At ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness, we constantly hear how people want to get back to being active such as going on hikes or playing pickleball but they’re held back because of their excruciating knee pain….
It’s common to hear people in our clinic blame age or genetics for knee pain which in turn causes them to miss out on the activities they love…
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
We’re going to share with you some easy and very actionable health tips to help you protect vital joints, such as your knees, and help you to remain active and able to exercise for a longer period of time. Ultimately allowing you to achieve and maintain the Active and Healthy life you desire and deserve!
All of our little health secrets are great for anyone but they are essential resources for anyone aged 45+. Especially those that are looking to get more active now we’re approaching the end of summer and heading into the fall which is the perfect weather to be out and about!
This article covers 2 easy things you can do to help protect your joints:
- 1Tips for choosing what surface / path you walk on.
- 2What you need to consider when choosing your footwear.
So let’s dive in…
The hidden dangers of the paths you walk on…
OK, so firstly a little-known secret about protecting vital joints such as your knees is this: the path you choose to walk or run on can have serious repercussions and make the painful process of arthritis happening inside joints inevitable.
If you have a choice, uneven and gravel surfaces should be avoided. That may appear to be a simple message, but here’s why it’s important for you to apply it: any surface that doesn’t offer a flat, stable base will test your balance, stress your joints, test your muscle strength and even your energy levels, all to a point where you could be doing more harm than good.
Now, in moderation, anything is usually fine, but the big problems come when you’re choosing to walk the same path every night, week after week, month after month.
Why? I’ll tell you…
It’s because doing anything of the same kind repeatedly for too long just isn’t good for your body.
When it comes to consistently being active (i.e walking or running), nothing trumps changing the surface you walk or run on to give your normally used muscles a rest.
So what are your options here?
Try to mix it up a little and alternate between different surfaces: the beach, grassland and a nice flat tarmac surface. Once in a while, hills or woodland are fine, too. Also, try different forms of exercise such as cycling, swimming or rowing to give your knees and other active muscles a bit of a break.
Next, let’s talk about what you wear on your feet whilst doing it.
If you’re more worried about looking good whilst you’re on the move, then chances are your health is going to suffer and deplete quickly. I’ve watched many women gasp in horror when I advise them to stop wearing high heels, which might look nice but aren’t very healthy for vital joints.
Now, most people know that the more cushion you have on your shoes, the less impact through your joints. That’s obvious, right? But, what a lot of people don’t know is this: there’s also support and protection for joints to be found in the way you wear those shoes.
Leave them loose, and vital joints move around too much, causing painful joint surfaces to rub together.
So think about this the next time you’re lacing up for your next stroll around the neighborhood…
Ensuring that the laces or strappings are tight enough can actually be a source of vital support. It’s true, the tighter your shoes are (but not so tight as to restrict blood supply), the less movement at your knee and ankle joints. And that means less rubbing and wear or tear of joint surfaces, therefore less damage on the joints in the long run. That’s why sandals or a loose fitting type shoe should NEVER be worn when you’re being active or exercising.
Sure, they may look better, even feel better, because they’re light and airy, but you’re adding serious and unnecessary pressure to the joints that you need to see you through another 30-40 years of being active. Why risk it?
Here’s an extra way to help support your knees! (On the house…)
Foot orthotics can also be a great option especially if you’re looking to get more active. We’ve recently been helping a lot of patients that have been wanting to get more active now that the weather is getting better but are struggling secondary to pain.
However, they don’t only benefit people that go out and exercise. People wear them day to day to help with alignment and posture.
Wearing custom-made foot orthotics, in many cases, especially if you’re aged 45+, will help you wear any type of shoe you want. This will allow you to know that your joints are being protected, and still give you the opportunity to wear your favorite footwear, while remaining active and healthy. If you have any questions about orthotics, feel free to contact us using the details below.
Would You Like To See A Physical Therapist For Free?
We realize some people want more than just some free health tips… That’s why we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains – for FREE, in under 45 minutes.
We call this a Discovery Visit.
Here are just a few of the things you will learn in one of our free Discovery Visit sessions…
Our Discovery Visits are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physical therapy is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.
We’ve got 5 Discovery Visits available this week. If you would like one of our Discovery Visits, please get in touch with the clinic using the contact details included below, and mention to our ProActive who answers the phone that you would like to see a physical therapist for free.
We’re Here To Help…
If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you…. and we’re offering you the chance to have your first session with a physical therapist for FREE.
If you would like to get one of our limited Discovery Visit slots, please click here to complete our inquiry form or CALL us on 502.512.2165
P.S. Do you know someone with aches in their knee?
Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain-free life too.
That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix.