Change Habits to Prevent Short- and Long-term Knee Pain

Studies have shown that nearly half of adults will get knee arthritis in at least one knee by age 85. For obese people, the risk is even greater. To beat the odds, one surgeon suggests losing excess weight through a combination of diet and exercise and strengthening the core muscles.

“Every time you take a step you apply three times your body weight to the knee,” William J. Bryan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine in Houston, stated in a press release. “When you run it’s five times, when you jump it’s seven times. If you are experiencing frequent knee pain, lifestyle changes might be in order.”

More than 30% of Americans are considered obese. Carrying additional weight on your frame puts great strain on the knee joint.

“What most people don’t understand about weight loss is that it’s 70% diet and 30% exercise,” Bryan stated. “If you think you can eat the same and exercise the pounds away, you are mistaken. You have to change your attitude about the refrigerator for weight loss to happen.”

Exercises like swimming, cycling and other low-impact options better protect your knees than running or aerobics. Strengthening your core muscles is another key component of maintaining healthy knees.

“If you have a strong core, you can better position your foot or knee on the ground to prevent damage,” Bryan stated. “This is true whether you are exercising or performing mundane tasks such as getting out of the car and walking down the stairs.”

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