of neoprene.  It can really help with knee pain.  If you don’t have one already, get a neoprene brace with hole for your kneecap, and wear it while you run, walk or any activity that aggravates the pain.  The compression of the neoprene squeezes the joint which helps stabilize it, reduce swelling and stimulate the surrounding muscles groups.




Get your Zzzzzzzzz

Any kind of pain can affect a good sleep cycle and knee pain is no different.  Poor sleep just exacerbates the problem. Studies suggest that disrupted sleep actually changes the way your brain processes pain, which leaves you in a more sensitive condition.  Scientists believe that inflammation and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin may be the reason why. To sleep better, find a documentary on Netflix about quilting.  If that doesn’t work try gulping down some fruit juice a 30 minutes before you hit the sack.  You can also take melatonin to help get your zzzzzzz on.

Strengthening Exercise

Doing strengthening exercises, especially in your hips, helps to keep your knees in proper alignment.

One such exercise starts while lying on your side with your legs bent and a resistance band around your knees. Raise and lower your top leg up to 10 times, then switch sides and repeat.

The Foam Roller

Whether you are a new or experienced runner you have heard of the magic of foam rolling.  The foam roller is the newest, bestest way to loosen tight muscles and increase flexibility.

Start with rolling the outsides of your thighs where the IT band is located.  Then move to your quads and hamstrings. This can loosen those big muscles and improve the tracking of your patella.  Tight quads pull your knee cap to the side with every stride which can lead to the pain under the bone known as runner’s knee.

Massage

Message can increase blood flow and help ease inflammation.  You can do this yourself.  Start by lying down on the floor and lift your knee above your heart. Put your thumb on one side of the knee joint and your fingers on the other side. With light pressure and long strokes, move your hand over your knee toward your heart. Repeat for 5 minutes or whenever the knee pain strikes.




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