What Happens When Knees Age Too Fast?
That sounds like a strange question, but many people in their thirties and forties are beginning to wonder. Sports injuries, too much weight for too many years, or other injuries may make them question where their knees will or won’t take them in the future.
Knee Injuries Strike Everywhere
I saw this at close range with a boss who never stopped moving. He had arthritis and a full work schedule, but he still managed to play through everything, hiking in the Alps with his kids, lining up one business conference trip after another, and managing to put on a little extra weight in the process. His knees finally protested, and he had to take measures to protect them and maintain his lifestyle. He wound up having knee surgery and going through a long period of painful recovery.
Another friend slipped and fell on the ice in the winter as she hurried to work. She was in her forties and she managed to ignore some of the twinges of pain for quite some time. But when she got to her late fifties her knees made it clear that remedies were needed. She also wound up with knee surgery and a prolonged period of recovery before she could resume her normal lifestyle.
Take Steps Now to Save Your Knees
First, lose that extra five or ten pounds now before it becomes more, and before it adds more strain to your joints. Doctors say weight can be one of the big risk factors with knees.
Second, if you smoke, stop. According to the doctors there are elements in cigarettes that can affect the cells that normally keep your knee cartilage healthy.
Third, if you wear heels, give them some time off. Heels change the way you walk and put more pressure on the inside of the knee.
Fourth, do all you can with aerobics and approved workouts that build the muscle around the knee. The level of balance you maintain and the more leg muscle strength you build, the better. Both will give you a better shot at strong knees with less injury and less pain.
And of course the better your knees function the more active you can be as you move through the years. If you have noted a twinge or weakness in your knees that does not go away, don’t wait. See your doctor for an evaluation and follow up with recommended exercises or treatment.