Knee Joint Pain: The Whys, the Hows and the most effective ways for knee joint pain relief as you get older
Are your knees giving you grief as you age? Knee pain seems to be one of the most common complaints that limit activity levels and interrupt the quality of life. Since the knee is the most stressed joint in the human body, it can sometimes start giving trouble at a young age and knee pain worsens with age. That being said, research has proven knee joint pain is more common in people aged 65 and above.
The knee joint is a complex one consists of an articulation between four bones – the femur, tibula, fibula, and patella, and is thus divided into four compartments that face daily and repetitive strain. The knee can damage through ligament tear, muscle strain, or cartilage tear. The knee is used for every mobile activity. Like a mechanical component, it faces wear and tear with every step one takes. As the year and the activities increase, so does the wear and tear. Symptoms of knee pain can range from slight discomfort and stiffness in the knee, to extreme pain in moving the joint, redness, and swelling of the area. Age increases the chances of various factors leading to knee pain.
Most Common Causes for knee joint pain
Type of arthritis caused by the wearing away of the pads of cartilage (menisci) and the articular cartilage in your knees causing the bones to rub against each other , thus resulting in swelling, pain and stiffness. The possible symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include knee pain that gets worse gradually, knee stiffness, knee swelling or a knee that locks .
Extra weight is one of the causes for knee pain as it stresses the knee structure. Increased body weight taxes the knee joint and increases the chances of discomfort and severe pain. Muscle weakness and decreased physical activity, both associated with obesity can aggravate the condition.
Overuse or Underuse:
Think of a tennis player, soccer player, basket ball player, cricket player or a runner constantly twisting, sprinting or pounding their feet on a hard surface and repeating their movements using the same joints over the years. Probabilities of an injury like sprain, twisted knee or ankle, dislocated kneecap, fracture or a jumper’s knee are highly likely. Tear or damage to the meniscus and cartilage causing pain and swelling. Occupations that involve frequent and prolonged bending, sitting, and heavy lifting are more likely to develop knee pain. These could include carpenters, construction workers or housemaids. A sedentary lifestyle or reduced physical activity as you age result in muscle weakness causing weakened knee and increased pain.
3 Effective ways to help your knee joint pain
Although there is no diet cure but certain inflammatory foods like gluten, fried and processed foods, sugar should be avoided as they trigger inflammation. Fueling up on fish as it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, soya bean, nuts cherries, broccoli, citrus fruits, whole grain etc. may help ease the symptoms of joint inflammation and pain. It’s time to be a food detective and find out foods that aggravate your joint pain and stiffness.
Overweight patients of knee joint pain take comparatively a lot more time to recover since every pound translates to further pressure on the knee while walking or even sitting. Getting to a healthy BMI is essential to relieve pressure and pain on the knee joints. Thus, maintaining a regular diet and exercise, keeping your weight in check, and going for frequent medical check-ups is recommended to remain fit and keep the joints young.
Muscle Strengthening with exercise:
The knee joints absorb a lot of pressure placed on them and strengthening these muscles is essential in order to stabilize the knee joints. This could be achieved by working out the quads, hip, leg and core muscles with a physical therapist who evaluates your needs and develops a muscle strengthening program ideal for you. It is recommended to avoid high-impact activities such as jogging or jumping , keeping your knee bent or standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time.
These vary depending on the cause and type of joint pain you might experience. You could try ice to keep the swelling down and rest the aching knee. Natural joint supplements such as FlexiQule from Alchemlife help age-proof your knees.They contain ginger and Boswellia serrata, or Indian Frankinscence extracts which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help to reduce stiffness and pain. Be sure to talk to a doctor incase the pain persists.
You can’t avoid getting older but remember, you don’t have to live with the knee pain and can take the steps to prevent knee pain in the future.
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