As you age, your joints naturally start to wear out. You might feel slight pain in your hips or stiffness in your knees in the morning. But just because you start to develop arthritis — the cause of these symptoms — doesn’t mean you’ll end up having joint replacement surgery.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce joint pain and avoid knee replacement surgery altogether. As soon as you begin feeling knee pain, try these tactics to improve your knee health.
Your knees feel the brunt of a lot of force as you walk, stand or squat. In fact, for every pound you weigh, your knee feels four pounds of force.
That’s why losing even a small amount of weight can make a big impact on knee pain and function. By losing just 10 pounds, you’ll take 40 pounds of force off your knees. In some cases, this can relieve knee pain entirely.
If you lose weight and still feel knee pain, rest assured you’re still doing the right thing. Among other health benefits, weight loss can also slow down joint degeneration in your knee. And if one day you do need knee replacement surgery, your rehabilitation will be easier with fewer pounds to carry.
For support in reaching your weight loss goals, AdventHealth offers comprehensive weight-loss care.
Build Up Knee Strength
Another way to relieve knee pain and slow down arthritis is to build up the muscles around your knee. These muscles can then take on more of the work of walking and moving, reducing strain on your joint.
You should build up strength in ways that don’t stress your joint. For instance, swimming builds muscle but takes all the weight off your knee. You may even find that as you swim, you have no knee pain at all. Other great exercises include:
- Bodyweight Exercises Like Leg Lifts
- Elliptical Training
- Recumbent Cycling
- Water Aerobics
Exercise also improves your mobility so you move more smoothly and are more balanced.
Try Joint Injections
Knee joint injections use powerful corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in your knee and relieve your pain. They offer relief for a few months and can be repeated when your pain returns. Joint injections can also help you exercise. If joint injections and exercise work well, you may never need to progress to joint replacement surgery.
Brace Your Knee
Sometimes arthritis is made worse by poor positioning of the knee. Knee braces can help pull your knee back into its proper place, relieving pain and improving your movement.
Support for Healthy Knees
Orthopedic experts at AdventHealth can help you find non-surgical solutions for your knee pain. We offer comprehensive care, from customized knee braces to personalized physical therapy programs. Learn more about our orthopedic programs.