What do you do when your knees are achy? Three tips to reduce knee pain.

I know, I get it.  Nothing particularly wrong, but your knees hurt.

Maybe you had just done some unusual activity (a hike, lots of gardening, a building project) and you simply used your knees as part of the action more than you’re used to.  Not only did your muscles get a workout, but your knee joint did too.

Remember that ligaments are what connect bone to bone and help with stability in the knee.  If you just went through a whole lot of bending and flexing with a new activity, you may have stretched and strained your ligaments a bit.  In general, this is ok, because we want ligament attachments to be strong.  And the way they stay strong is with a little stress.

It’s the same theory as strengthening bone by doing weight bearing exercise.  Muscles are like pulleys – their tendons attach to bones and when muscles are in use, the tendons are tugging on the bone.  Remember Newton?  This is where Newton’s law #3 comes into play:  for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton's Law #3

So your knees may be achy because they got some extra use or tugging.

Now, how do you make your knees feel better? 

#1 SWELLING: If there is swelling, you can try ice (to decrease inflammation). Don’t have an ice bag handy? I use bags of frozen peas. You can pop them back in the freezer when you are done – but don’t eat them!

#2 PAIN: If they just hurt (no swelling), I like heat (to increase circulation). Moist heat is better than dry heat, but either is good!

#3 RELIEF: Remember, motion is lotion!
Work the range of motion.  The key to do this is without bearing weight.  There are two easy ways to do this:  swimming and bicycling. 

I prefer bicycling because your knee stays in alignment, there is no lateral motion (for some people, like me, this is an issue), and your body weight is on the bike seat, not through your knees and to your feet. 

Of course you want to be lined up properly on a bike with the correct adjustment for seat height and seat fore/aft.   A bike with a seat too low, too high, or too far forward can do more harm than good. If you need advice on exactly how to set up your bike, I put it all in my book, Healthy Knees Cycling!

Committed to your Good Health,

~Coach Robin

PS – If you want to learn how to set up your bike for the best fit and more about how fast and hard to pedal to support good ankle, knee, and hip health, use the guide in my book!

Buy it here => Healthy Knees Cycling.

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