The knees are complex and delicate joints that can become worn down if not properly taken care of. They play a major role in our daily lives from helping us walk, run, and sit down. With each step we take, we put some strain on the knee and with time, it catches up. This is why knee pain is one of the most common problems seniors face.
There are numerous factors that can lead to knee pain in seniors, with aging and the added years of impact on the knees causing inflammation in the joints being top on the list. Therefore, it is important that seniors take as much pressure off the knees as possible to provide them with relief. We have some tips on exactly how they can do that.
Obesity is one of the main contributing factors to knee pain. As we walk, run, and do other physical work, our knees are relied on to carry a lot of the weight. The more weight they have to carry, the more strain occurs. It is important for seniors that experience knee pain to examine their lifestyle and try to lose any extra weight they may have. The process is easier said than done especially since your metabolism isn’t as effective as it once was. But proper nutrition and light physical activity, such as walking on a daily basis (or as their knees can handle) or simple chair exercises, can help reduce weight while also strengthen the knees, both the tendons and the bone. One study done stated that older adults with excess weight who lost 5% of their body weight found themselves experiencing a higher level of mobility. So finding the right diet and exercise is very important.
Reduce stair climbing
The process of climbing stairs can take a toll on your knees. It doesn’t matter if you are going up or down, there is no way around climbing without bending your knee. As you bend your knee to climb up and plant your foot, the body relies heavily on the knee to provide the support to move forward. That is why you find many seniors clutching their knee halfway through climbing stairs. But there is a way around this.
For seniors living in a multi-level home who lack the mobility to go up and down the stairs, the best way to take the additional stress off the knees is to install a stairlift. The stairlift provides a comfortable way to go up and down the stairs without manual labor, protecting the knees. The technology also reduces the chance of individuals falling, a serious concern for seniors, and injuring themselves while using the stairs.
Smoking has been linked to numerous hazardous conditions from mouth and lung cancer to heart disease. It can also have an impact on your musculoskeletal health, causing knee pain. Smoking can lead to the development of osteoporosis as it weakens the bones. Nicotine slows down the production of bone-forming cells while cigarettes also slow the amount of blood supplied to the bones. All of which leads to inflammation in the body which can be felt in joints such as the knee. When you eliminate nicotine, tar, and other hazardous substances that cigarettes contain, the inflammation will slowly go away providing some relief for your knee.
By Joseph Jones
Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults.
He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.