How to Keep Your Knee Joints Healthy
- Posted on: Dec 15 2015
Nothing can feel more debilitating than a bad knee, and when chronic knee pain affects the knee, it can have a significant impact on your overall health. Fortunately, general knee wear and tear can be managed successfully for many people. These steps can help you stay fit and free of pain.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, consider shedding some pounds to help alleviate knee pain. Excess weight adds undue stress and strain to the knee, which can result in osteoarthritis, a disease that is becoming increasingly common in younger adults, not just the elderly. To further protect your knee joints, it’s a good idea to avoid high impact activities until you’ve shed those extra pounds.
Exercise. Every extra pound you carry puts four pounds of pressure on your knee. To maintain joint strength, especially as you age, avoid sports that require frequent pivots, starts and stops like basketball or soccer. Consider swimming or cycling, as these exercises produce the least knee trauma while improving blood flow increasing muscle mass. If you are an avid runner, it may be a good idea to limit your running to three times a week and alternate your running with cycling or an elliptical trainer, which are lower impact and can provide less knee strain. When the muscles around your knee joint are strong, they support the joint and relieve pressure.
Stay off the grass. Walking on grass or cobblestone can produce extra knee strain and increase your risk of losing your footing. Choose worn paths and sidewalks for added stability.
Consider electrical stimulation. This can be a great option, especially for people who cannot participate in a regular exercise program. Electrical stimulation strengthens and stimulates muscle tissue that supports the knee joint while alleviating pain and stiffness surrounding the joint, as well as improving physical function.
Ask about corticosteroid injections. When over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications like Tyleol, Advil or Motrin are not effectively easing knee pain, it may be time to look into a corticosteroid injection, an injection used to treat muscle and joint inflammatory reactions. Corticosteroid injections can be performed in a doctor’s office in a matter of minutes and provide almost immediate joint relief – typically within the following 24 to 48 hours – and can be repeated as many as four times per year as needed.
Posted in: Knee Joints