You can thank your lucky stars that you have walked, jogged, and hiked so far without experiencing any knee problems. These steps will help you to protect your knees as we age.
Sanjeev Bhattia, an orthopaedic surgeon and codirector at the Northwestern Medicine Hip and Knee Joint Preservation Center at Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Illinois, says that aside from being the largest joint in our bodies, the knees are also the most complex. “The knee has three compartments. Any one of them can cause pain through wear and tear.”
As you age, some wear and tear will occur in your joints. It doesn’t have the torment of affecting how your knees feel, move and function. Dennis Cardone, D.O. is an associate professor of orthopaedics and sports medicine at NYU Langone Health. Arthrose Knie is the common problem these days, it should be treated with time else it can take a dangerous shape.
These steps will help protect your essential joints and reduce your chance of suffering from pain, stiffness, inflammation, or other symptoms.
1. Keep a healthy weight
Excess weight can put tremendous pressure on your knees. John-Paul Rue is an orthopaedic surgeon at Mercy Medical Centre in Baltimore. He says that for every pound of excess weight, your knees will feel four times more force. It’s also true that the reverse is true. You’ll be able to spare your knees four pounds of additional force for every pound you shed.
2. Keep moving.
Bhatia says that regular physical activity is good for joint function. It helps to maintain strength and range of motion, which in turn means less force is applied to the knees. The latest test evidence suggests that running is not as bad as it was once believed.
There is a sweet spot. A meta-analysis of 17 studies published in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that recreational runners have a lower risk of developing osteoarthritis of their knees than competitive runners or sedentary individuals.
We don’t heal as well as we age.” You should also mix up your workouts. For example, if you run three days a week, try to do something low-impact like swimming, bicycling, or Pilates on the days in between.
3. You can strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
Richard Willy, assistant professor of physical therapy at University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, states that strengthening your thigh muscles, especially quadriceps and hamstrings, can improve range of motion and protect the knee cartilage. Do squats or lunges at least twice per week.
Make sure your knees are not below your feet and your toes do not extend in front. Cardone advises that after 50, you should avoid squatting at a lower angle than 90 degrees (with your hips below your knees) because it increases pressure on your knees. Willy recommends that you use weight machines such as the leg press and hamstring curl, knee extension, and outer-thigh abductor machines.
4. Get the perfect posture.
Cardone states that people get more stooped and slouched over as they age. Poor posture can cause your body to shift its center of gravity, putting additional stress on your hips and knees. Stand tall with your head straight up, your shoulders over your hips, and your knees in line with your feet.
Cardone says that Pilates, yoga, tai-chi, and core-strengthening activities such as planks or back extensions, can improve your posture, prevent irritation around the kneecaps, help you avoid falling, and more.
5. Select the right shoe
Barton Branam M.D. is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Cincinnati. He says that wearing supportive and comfortable shoes can help you align your lower extremities while moving. Branam recommends that you choose shoes that fit your activity, such as running shoes, and that are suitable for your gait
Research has shown that knee osteoarthritis can be caused by postural abnormalities in the feet. Therefore, it is important to wear shoes that prevent the feet from rolling inward or outward during movement. Branam recommends that you have your shoes professionally assessed and fitted by a professional running or sports goods store if you are looking for exercise footwear. Willy recommends that you avoid high heels when you aren’t exercising. They can increase the strain on your knees.
6. Pay attention to your knee pain.
You should stop running, walking or doing any high-impact activities if you feel pain in your knee. Rue recommends that you give your knee the RICE (rest, ice compression, elevation) treatment.
Willy suggests that you continue your exercise routine, such as swimming, bicycling or aqua aerobics, while you wait for the results to be back. This will ensure that you don’t lose the strength and fitness you have been building.