The Care and Feeding of Your Knees

Knee Pain© Stockbyte/Thinkstock
“Knee pain is one of the top complaints in my clinic,” says John R. Tongue, MD, vice president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. But he knows what will help keep you out of his office.

Best Footwear? Cushioned shoes
“With every step you take, the impact on your knees is two to three times your body weight,” says Dr. Tongue. “The more cushioning your shoe has, the better it absorbs the shock.” Replace walking shoes every 500 miles or at least once a year.

Best Money-Saving Move? Not buying glucosamine and chondroitin
A recent review of ten studies found that the supplements didn’t ease knee pain any better than a placebo. Still, Dr. Tongue says, some patients swear the pills help. “The good thing is that I don’t know of any side effects other than thinning your wallet.”

Best Exercise? Cycling
Your kneecap should slide smoothly in a groove at the bottom of your thighbone; if it doesn’t track right, it’ll rub the side of the groove. Try a stationary bike to safely strengthen the muscle on the inside of your knee and keep your kneecap centered.

See also: Beat the Pain of Arthritis

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