Your Knees And You: Taking Care Of Your Benders
Are your knees the new Achilles heel? A recent study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology found that nearly two thirds of women aged 50 and over experienced persistent, incident or intermittent knee pain.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Lipalo Mokete explains that certain factors associated with aging can increase your likelihood of knee dysfunction: “When it comes to obesity for women between the ages of 30 and 50, South Africa is number one in the world.” Obesity adds to the load your knees bear, causing extra wear and tear. This raises your risk for osteoarthritis.
This is a common type of arthritis in which the cartilage that protects the bones in your knees breaks down, causing knee pain. Find out more about how to treat arthritis with buchu here.
According to Mokete, between the ages of 20 and 60, your muscles shrink by roughly 40% and you lose strength. This impacts on the muscles in your hips and legs, which leaves you more vulnerable to knee pain.
The two parts of the joint must match exactly. Injury may destroy this congruency, or damage the cartilage. If this happens, and you live long enough, you will experience knee pain.
How Do You Prevent Dysfunction Of The Knees?
Mokete advises the following lifestyle changes:
- Maintain a healthy diet, where you are not underweight of overweight.
- Exercise regularly. There is strong evidence to suggest that walking is an optimal exercise for knee function.
- Don’t drink excessively, as this damages bone health.
- Don’t smoke.
- Dr Mokete adds that the mainstay treatment for knee pain is anti-inflammatory medicines. You can also look into steroid injections, walking aids and braces.
Breakthrough Treatment In The Pipeline
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have been used in surgeries to promote cell regeneration since the 1980s.
Hoewever, a growing body of evidence shows that PRP offers improved levels of symptomatic relief for osteoarthritis of the knee. Experts say this evidence is encouraging and merits further investigation. Find out more about this topic here.
Although a significant portion of the aged population has knee pain, the majority don’t. So, if you haven’t developed knee pain, take the steps to prevent it – today.