Knee pain is very common as you age. Keeping all your joints healthy throughout your life is very important, and your knees are no exception. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your knees stable and strong, no matter how many years they have on them. Keeping pain at bay is very important as you age.
Your knees do a lot of work for your body. They absorb a ton of pressure with every single step you take. The pads of cartilage in your knee, the menisci, wear and deteriorate over time. There’s also muscles and ligaments associated with your knees that begin to breakdown over time. Prior injury, being overweight and a history of osteoarthritis in your family can also contribute to more pain in the knees. If you are looking for ways to keep the pressure off, look no further.
Here are the tops tips to keeping your knees pain free and healthy.
1. Healthy Weight
Possibly the largest contributor to knee pain is carrying around extra weight. Each additional pound you carry means 4 additional pounds of pressure that your knees endure. Keeping your weight in check means less pressure and stress on the knee joint. Also, it means you are likely more able to exercise and keep your body in overall good health. Many people have been able to get rid of painful knees altogether by shedding excess pounds.
You should consult your doctor to discuss what an appropriate weight would be for your height and age. Losing weight can feel like a difficult task, and should be followed through by the advice of your practitioner.
2. Avoid Injury
Avoiding injury to your knees may seem a little easier said than done. It is understable if your injury stems from an accident. However, there are ways to keep your knees a little happier, especially if you are worried about injury due to osteoarthritis.
First, try to avoiding standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces. Try to build strength in your legs by exercising and lifting weights appropriately. Stretching your legs is also very important with regard to avoiding injury.
3. Range of Motion
As you age, it is likely that your knee joints will become stiffer. Working to increase your range of motion in your knees can reduce stiffness. You may need to consult with a physical therapist to increase your range of motion and get your leg to extend fully and keep your knee straight.
Other ways to keep your knees functional is to bare in mind your stride and posture. Focus on not exaggerating your stride or locking your knees as they extend. Especially when working out machines like elliptical trainer, exercise bike or stair climber to not completely straighten or lock out your legs. Keep in mind that other muscles and body parts need to stay strong and healthy too. Do not give up on exercise completely without checking with your doctor for alternatives.
Also consider choosing a knee friendly sport to keep your range of motion balanced and your weight healthy. Rowing, swimming, cycling and cross-country skiing are great options to try. These are low impact sports that will keep your muscles strong and knees durable.
Wearing the appropriate shoes for your daily activities is important to knee joint health. You should find shoes that are both comfortable and provide proper support. There’s not one particular shoe that will fit everyone’s knee pain issues. You will need to research different brands of shoes and take advantage of in-store shoe assessments to pick the proper pair.
5. Do Not Ignore Pain
Lastly and most importantly, do not ignore knee joint pain. When you begin to feel that your knees are painful or breaking down, be sure to have them examined by your physician. You want to get the proper treatment going as soon as possible to avoid further injury and pain. Icing the injury may help to soothe the pain, but do not delay in seeking treatment.
Going beyond your primary physician, you will want to consider using a pain doctor specialist. You’ll get the benefit of using the most current technologies and newest approaches to pain management with a pain specialist.
Keeping your knees healthy is habit that should be lifelong. You want to do your very best to avoid injury and pain at all cost before it even happens. If you are already experiencing pain or discomfort, there are ways to reduce or even eliminate the pain. Always be sure to follow the advice from your doctor first and foremost.
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