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Knee Pain: Is It Inevitable as I Age?

Knee Pain: Is It Inevitable as I Age?

Aches and pains happen, whether from an injury or simply as a part of aging. Your body takes on a lot of stress throughout your life, so it’s not surprising when you have painful knees or discomfort after a long day.

However, is knee pain a definite part of your near future? Not necessarily. Although your knees change your life, some tips and tricks help you prevent discomfort long into the golden years of your life.

At Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our team specializes in various orthopedic treatments when your knees, hips, or shoulders are hurting. Dr. Brian Snow and Dr. Jon Thompson are two experienced orthopedic surgeons helping you get ahead of knee pain as you age.

Changes in the knees with age

Every part of your body ages throughout your life, from your heart to your joints; degeneration is just part of the aging process. The knees are essential joints that allow you to walk, run, and do your favorite activities — but they also sustain tremendous wear-and-tear over the years.

As you get older, it’s common to have minor aches and pains in your knees, mainly because they’re a crucial component in holding your weight up all day. However, you shouldn’t expect to be in pain all the time.

The knee joints are hinge joints, allowing you to flex, extend, and mildly rotate the joints and legs. Your knees are where your shin and thigh bones connect, and ligaments and tendons hold the joints together.

Protective cartilage is also in the joint, protecting the ends of the bones from rubbing together and acting as a shock absorber. Over time, though, the cartilage can wear away, causing arthritis and inflammation.

Injuries, such as ACL and meniscus tears, are common among athletes and increase the likelihood of knee pain as you age. These injuries affect the structure of the knee joint, causing more wear than usual.

Osteoarthritis is one of the major culprits behind knee pain in older adults. It happens when the cartilage wears down, allowing the bones to rub. Inflammation, discomfort, and chronic pain all occur with osteoarthritis, which often worsens with age.

Is knee pain inevitable in my life?

Although your knees sustain a lot of stress and wear throughout your life, you don’t have to worry about knee pain in the future. If you take the proper steps to care for your knees, you could prevent more significant problems.

A few factors contribute to your chances of knee pain throughout your life. For example, if you have a family history of osteoarthritis, you’re also more likely to have it.

Your weight also plays a role in knee pain. The more overweight you are, the more load your knees carry. Over time, excess weight causes the joints to deteriorate, leading to pain and arthritis.

Being active in your early years also contributes to pain as you age. Injuries and repetitive stress on the knees may cause pain later on. Taking care of your knees early may prevent long-term wear and many years pain-free.

Tips to prevent knee pain in the future

Knee pain is entirely preventable if you care for your body and joints. At Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our team helps you treat current issues and prevent further problems down the road.

If you’re concerned about having knee pain in your older age, we offer the following tips to keep the knee joints healthy:

Lose weight

Excess weight puts added pressure on the knees, leading to osteoarthritis and other painful conditions. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body helps fight inflammation and wear on the cartilage and other knee structures.

Stay active

There is nothing worse for a joint than inactivity — it promotes stiffness and decreased range of motion. Preventing knee pain is as simple as getting out for a walk daily or joining the gym for strength training.

Choose the right shoes

Proper footwear is essential in preventing knee pain. Pick shoes that offer your feet a lot of support and are comfortable because they help cushion the knee joints.

Go low impact

High-impact sports like running or basketball are strenuous on the knee joints. If you’re concerned about knee health, choose activities like swimming, yoga, or cycling to prevent knee damage and pain.

Your diet also plays a role in inflammation within the knee joints. Avoid inflammatory and processed foods to lower full-body inflammation and joint discomfort. Stretching and taking time to rest are also great ways to keep your knees healthy.

Call one of our offices in Sherman, Prosper, and McKinney, Texas, today to schedule an appointment for knee pain or request a consultation on the website.


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