Knee Pain not Inevitable as You Age
Although knee pain is common as you age , it doesn't have to be inevitable. It is possible to reduce it. There are also ways to treat knee pain if it is already present.
Why is my knee hurting? There are many reasons your knees can hurt. The condition where the cartilage, or protective tissue, in your knees wears down, is called osteoarthritis.
Your knees absorb shock with every step. Your knees can absorb approximately 1 1/2 times your body weight , which quickly adds up. Your knees' cartilage pads (called menisci), can be worn down over time due to the constant pressure placed on them.
Your bones will rub against one another after the cartilage has worn down. This can cause swelling, stiffness, or pain.
Nicholas A. DiNubile MD, an author best known for his work as an orthopaedic surgeon at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that knee pain is not normal but becomes less common with age.
He says, "It's quite common with age." It's difficult to find someone who has been active over their lifetime and doesn't feel that crunch beneath the kneecap every time they bend or straighten their knees, or go up and down the stairs.
Daniel Valaik MD, an orthotist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University agrees.
According to him, osteoarthritis can be described as "a type of mechanical wearing away" of the joint. It's like treads on your car tires. They will eventually wear out at around 40,000 to 50.000 miles. You can't have great tires forever.
If you have the following:
Do you weigh more than your ideal weight? Have suffered from knee injuries in the past? You could have:
Injury, such as a fracture or tear in your meniscus (the cartilage that lies between your shinbones and your thighbone). A torn or dislocated ACL (one the tissues that connects your hipbone to your legbone). Other forms of arthritis like gout, rheumatoid, or dislocated kneecap.
How to prevent knee pain To prevent knee pain, you can build muscle and stop drinking sugary sodas and energy drinks. You also need to quit smoking. These are just a few suggestions.
Consume inflammatory foods. DiNubile advises against eating inflammatory foods.
According to him, "If you consume a lot of processed foods you are more likely to have systemic inflammation which can cause joint damage." This is where nutrition plays a major role.
DiNubile suggests that one reason why the Mediterranean diet can be used for joint pain and arthritis management is because of this. Mediterranean eating plans emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and yogurt. They also include red wine, fish and some healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. People are encouraged to eat healthy foods like fish, olive oil and berries. It also limits the intake of inflammatory foods such as sugar and red meat.
Muscle building Stimulate your muscles. This is one of your best options to improve your knees. It helps relieve some pressure from your knees and stabilizes the knee joint.
It is important to work on strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings, and quadriceps, which are the muscles located under your thighs.
Eliminate soda and energy drinks. Your body is composed of about 80% water. Drinking insufficient water can lead to damage to cartilage or other areas.
You can keep your body hydrated by switching to water from energy and soda drinks.
Don't smoke. Your body can be affected in many ways by smoking tobacco. You can have your chance of getting cancer, heart disease and other serious health issues. Smoking also has a negative impact on your ability to heal your damaged joints. Because smoking can increase inflammation, it makes it more difficult to treat injuries like a broken knee.
Lose weight. If you're overweight, losing weight can help take pressure off your knees, too. Each extra pound adds approximately 4 pounds to your pressure. You can add about 40 pounds to your knees if you lose 10 pounds.
DiNubile states that a 10-pound weight loss for people who are very heavy could slow down the progression of arthritis, and help them feel better.
Valaik also agrees, and compares carrying extra weight with carrying a heavier bag.
He says, "It's almost like carrying around a 40 to 50-pound bag all day. It's going to cause faster arthritis." It's possible to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight.
What do you do if your knees hurt?
Standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
DiNubile states that it is vital to stay active. Regular exercise helps maintain joint function such as range of motion, strength and flexibility. You can also benefit from choosing the right activity for you. He says that repetitive squats and step-ups as well as lunges may cause "flashbacks" in someone with a problem kneecap.
He says, "If your goal is to lose weight and get fit, you might not want to run."
Valaik advises biking and swimming. DiNubile advises walking, using an exercise bike, yoga, stretching, and using an elliptical. You can change your fitness plan if it causes pain.
Consult a doctor if you experience severe knee pain. DiNubile suggests that you make an appointment if there is swelling in your knees and it becomes difficult to bend over or place weight on the knee.
Valaik said that knee pain should not be ignored if it doesn't improve in the next few days.
All knee pains are not the same. DiNubile points out that not all knee pain is the same.
He says, "You must have a precise diagnosis. Then, depending on the diagnosis, there will be different treatment options." The number one thing to do is have it examined by someone with knowledge about knees. This is usually an ortho surgeon or sports medicine specialist.