Being young doesn’t preclude you from having knee problems.
Most young people associate knee issues with getting older, but there are many common knee problems that you can experience as early as your 20s. Knee problems may not seem serious at first, but if you allow them to worsen, you could end up disrupting your ability to stay active. In the worst cases, you could end up needing surgery.
In this post, we’re going to give you a few tips for coping with common knee issues. Never ignore knee pain because it could come back to haunt you. That said, if you follow these tips, you’ll keep your knees fitter for longer.
1. Get A Diagnosis
The first thing you should do if you’re experiencing knee pain that won’t go away is to see a doctor and get it diagnosed. You’ll probably end up having an ultrasound and/or an x-ray to get to the bottom of the pain.
Most knee problems in younger people are the result of an injury, but not everything is so serious that it’ll keep you off of your feet. If you hear popping or crunching, feel weak or unstable, or see an obvious deformity in your knee, then it’s worth going to see a doctor. Chances are, you won’t need a total knee replacement, but you might need some surgery and therapy if the injury is bad enough.
2. Keep Exercising
Unless you’ve got a tear or osteoarthritis, your doctor will likely recommend that you strengthen your knee to prevent any further injury. Cardiovascular exercise will strengthen those muscles that support your knees; this includes running, swimming, and cycling, but even regular walking will help.
Obviously stretching and strength training are both beneficial as well. Never do any exercises that feel as though they could create more problems than solutions. If all you can do is walk to start, then swallow your pride and walk until you can run.
For mild, yet nagging knee pain caused by an injury or early-onset arthritis, the RICE method will be crucial. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It’s all pretty self-explanatory, but basically, you should give your knee rest, ice it to reduce swelling, use a compression brace when moving around, and elevate it when it’s acting up.
4. Shoe Problems
One thing you should definitely look into if you’re young, fit, and your knees hurt is your shoes. If your shoes aren’t giving you the support that you need when you’re running, the first place that’ll start hurting is your knees.
Most resources advise that you change your running shoes every 450 to 550 miles of use. When they’re worn out, on the inside or on the soles, your knees will start taking bigger impacts, which can cause a lot of issues the longer it goes on.
Dealing With Knee Problems Head-On
Living with knee problems in your 20s never feels great because your body should be in its prime. That said, it’s more common in young people than you might think and the problems are usually solvable with the tips we’ve discussed here. The most important thing is to get it checked out when it seems like there’s something wrong, then if you get the green light, start strengthening those muscles and taking care of your knees ASAP.
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