Knee pain is a common problem, especially in older adults. As we move, walk and run every day, we battle gravity, and natural deterioration will occur. Here are some ways to keep your knees healthy even as you get older:
- Upper and lower leg strength is very important to maintain even as you get older. In particular focus on the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus muscles, hip flexors and psoas.
- Stretch those same leg muscles you work to strengthen, and/or try a yoga class.
- Stay at a recommended weight. Extra pounds add load to the knees. Even a 10-pound weight loss can make an enormous difference.
- Arthritis is a result of thinning or disappearing cartilage. Cardiovascular activities like cycling (on a properly fitted bike) and swimming can help keep knee cartilage healthy without damaging it.
- A swollen knee should be seen by a medical provider right away. It can indicate damaged cartilage.
- As you get older be careful playing sports in which you abruptly start and stop or pivot, like basketball or football.
- Stay active. Activity keeps the knee from stiffening and its muscles from atrophying.
- But, when it comes to physical activity, mix it up. Repetition can be damaging to the knees.