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How Seniors Can Best Keep Knee Pain Under Control

June 21, 2022

African-American senior man experiencing knee pain

Whether from a lifetime of sports, injuries, arthritis, or running, knee pain is common. Seniors with knee pain, in particular, know the years of wear and tear can take a toll, and make mobility and flexibility more challenging.

Osteoarthritis, injury, excess body weight and lack of muscle strength or flexibility can all cause or contribute to knee problems for seniors. While many of these ailments are common, there isn’t always an easy fix. When it comes to how to take care of your knees as you age, there are ways you can work leg muscles to minimize knee and joint pain and maintain your independence. 

It’s always important to meet with your medical provider before starting a new exercise plan, primarily because, in some cases, surgery is an essential option. If cleared by your doctor to begin working toward healthier habits to keep your knee pain in check, below are some helpful tips for how to take care of your knees: 

  • Strengthen your leg muscles – Focus on exercises that target your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteus muscles to help strengthen your upper and lower leg. 
  • Work toward a healthier weight – Losing weight is one of the best ways to mitigate knee pain and help you live an overall healthier lifestyle. Even just a few pounds can make a major difference. 
  • Start with low-impact options – When starting an exercise routine as a senior, choose low-impact exercises. Cardiovascular exercises can reduce strain on your knees and prevent any additional damage. 
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day – Staying active can help you reduce knee stiffness and help encourage weight loss. Be sure to stretch before any workout to help prevent any future injuries. 
  • Change up your routine Repetitive movements can put unnecessary pressure on your leg muscles and knee cartilage. When it comes to how to take care of your knees, keep trying new workouts that are low impact. 

The Role of Physical Therapy in Managing Knee Pain 

If surgery is not the best option, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. By improving your range of motion, strengthening your leg muscles and staying active, you can help keep knee pain in check. 

Physical therapy for knee pain involves a thorough and personalized evaluation of your entire leg, hip and foot. A physical therapist uses the assessment to prescribe the right exercises and modalities to help decrease knee pain and improve overall mobility. 

Some other key benefits to using physical therapy to take care of your knees: 

  • It lessens the need for medications
  • It lowers the risk of surgery
  • It provides improved mobility and balance
  • It can help reduce future pain

Goal-Driven Senior Rehabilitation at Autumn Leaves

Physical therapy and rehabilitation, like what is offered at Autumn Leaves, can help seniors find strategies to cope with knee pain and live a healthier lifestyle. At Autumn Leaves, we offer access to an experienced team of professionals providing various therapies designed to help restore strength, skills and independence. Find out for yourself what sets Autumn Leaves apart. Learn more about senior rehabilitation and our senior living community by scheduling a visit.

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