Protect your knees is advice you seldom hear and a non-issue for most of us. We take our knees for granted — until they cry out to us with decibels of pain and discomfort. But, if you wait that long, it might already be too late. You should be pro-active and take good care of your knees before they become an issue. Keep in mind that a problem with your knees can only get worse as you get older. A senior citizen with bad knees doesn’t help you or your family.
But, the question is, do you really know how, and what to do? Chances are you don’t, so in this blog we offer several suggestions:
Our knees are of a complex construction and the largest joint in the human body. It’s comprised of three compartments, any one of which can wear down and cause problems.
Protect Your Knees: Keep Your Weight Down
Extra weight put tremendous strain on this joint. Know that for every pound you gain, you’re putting four extra pounds of weight on your knees. That’s a scary thought. Just think of this extra weight and strain pushing on your knees as you walk up the stairs. Or the extra pounding the joint takes — walking down the street.
Do regular physical activity, such as walking and range of motion exercises. Running, contrary to public perception, is also very good exercise. Indeed, the latest evidence shows that recreational runners are lower risk of developing arthritis of the knee than competitive runners and sedentary.
The best way is to run three times a week on alternate days — and fill in the other days of the week with swimming, bicycling or yoga.
Protect Your Knees: Strength Training
Developing strong thigh muscles — especially the quadriceps and hamstrings will improve your range of motion. It also protects the cartilage and reduces stress. — improves range of motion, protects knee cartilage and reduces stress on the joint.
Correct Posture Is Important
As people age, they slouch more and more. That’s a bad thing. Slouching and stooping changes your body’s center of gravity, placing added stress on your knees and hips. Make sure you stand straight and tall. Align your head with your shoulders and your hips aligned with your knees. Your knees must also be aligned with your feet.
Pilates, yoga, tai chi and core-strengthening exercises such as planks and back extensions can help improve your posture. These exercise prevent irritation around the kneecaps, and help you avoid falling.
If You Develop Knee Pain, Do This
If you develop pain in your knees take an exercise break. Instead, rest, use ice, and take over the counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.
If it doesn’t get better within two weeks get checked by a sports physician. In the meantime, you can maintain physical fitness by swimming or bicycling.