Seniors, Don’t Take Knee Health for Granted
Getting past mid-life with no knee pain or other problems with the knee joints can feel like a win. As much as we can celebrate the absence of knee osteoarthritis and injuries, knee specialists also encourage seniors, especially, and adults of all ages, to stay mindful of how lifestyle can present risks to the complex structure of the knee joints.
Seniors naturally have a higher risk for knee problems such as meniscus tears, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and more. The increased risk is associated with general wear and tear on the joints and also the age-related loss of bone mass. Aging joints may also lose the abundant synovial fluid they once had.
Here, we offer a few suggestions for seniors to preserve knee health with simple lifestyle habits.
1. Take care of your weight. Because the knee joints support the upper body and are hard at work every day, it is beneficial to reduce the load that the knees carry. Talk with your general healthcare provider about your ideal body mass index and work together to develop strategies to reach and maintain that. Every pound that exists over the target body mass index adds four pounds of pressure on the knees.
2. Strengthen key muscles with low-impact exercise. Muscle tone is critical for seniors for several reasons, including joint support. Specific exercises can be performed to strengthen those that support the knee. For example, strengthening the muscles around the ankle by performing calf raises builds the proper structure for the knees to maintain alignment. The muscles directly around the knee joint also need to maintain stability, which can be achieved with leg lifts.
3. Take care of your feet. Without supportive footwear, there is a higher potential for knee pain and misalignment in the joints. It may not be enough to pick out any pair of comfortable shoes. A footwear specialist at a sporting goods store can help you find the perfect pair of shoes based on your activity level, the shape of your foot, and the extent of your arches.
We can try to prevent knee problems with healthy habits. If knee pain develops and does not go away on its own, prompt treatment should be sought by your experienced knee specialist. To schedule a consultation and exam in our Paramus office, call (201) 291-4040.
Category: Knee Injury and Treatment