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Monday, March 26, 2018

Aging Knees: How to Treat Them With Surgery, Therapy, and Exercise


As people age their bodies age right along with them. Parts that once worked well and held up strong now feel aches and pains often and start to lose their resilience. Just a few wrong moves can lead to painful joints, particularly in the knees. Aging knees become a serious problem for many people.

Through exercise, therapy, and surgery, they can get treated, although they’ll never be quite as strong as they once were.

Surgery

A minimally invasive knee surgery may be required for those who have done serious damage to their knees. The surgical procedure will change slightly depending on what the cause of knee damage is, such as arthritis, a damaged kneecap, damaged cartilage, or the need for removal of inflamed tissue. It’s important to find the right doctor to handle this procedure. Look for one who has performed many surgeries of the same nature in the past and is extremely knowledgeable about knees in general. They should use a minimally invasive technique that will only require a couple of short months’ recovery time.

Therapy

If minimal damage has been done to the knee and surgery is still not a viable option, then physical therapy might do the trick. The physical therapist will use various techniques and exercises to help the patient regain use of their leg while minimizing pain. The therapist will perform several evaluations and measurements that help determine the source of the problem and allow them to create a proper treatment plan. Through balance exercises, straight leg raises, short arc quads, and even some simple stretches for the lower body, patients may start to gain back some range of motion and feel less pain in their knees than they have in a long time.

Exercise

Perhaps physical therapy is not yet needed either. Those who recently started experiencing knee pain, particularly after an injury, may be able to alleviate their pain with some simple exercises at home. Quad sets are one exercise to try. Sit on the floor and place the sore leg straight in front of you. Keep the other leg bend with the foot flat on the floor. Press the knee toward the floor as much as possible and hold the thigh muscle tight for a few seconds before releasing. Laying back and raising the leg up is another way to help strengthen it.

Products That Limit Knee Pain While You Recover


While you’re waiting for a treatment option to work on improving the knees, there are some products available that may help ease some pain while you recover. If aches come and go and the knees still bend and move as necessary, some simple knee braces could be worn during activities to help provide stability and prevent further injury to the area.

Many people with knee problems experience pain at night when sleeping on their sides. The knees touching do not allow for ideal blood flow and keep the body improperly aligned. Using a knee pillow could greatly help improve the spine’s alignment, keep the knees apart for better blood flow, and lessen the pain felt. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be necessary to reduce tenderness.

Aging knees are bound to happen to everyone. Whether arthritis sets in and causes pain or an injury occurs that leaves the knees weakened and sore, several treatment options may be required to help reduce aches and bring the knees back to at least some resemblance of their former selves. Knee pain can be debilitating, so getting it treated as soon as possible is the best bet to restore walking abilities.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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