According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, knee pain is one of the most common reasons for patient visits. As we age, knee pain can limit our agility and take away our independence. So what are some of the keys to keep your knees healthy?
Let’s discuss some of the most popular.
Muscle strengthening: Your knee joints support your weight when standing, which results in a lot of stress on them. That stress is decreased by different muscle groups above the knee, which help extend and bend it. They also help support your body weight when your knee is bent. Therefore, a weakening of these muscles can result in higher levels of stress in the knee joint.
The muscles in your calf located below the knee are important for knee control, and they help boost the body while walking, climbing stairs and running. Weakness in these muscles also increases stress on the knee joint. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon suggests doing heel raises to help fortify the calf muscles. Simply hold on to a counter for balance and slowly rise up on your tiptoes, then lower your heels to the floor. Try three sets of 15 repetitions.
Maintaining balance: You should also focus on balance to keep your knees healthy because it requires your knees to work in conjunction with your hips and ankles. Simple exercises – such as standing with one foot directly in front of the other as if you were standing on a tightrope – can help.
Weight loss: This is the final piece and it’s an important one. The force of each pound you carry is exaggerated by the time it reaches your knees. For example if you’re walking on a flat surface, the force on your knees is equal to 1-1/2 times your body weight, and while going uphill, it is two to three times more.
Losing that extra weight lessens this force and can help prevent arthritis and injury, as well as reducing any knee pain you may be experiencing. To lose weight, your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon suggests aerobic activity such as swimming or walking in a pool, or riding a stationary bike.
If your knees are beginning to hurt, take action now! Call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation.