Knee pain is a common occurrence, particularly in older individuals. Your knees experience plenty of wear and tear over the years as you battle with the force of gravity to walk and move. Various factors can make you more susceptible to pain in addition to inevitable natural knee joint aging. Lack of flexibility and muscle strength, excessive body weight, and osteoarthritis can all contribute to or cause knee issues.
Inflexible or weak muscles cause undue stress on your joints. Your knees are at an elevated risk of injury without muscular flexibility and strength to safely support your full range of motion.
You are also at risk for knee pain from added stress on weight-bearing joints. Excess body weight also increases your risk of osteoarthritis and accelerates joint deterioration.
Repetitive stress from running, kneeling, etc., or previous trauma can result in chronic, recurring, dull, or acute knee pain. These injuries, when left untreated, can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Swelling, stiffness, immobility, and aching can develop when the cartilage cushioning your joints breaks down due to this degenerative disease. The CDC estimates that nearly 33 million adults in America suffer from osteoarthritis.
You can protect your knee health by adopting certain lifestyle habits no matter your age. Always speak to your physician before starting any new exercise plan. Our orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary recommends the following ways to keep your knees healthy as you age.
You can protect your knees from injuries in the future by preventing muscle atrophy and stiffness with physical activity every day.
It is essential to be cautious when playing sports that require you to pivot, start, or stop abruptly, like football and basketball. These movements have the potential to cause damage and inflammation in your knees.
See your physician as soon as possible to address swelling in your knee because it can indicate cartilage damage.
Maintaining a recommended weight is essential because the extra weight adds significant stress to your knees. Even losing 10 pounds can make a substantial difference in your knee health.
It can be helpful to focus on exercises that target your psoas, hip flexors, gluteus muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
Stretching those same muscles will also help support a full range of motion. Yoga can also be beneficial to add to your stretching routine.
Low impact exercises will protect your knee cartilage. In addition, cardiovascular activities like swimming and riding an adequately fitted bike can prevent future damage and keep your cartilage healthy.
You will increase the risk of developing knee problems if you engage in movements that put repeated stress on your knees. Keep plenty of variety in your fitness plan to avoid this.
These are just a handful of ways to keep your knees healthy as you age. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary. We are here to help!