5 Simple Ways to Age Proof Your Knees
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem, especially among the elderly. It is also a major cause of disability for older adults, which makes it crucial for people to begin age-proofing their knees as early as possible.
Although natural aging is inevitable, several other factors can make your knee joints susceptible to pain and discomfort. To help you avoid this, we’ve put together this simple guide so you can start age-proofing your knees.
Regular exercise helps boost muscle strength, improve joint function, and reduce inflammation. Low impact exercises like swimming or cycling can help you protect the cartilage in your knee joints, and keep them from degenerating faster.
Alternatively, exercises that target your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip, and core muscles will help you maximize knee function and absorb the stress of a weight-bearing joint.
Make sure to start slow, and if you have any existing joint pain, consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Although eating right won’t necessarily cure you of your joint pain, it can greatly help you manage it. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to decrease inflammation due to prolonged joint pain. On the other side, processed foods can increase inflammation, so consider replacing them with omega-3 sources like salmon, tuna, leafy green vegetables, walnuts, and more.
Stretching doesn’t just make you more flexible, it also helps your joints maintain their full range of motion. Your regular day-to-day activities like walking or climbing stairs don’t take your joints through their full range of motion, so it’s important to take time to stretch. Stretching lubricates the joints, which reduces stiffness, and protects your cartilage from wear and tear.
Fix Your Posture
When it comes to overall physical health, your posture plays an important role. Good posture helps your spine and joints stay aligned, which is extremely important for load-bearing joints like the knees. Bad posture can lead to misalignment of the knee joints, which increases friction and progresses the degeneration of tissue and cartilage.
Make sure you practice good posture as much as you can in your daily life to prevent further stress on your knees.
Drink in Moderation
Did you know red wine can help reduce inflammation? This is due to the presence of a compound called resveratrol, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s important to acknowledge that the positive effects of a glass of wine don’t outweigh the negative effects of drinking too much.
Important: If you are currently on medication for arthritis or take over-the-counter pain medication, we do not recommend drinking alcoholic beverages since they can lead to ulcers or liver damage.
No matter what age you are, incorporating these habits into your daily lifestyle will help protect and prolong the health of your knees. If you live with knee pain, the practice of Matthew D. Barber, M.D. can help you regain your quality of life. Contact us online or call us at (251) 410-3600 to get started on your journey towards a life with less pain!
While Dr. Barber focuses exclusively on the management of knee and hip problems with a focus on joint replacement procedures, he is proud to be a source of information for patients and has several specialist partners at ALABAMA ORTHOPAEDIC CLINIC who are available to treat any orthopedic condition.