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How Seniors Can Best Keep Knee Pain Under Control

June 21, 2022

African-American senior experiencing knee pain

Knee pain is common after a lifetime of playing sports, dealing with injuries or frequent exercise. Seniors wondering how to take care of their knees know the years of wear and tear can take a toll and make mobility and flexibility more challenging.

Many factors can contribute to knee problems in seniors, including: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Injuries
  • Excess body weight
  • Lack of muscle strength
  • Lack of flexibility

Even though many of these issues are common, there isn’t often an easy fix. Luckily, when it comes to how to take care of your knees, there are ways to work your leg muscles to minimize joint pain and injury and maintain your independence. 

By talking with your medical provider, you can start an exercise plan that works for you. In some instances, surgery is the only option, so talking with your doctor is an essential step in the process. If cleared by your physician, you can start working towards healthier habits to minimize knee pain. Below are some helpful tips on how to take care of your knees: 

  • Strengthen your leg muscles – Focus on exercises that target your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteal 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 significant difference. 
  • Start with low-impact options – When starting an exercise routine as a senior, choose low-impact exercises. Select cardiovascular exercises like swimming or rowing that reduce strain on your knees to 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 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 low-impact workouts. 

The Role of Physical Therapy in Managing Knee Pain 

If you’re lucky enough to avoid surgery, your doctor may instead recommend you explore physical therapy. This type of therapy can help you improve your range of motion, strengthen your leg muscles and help you stay active. 

Since every injury is unique, a physical therapist will provide a personalized evaluation of your entire leg, hip and foot. The assessment determines the right exercises and modalities to help decrease knee and joint pain and increase mobility. 

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. 

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

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

Goal-Driven Senior Rehabilitation at Monticello West

Physical therapy and rehab can help seniors find beneficial ways to deal with knee pain and live a healthier lifestyle. At Monticello West, 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 Monticello West apart. Learn more about senior rehabilitation and our senior living community by scheduling a visit.

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