Knee health is an important part of aging gracefully. Knee pain is common especially, in older age, often caused by osteoarthritis (the wearing a way of knee cartilage). Fortunately, there are ways to postpone knee problems or even prevent them entirely. In many cases, you can delay or avoid the need for surgical intervention, such as a knee replacement when you care for your knees at all stages in life. Here are 7 hot tips to help you keep your knees happy and healthy for a lifetime.
Strengthen the muscles
Boosting muscle strength stabilizes the knee joint and helps the muscles absorb stress you place on the knee. Strengthening should start with the quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs, but it shouldn’t end there. It’s also important to strengthen the hip and core muscles to maximize function of the knee. Stronger abs and back muscles help your balance. That means you’re less likely to fall or get injured. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. If you have joint problems, avoid quick, repetitive movements. Pilates and yoga are great workouts to try. A physical therapist can evaluate your needs and develop a strengthening program that’s right for you.
If you’re overweight, each additional pound you carry translates to another 4 pounds of pressure on the joints. A 20-pound weight gain, for example, would add 80 pounds of pressure on your knees. Losing weight relieves pressure and pain on the joints.
Increase range of motion
Most people’s joints get stiffer with age, and there’s clear evidence that people with better motion have fewer symptoms, especially if they can straighten the knee. So, it’s important to work on getting the knee straight. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to get yours where it should be.
Know Your Limits
It’s normal to have some muscle aches after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Don’t push so hard next time. Working through the pain can lead to an injury or damage.
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A healthy diet is key way to keep knees happy and healthy. If you have RA joint pain, a fish dish could help. Fatty cold-water types like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy. They also lower inflammation, which causes joint pain and tenderness in people with RA. Don’t like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead. Additionally keep your bones strong and healthy. Strong Calcium and vitamin D can help. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don’t get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements.
Low Impact Activities
Avoid high-impact activities such as jogging and aerobics classes that involve jumping. Go for non-impact exercises, such as indoor or outdoor cycling, swimming or using an elliptical trainer. Low impact activities are easier on your knee and the joints. They can also strengthen the area, making them it a great solution for knee health.
Padding can make the difference. Suit up when you do things like in-line skating or play contact sports. If your joints already ache, it might help to wear braces when you play tennis or golf. Protecting your knees from injury or further injury is vital to knee health.
Keep your goals of better knee health in mind to get the best results. It can be as simple as going for walk. If you are looking for a plan to keep your knees healthy, Back in Motion Sport and Spine Physical Therapy can help you get results naturally. Call us or download our free ebook to get started today!
About Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to www.backinmotionsspt.com.