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Medial (inner) knee pain can be caused by a host of underlying problems, such as various forms of arthritis, old injuries, or even gait abnormalities. When medial knee pain becomes an ongoing problem, there are a few ways to reduce or alleviate pain.
Consider Knee Support
Adding support to your knee serves multiple purposes. Knee supports can reduce the added workload on an already weakened knee, but they can also limit your range of motion, which can be useful for stability concerns. Since there are numerous types of knee supports available, you may need to try different ones to find the right type. Additionally, your form of knee support might be different based on the activities you are doing. If you need significant support and feel better when the ability to flex your knee is limited, choose knee supports made of firm material or a hinged-brace for added maneuverability. Compression knee support can give you light support and more flexibility at the knee joint. The compression may also be useful if you deal with swelling.
Be Mindful Of Knee Placement
The way you sit or stand can make your knee pain worse, so it is critical to be mindful of your knee placement. When you are standing, be sure not to lock your knees. Ideally, you would stand with your knees slightly bent, since this tends to place less pressure on your knees. When you are seated, your knees should be at 90-degrees of flexion, or a right angle. Some people inadvertently sit with their knees overly bent, which is often a problem if your chair is not the right height. If possible, raise the height of your chair or sit on a pillow if your chair is too low for your height. In contrast, if you are shorter, you may need to place a box under your feet to gain the right amount of flexion and so your feet rest comfortably on a flat surface.
Do Hip Exercises
Focusing on orthopedic hip exercises can seem strange when you have medial knee pain, but there is some relation between weakness at the hips and its effect on your knees. Some congenital or mechanical issues may cause your knees cave inward (knock-knees) which may be the underlying culprit for medial knee pain. Strengthening your hip abductors can either correct the problem or at least reduce pain. One example of exercises you can use are pelvic tilts, which work both the hips and glutes. As these exercises become easier, you can add weight by resting a weight plate or dumbbell on your pelvis for added resistance. You can also add a resistance band around your legs, lie on your side, and raise your leg toward the ceiling.
In some cases, reducing medial knee pain can be a matter of adding support and strengthening the supporting muscles.