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Just PostedKneePainStaying Pain-Free During Covid-19

STAYING PAIN-FREE DURING COVID-19: KNEES

Many of you are experiencing chronic and acute pain in your knees right now. Hopefully, not as many of you are out injuring yourselves. But if you are…go home. That is one way to prevent or decrease knee pain. Here are some others:

  • Limit sports activities, such as soccer, football, basketball and volleyball right now. These are activities which can cause injury to the knee, or exacerbate old injuries and chronic conditions. This is especially important right now, not only because you shouldn’t be socializing, but also, if you injured yourself, you couldn’t have elective surgery, and the ER is not a good place to be. Surgery would be delayed, unless you break something, and it’s sticking out of the skin.
  • Be mindful of repetitive strain. Many of you will now be trying out some home exercise programs. Believe it or not, I have already had several patients who have injured themselves doing new home exercise programs! Everything in moderation. Sudden increases in activities like treadmill walking, Zumba, jumping jacks with kettle bells and pushups, can and will cause pain around the knee. Be aware of pain in bones and joints. You shouldn’t work through these pains. Change up the program, decrease the reps, and lighten up.
  • Don’t start running stairs. This could result in pain in the front of your knee, especially if you are a woman. Our knees are not put together for this kind of repetitive activity. If you begin to experience pain around or under your knee cap, avoid the stairs.
  • Avoid repetitive squatting and kneeling for the same reason.
  • I.C.E. (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation) if you do get injured standing in line to get tested for Covid-19. This is an old standby for a good reason. It works. You get injured. Slap an ice pack on it, hike it up on some pillows and take a good rest. Remember…don’t put ice directly on your skin. Even a plastic bag is not enough separation to keep your skin from getting freezer burned.
  • Tylenol or NSAIDs (if you can take them, and choose to)
  • Walking aids such as walkers, crutches, hiking sticks and canes.
  • Just a simple knee sleeve will make your knee feel better and remind your brain to take better care of the knee.
  • Rest! Weight bearing joints do better when we’re not walking on them.
  • Bend and straighten your knees before you go from sitting to standing. This is a common complaint and I have discussed it in a previous blog post.
  • Warmth is appreciated by arthritic knees and chronic conditions. Heating pads and blankets, warm packs, and warming salves work nicely.
  • Women…Sit Like A Man. This is my schtick, and I’m schticking to it. It will help the pain of many lower extremity conditions in women.
  • Don’t let your knee get stiff, while you’re waiting to see a doctor. Unless it is broken in little bitty pieces, there is almost no reason, other than severe pain or a nail in it, to keep you from trying to bend and straighten your knee. It’s very difficult to move it a week or a month later. I have a blog on this as well. Although directed to stiffness in people with arthritis, the rule of thumb applies to us all.
  • Massage, mindfulness, and meditation Rub it. Don’t do things that hurt it, and think of something else besides your pain.