Osteoarthritis, or joint pain, is a byproduct of being alive. If we live long enough, we will more than likely have put enough wear and tear on our body that will cause us discomfort in our joints. The knees are an area particularly afflicted by osteoarthritis since they carry the weight of your body through the years. Although there is no cure, there are several things that people can do to alleviate the pressure put on our joints –more specifically, in our knees.
- Lose Weight – No different than walking around with a weighted vest, carrying excess weight puts more pressure on your joints. Today, with the average person being overweight and out of shape, it is no wonder why many people experience great pain in their knees. If you suffer with osteoarthritis in the knees, the first thing I would suggest is to take an honest assessment of your weight using scales such as the Body Mass Index (BMI). If you are overweight, there is a good chance you have to make adjustments in your nutritional intake since the majority of weight loss comes from eating a well-balanced diet.
- Proper Use of Cold and Heat – If you have ever sprained an ankle, the best thing to do is to put ice on it. Much like a cold compress can provide help for a sprained ankle, cold is great for inflammation in your knees. Heat, on the other hand, is great when you feel stiffness in your knees or you want to warm them up. A good tip is to put cold on your knees after exercising.
- Medication – Using doctor-prescribed anti-inflammatory medications or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can be another great aid for inflammation in your knees. Two important things to remember are to only use them as needed because you don’t want to build a dependence on using any medication. Not only can abuse of anti-inflammatory medications be harmful, but you can also decrease their effectiveness over time due to cumulative use. Also, make sure that if you use any other medications regularly that your use of an anti-inflammatory doesn’t conflict with it. Always check with your doctor first.
- Exercise – While there are certain exercises that can cause more pain in the knees, exercise in general can be great for those who suffer with osteoarthritis. Building leg strength, particularly in the quadriceps muscles, has shown to ease the pain that might build in the knees. Exercises like squat holds or leg extensions are great for building leg strength and, if done properly, won’t hurt the knees.
About the Author: Eric Daw is an active aging specialist and the owner of Omni Fitt. Omni Fitt is dedicated to the wellbeing, health and quality of life of people aged 65 and over. Eric motivates and empowers the older adult population to take responsibility for their independence, health and fitness through motivating and positive coaching experiences