Knee Safe Spring Activities

With spring comes outdoor activities and more time spent outdoors in general. But when you have knee pain, the activities that you choose to engage in must not involve more force on the joints than they can handle. The good news is that there are plenty of springtime activities that are orthopedic-friendly, gentle on your knees, and less likely to exacerbate existing joint pain. Below we discuss three of these activities along with tips to go a step further by suggesting ways to make them even safer for your knees.

Gardening

Gardening is wonderful for both physical and mental health. It allows you to connect with the earth and ground, all the while creating aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces. But the repetitive kneeling, bending, and lifting associated with gardening places extra stress on the joints, causing knee pain or exacerbating discomfort that is already there.

The number one tip for making gardening a safer activity for your knees and overall body is to practice good posture and body mechanics. Using knee pads and/or a gardening stool will reduce the pressure from prolonged kneeling. When bending, hinge from the hips rather than rounding the back. When lifting, squat down and hold the object close to your body while keeping your back straight. Maintaining a straight back will protect the spine and minimize strain on the knees.

Also, wearing compression gear can provide support to the knees and improve circulation. Compression socks are great for gardening and can help reduce swelling and inflammation. These allow pain-free gardening with greater comfort and mobility.

Swimming

Swimming is an all-around great low-impact exercise that provides a full-body workout. And it does this without placing undue stress on the knees. Swimming can look very different for everyone, from laps in the pool to leisurely swims in a lake. Whatever type of swimming you prefer, this activity helps to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and increase flexibility.

To optimize the benefits of swimming while focusing on joint health, maintaining proper form and technique is critical. Try your best to keep a straight line from your head to your toes. This involves maintaining your head in line with your spine, and your legs straight and streamlined. This general tip will reduce drag and reduce stress on the joints.

Cycling

Want another great low-impact activity that is highly recommended in the world of orthopedics? Enter cycling. You can enjoy it solo or with family and friends. You can do it indoors or outdoors. Sitting or standing. You can make it as intense as you want, or you may prefer leisurely rides through scenic trails. Cycling is an incredibly versatile activity that has numerous health benefits and does place excessive strain on the knees.

Paying close attention to your bike setup is critical for maintaining proper body mechanics and posture. Most importantly, make sure that your bike is properly fitted to your height. A good rule of thumb is when pedaling with your heels, set your saddle at a height where your legs are fully straightened when the pedal is in its lowest position.

Also, you may want to consider wearing compression gear such as cycling shorts or knee sleeves. These provide support to the knees, improve circulation, and keep your legs feeling comfortable throughout your ride.

Spring is the perfect time to embrace the outdoors. Choosing low-impact activities like gardening, swimming, and cycling is best for preventing joint pain. Prioritizing good posture and wearing compression gear can make these activities even more knee-friendly. But there may come a time when you have taken all the precautions and lo and behold, you’re dealing with knee pain anyway and you’re not sure why. When this happens, it warrants a visit to an orthopedic surgeon. You may have cartilage damage in your knee from an acute or old injury. This may make you a candidate for our revolutionary stem cell therapy for the treatment of knee pain, the MACI Procedure.

Give us a call at (713) 436-3488 to learn more.

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