Through years of hard work, fun and games, and everything else life has thrown at you, your knees have carried you on. Keep them healthy with tips on how to prevent knee pain in old age. From lifestyle changes to exercises for all fitness levels—there’s a way to take care of your knees.
Why you experience knee pain in old age
The knee is made of three bones: your femur (upper leg), tibia (lower leg), and patella (your kneecap). As you age, the cartilage in your knee wears down, leaving less cushioning and leads to more discomfort. This loss of cartilage is called Osteoarthritis, and it is the most common form of arthritis and the leading cause of most knee pain.
Other causes of knee pain can include:
- Excess weight—this puts strain on your knees and increases the chances of injuries
- Past injuries—these can cause discomfort and issues as you age. Common injuries that directly affect your knee include ACL injuries and torn meniscus.
- Foot health—this has a direct impact on knee health. Flat feet and poor support are often contributing factors to knee pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis—this affects all joints in the body, including your knees.
- Gout—another form of arthritis that is often felt in the foot but can be felt in the knee.
- Tendonitis—this happens when your tendon swells up & causes you pain. It’s usually caused by repetitive motions especially in sports like volleyball, basketball or others that include repetitive running, jumping or squatting movements
Just because there are several factors that increase the impact age has on knee health, it doesn’t mean you have to live with so much pain. So, what can you do to prevent knee pain in old age?
How to prevent knee pain in old age
1. Strengthen your knee joints & supporting muscles
A sure fire way to help keep your knees healthy at any age is to focus on strengthening the muscles in your legs. Focus on your hamstrings, gluteus muscles, hip flexors, quadriceps, and the small, but important core muscle called the psoas. Hip flexors, glute muscles and your psoas are great for balance and stability which means less strain on your knees and higher confidence. Hamstrings and quadriceps are the largest muscles in your legs and will impact how easy it is for your legs to lift and lower you while minimizing strain on your knees. On top of knee pain prevention, strength training has many benefits as you age.
2. Avoid High Impact Exercises
One thing to always keep in mind while working on knee health is to prevent strain. Low impact exercises that are great for your knees include:
- Seated exercises
3. Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Adjusting your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, beans, and fish can manage discomfort. Leeks, garlic, onions, and shallots are foods with strong anti-inflammatory benefits. Foods like highly processed meats (like deli meats and hot dogs), fried foods, eggs, and sugary foods are a few foods known to cause inflation and should be avoided. For more nutritional information tap here.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Any extra weight equals extra strain on your knees. Focus on getting to, and or maintaining, a healthy weight for you. You’ll feel the relief for years to come. Follow these 7 senior fitness tips to help maintain your weight.
5. Wear Proper Shoes
Finding the right sized shoe with proper support becomes more and more important as we age. Especially for women who may have spent years in high heels—your footwear is of utmost importance to preventing knee pain as you age. Athletic shoes are a good place to start as they are most often designed to minimize impact on your knees and body. When choosing your next pair of shoes look for:
- Shock absorption in the sole
- An insole that offers arch support & cushioning when you step down
- Laces that keep your foot secure to avoid any slipping.
The guided workout to prevent knee pain—in less than 30 minutes
The best way to prevent knee pain in old age is keeping your knees healthy and strong with gentle exercises. Follow along with the video below to start getting stronger, less painful knees today. All you’ll need is a comfortable and sturdy chair to follow along with this workout:
This gentle workout is just the 1st day of the 10 day guided knee program by Better5—to check out the full program just tap the link below:
Living with knee pain doesn’t have to be your uncomfortable reality. With a few lifestyle changes and an understanding of how to prevent knee pain in old age, you can get back to enjoying knees that work as well as they used to 5, 10 or even 15 years ago.