The importance of looking after your hips and knees

Knee and hip pain and replacements are extremely common in people who are aged 50+. Often these replacements are due to osteoarthritis, which is when the cartilage in your knees and hips wear away. When this gets to a severe level, you may have to have replacement surgery. If you have been keeping up with business news over the last few years, you may have heard about the Johnson and Johnson hip replacement settlement. Replacements should be the absolute last resort, as they can do more damage than good and have a high risk of additional problems as side effects.

Luckily, you can do lots of small things to help delay knee problems or to even entirely stop their deterioration. The reason knee and hip pain problems are so common in older age patients is because over your lifetime your joints will move hundreds of thousands of times. This causes the cartilage to wear down, meaning the shock-absorbing part of your joints, no longer works.

This does not mean you have to worry about it happening though, there are several ways you can give yourself the best chance of having healthy joints way into your later life. Here are some of them.

Keep your muscles strong

To stabilize your joints, the best thing you can do, is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint. The hip, quads and hamstrings are the muscles you want to focus on. If you are able, strengthen them with simple weightlifting exercises or if not, make sure you stretch them thoroughly as often as possible. If you are struggling to even do that, it may be best for you to seek the help of a physiotherapist. They will be able to help you work through your problems and get you back on track.

Lose Weight

Our bones, joints and muscles have all grown to support our bodies natural correct weight. That is the weight you would be if you were an animal in the wild, surviving only on healthy foods. As soon as you start to get overweight, you are forcing your bones joints and muscles to work harder then they were designed to. 

With the way that the forces work, adding 20 pounds of weight to your body, actually equates to an added force of 80 pounds to your knees. The easiest way to take the strain off your knees and hips if you are overweight, is to start shedding the pounds.

Keep working on your range of motion

As our joints get stiffer with age, it is crucial to keep working on your bodies different ranges of motions. Stretching routines, yoga, pilates and Thai chi are all great ways for you to work on your muscles flexibility in a calm chilled out manner. 

 

As you can see, you do not need to go to extremes to give your joints the best fighting chance they can get as you age. Keeping fit and healthy, stretching and working on your range of motion is all it takes.

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