Gardeners, tilers, flooring installers, roofers… anyone that works on their knees, understands the pain it can cause. Whether your joints are simply irritated from a long day, or minor injuries occur, there are ways to alleviate that pain and protect against it continuing. Try these suggestions to prevent knee pain and injuries, so you can work smarter, not harder!
If arthritis is the culprit that causes you knee pain, the Arthritis Foundation encourages exercise. Maintain the range of motion and strengthen the muscles that support your knees. Research has shown that even a minor increase of strength in your quadriceps can help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and its progression. Men’s Journal has a great list of 30 Quadricep Workouts to get you started!
Could you stand to drop a few pounds? We all probably could. That belly bulge and extra weight is putting stress on your joints. This is especially true of your lower half - hips, lower back, knees, ankles and your feet. That excess stress can lead to arthritis, making it very uncomfortable or painful to complete even the simplest of daily tasks. Get rid of that weight, and you’ll find more comfort in your knees.
It’s not just those quads that need some extra strength! Your core is your body’s foundation. A strong core helps with posture and skeletal alignment. Those are what evenly distribute pressure on your joints. When your core is weak, your posture and alignment are off… causing knee pain. In addition to those quad exercises, work on your core, hip, leg and butt muscles, too. All of this takes that pressure off your knees (and keeps you healthier in general).
Exercise isn’t the only thing you’ll need for those lower body muscles. Stretching helps to keep you flexible and aids in joint mobility. And that means less pain! Healthline offers four great stretches for quads, hamstrings, calves and inner thighs. Ace Fitness has some butt and hip flexor stretches you’ll want to checkout. Combine these, or find your own routine. Either way, keep those muscles stretched and moving for less knee pain throughout your day.
When you spend a lot of time working on your knees, it’s not just your skin that gets irritated. Repetitive kneeling and kneeling on hard surfaces can cause serious damage inside your knee. The bursae are sacs that cushions and protects your ligaments and tendons. Kneeling for long periods of time can compress and damage the bursae, causing bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, causing the knee to swell, and feel warm and tender, even when you aren’t moving. Grab a good pair of knee pads like Ogre Shield Knee Pads, that will help protect your knees, and won’t constrict your movements.
Get a good pair of durable, stable, supportive work shoes. They should fit your feet well, and be comfortable. That might sound pretty obvious, but did you know you should get yourself a new pair every six months? There are ways to increase the life of your shoes. Hix Magazine for Men has some great suggestions, like alternating between two pairs of work boots. If the soles are worn, you risk slipping. If the cushion has lost its bounce, you risk knee pain. Get yourself some good work boots or shoes, and take care of them!
You work hard for your family, for a paycheck, for self-confidence and for yourself. These simple tips are easy enough for anyone to accomplish - which is exactly what makes for healthy knees. When you work on your knees, keeping them safe and comfortable should be a priority, so you can keep working!