Knee pain. It’s a pain in the…. well…knee.
When I first tweaked my knee, it felt like a truck was sitting on it especially at night (torn lateral meniscus) I was ready to perform surgery myself (don’t try this at home ;)). Seriously, I had my left knee scoped, I was awake for the procedure so I figured I know what to do. I can feel things moving around in there, so I figured I’d break into my dentist’s office and use that suction thingy to just go in there and vacuum all the bits out.
Luckily, the knee pain subsided a little and I didn’t have to resort to such measures. I’m currently awaiting a more traditional arthroscopic surgery.
My pal and ‘exercise for injury’ dude, Rick Kaselj gave me some pointers on what to do when knee pain is slowing you down.
First off, he suggests working on full range of motion.
Secondly, he suggests developing strength and endurance at the hip. I’ve been doing a lot of stiff legged deadlifts and plate swings to this end (and my back end 😉
My third line of defense for meniscus troubles is cycling. Cartilage typically has poor blood flow, but cycling helps bring blood flow to the knee and blood flow helps with healing. I’ve been doing intervals on my stationary and this has helped quite a bit. (Even though this is my LEAST favorite form of interval training, it’s worth it to alleviate the pain my knee was in.)
Stretching tight muscles is helpful. Typically when there’s pain and inflammation in the joint, the muscles will automatically tighten up so stretching and using a foam roller is more important than ever.
Lastly, Rick suggests to take the knees out of positions of stress in everyday life. Watch how you stand, for example, check your standing position when you spend lots of time standing like at work. And I was afraid to ask, but checking your footwear is important too. High heels can put more stress on the front of the foot and consequently the knee.
Rick also recommends getting outside medical attention when knee pain (or any other pain) doesn’t subside in a few days.
Check out our interview (and the awesome room we snuck into in the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego):