We have all been there- college is over, you start a career, you start a family- and out of nowhere, BAM! Your knees start to hurt like clockwork. We slowly shrug it off and keep going, only soon after to realize we now have a torn meniscus, pain under the kneecap, pain with activity, or worse- arthritis.
Well, you for certain are not alone. Over 25% of the aging population deals with knee pain on a regular basis.
1 In fact, since 1994, the number of knee replacements have nearly quadrupled. A nationwide study back in 1987 found that 44% of individuals by age 70 have knee arthritis and pain- and experts are now reporting this number to be much higher.1, 2 But what is causing the rapid surge of knee pain? Statistics are now correlating that knee osteoarthritis and obesity are the two most concerning trends in the health of 50- 84 year olds.2, 3 Beyond arthritis, knee pain has been linked to lack of activity, being overweight, and simply chronic over-use injuries.4, 5 Playing sports excessively as a child, jumping off of objects, and kneeling down with improper body mechanics have also been correlated.6 But how do we now move forward? What are some tangible tasks that can be done to begin decreasing knee pain in our society? Here are 3 simple tasks to begin getting you back on the right track and begin overcoming your knee pain.
1. Lose some weight: We are not talking about joining a weight loss club, a gym, spending all your money on shakes, and never eating again. Research has shown for every pound lost, 4 pounds of pressure will be alleviated from your knees when walking.7 Reducing the morning coffee creamer, skipping the afternoon soda, or not eating after 7pm can be some simple solutions to start the journey. 2. Remain active: Taking a 30 minute walk after dinner, doing some morning calisthenics, or walking the dog over lunch can be some simple means to begin staying active again. Activity has been directly linked to decreases in knee pain and osteoarthritis, as well linked to better mental health.8, 9 You should start to feel better after a few short weeks! 3. See your physical therapist: Beginning to move without pain is often a challenge if you have been dealing with knee pain for years. Your physical therapist is an expert in getting down your pain and inflammation, getting you back on your feet, and restarting your active lifestyle. Stop in today or give us a call to schedule your appointment if you or a family member is expereincing knee pain. We are thrilled to be a part of your care and get you back to the activities that you love to do.