Some knee and joint issues are expected with age, and it's helpful to understand the different conditions that can arise as well as what steps you can take to proactively preserve healthy knees. Once you know what to look for and how to prevent it, you'll have a leg up on how to achieve optimal knee health.
You can also ask a staff nurse or other medical professional in the assisted living community for advice and direction on maintaining knee health.
Common Causes of and Treatments for Knee Pain
The knees provide support for the whole body and allow your legs to bend and straighten. Flexibility and stability in this important joint let you walk, stand, run, jump, crouch and turn, so when something goes wrong, it has a big impact. Mechanical knee problems are typically caused by sudden movement or a direct blow that injures the knee. Osteoarthritis, or arthritis in the knee, results from everyday wear and tear.
Problems with frequent swelling also originate from arthritis and lupus. With rheumatoid arthritis, your knees become inflamed and the cartilage wears away.
Regardless of the cause of knee issues, treatment options often include:
As we age, cartilage in our knee breaks down, and the cushion that absorbs pressure and shock wears off between the bones. This is called osteoarthritis and typically causes swelling, bone loss and a reduced range of motion. Bone spurs may also form.
Among older adults, the likelihood of osteoarthritis depends on age, gender, trauma, heredity and weight. Repetitive stress injuries and high-impact sports from earlier in life can exacerbate the condition. Some common recommendations for preventing or reducing the effects of osteoarthritis include:
Knee Problem Prevention
Some knee problems are unavoidable, but you can take the following steps to help prevent many knee issues from worsening:
Knee Exercises for Arthritis
You can complete exercises targeting your legs and knees in your assisted living apartment or as a warm-up before a Cambridge Court exercise class. Ask your doctor whether you're healthy enough to perform these exercises without assistance.
Three types of exercise are best for people with arthritis:
Work with the assisted living community staff, your physical therapist or your doctor to develop exercises that are appropriate for your knees.
A knee brace provides stability to help prevent injuries from worsening, making it a good tool to protect a weak or injured joint. There are many types of knee braces, and you should ask your medical professional which one is best for you.
Whatever shape your knees are in, don't assume your dancing days are over. You can still take care of your knees and even improve certain conditions. As always, you'll receive full support from the Cambridge Court staff to maintain optimal knee health.