Despite the festive spirit of the holiday season, it can be stressful for the healthiest of people. If you suffer an injury at this time of year or have chronic knee pain, you may be tempted to stay in bed. Severe knee pain may put a damper on festive plans, but it can be avoided. Here are some quick tips to keep knees healthy this holiday season:
1. Set Boundaries – You may be faced with some holiday expectations like shopping, wrapping presents, cooking meals, and entertaining relatives. To prevent stress, set realistic goals for what you can truly achieve. Arthritis flare ups will occur when we stand or walk too long, don’t wear our orthotics, or overextend ourselves.
2. Make Healthy Food Choices – Holidays come with an abundance of food that is hard to resist. Many people use the season as an excuse to overindulge and put on some extra pounds. For people with knee problems, unhealthy eating may result in pain. Eat healthfully and then enjoy a treat or two at the office party or holiday gathering. Fill up with:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Lean meat
- Citrus fruit
3. Drink Alcohol in Moderation – Drinking alcohol may temporarily numb pain, but it is a dangerous form of “self medication.” Consult your doctor regarding alcohol consumption, especially if you are taking pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication for your knees.
4. Exercise – With all the merriment, parties, and food, many people gain pre-New Year weight. Carrying extra pounds puts more pressure on the knee joint. Find time to do some simple exercises to burn extra calories and build muscle strength.
5. Wear Knee Braces – Standing or shopping for hours can hurt. If you have a previous injury, wearing a brace (with a doctor or therapist’s recommendation) supports the knee and can prevent injury.
6. Massage – Massage increases blood flow in the body and throughout the knees. Tired muscles and joints are rejuvenated with this therapy.
We hope these tips will help you get through the holidays with a minimum of knee pain. If you start to feel muscle or joint pain of any kind, please call Oriole Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre at (416) 221-0772 and we’ll explain how we can create an individualized pain-prevention plan just for you.