How Common is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is one of the most common ailments amongst athletes and non-athletes alike.  People of all ages are also affected by knee pain.  The reason for the prevalence of knee pain is because the knee supports most of the body’s weight and is involved with both daily activities and movement during sports.

Knee pain is typically caused by:

  • knee injuries
  • overuse
  • age
  • natural wear and tear

 

It’s understandable that activities and sports that involve sharp turns, lifting weights and the like would cause strain on the knee. However, many athletes do not know that running is a very stressful activity on the knee, which is why sports that involve running also tend to have higher risk of knee pain and knee injuries.  This can be during both contact (such as football) and non-contact (such as jogging) sports.

People in professions that involve a lot of lifting, walking or kneeling may also feel the effects of knee pain.  A great example of this is in mail carriers, a profession widely known to be hard on the knees.  Other types of overuse activities such as gardening and recreational activities like hiking can also stress the knee.

As mentioned above, the natural wear and tear of the knee from age and use can also lead to knee pain, which contributes to the widespread presence of knee pain.  Other physical factors, such as very tall individuals, may also be a cause of knee pain.

As you can see, there are many ways that all types of people may experience knee pain.  To minimize your risk of knee pain (or to reduce knee pain you’re already feeling), check out our knee braces and supports.  You can also read our Knee Pain and Injury Guide for more information on knee injuries and knee pain.

The Key to Reducing Knee Pain – More Exercise!

If you have arthritis in your knees or are experiencing knee pain, the first reaction is to rest your legs. However, when you’re not staying active you could actually be doing more harm than good!

Many studies on the effects of exercise on knee joints (such as this March 2011 medical review by The American College of Sports Medicine), have found that people with arthritis and knee aches actually increase functionality and reduce pain through participating in exercise. Physical activity keeps your muscles strong and your joints flexible. It also helps you maintain a lower body weight which decreases strain on your knees.

Here are some exercises and activities you can do to reduce knee pain:

  • Swimming and Water Aerobics – if you’re concerned about impact between your leg and the ground, then working out in the water may be right up your alley. Try to stick with movements that don’t rotate your knees too much, as this can still aggravate your knee.
  • Stretching – Increasing the range of motion in stiff joints can help reduce pain. Classes in yoga or Pilates can help stretch out your joints. You can also ask your doctor or physical therapist for different stretches you can do at home.
  • Cycling – Riding a bike is a great option for exercising the knee without putting any weight on them. It’s low-impact and you can do it from home or outdoors.
  • Walking – Take a stroll around your neighborhood in the evenings. Wearing high quality sneakers and knee braces may also help with shock absorption.
  • Weightlifting and Muscle Strengthening – Exercising your lower extremity can improve range of motion and strength in your knee joint. Consult your physician for some good strength-training exercises that you can do from home while watching TV.

In general people are too sedentary in their lives, but luckily we have many options to stay active. Begin incorporating exercise into your everyday routine and start experiencing less knee pain.