In older adults, cartilage in the knee joint can wear away, causing pain and limited movement. A new study shows that, for the most serious cases of arthritis, knee replacement did improve quality of life. However, for most people the improvements were minimal.
The study published in The BMJ observed the results of 7,400 middle age and older adults who had arthritis of the knee or were at high risk for the condition.
If your knee pain is not severe, you might be able to get some relief and postpone knee problems by strengthening your thigh muscles. Losing weight also helps. Each additional pound adds four pounds of pressure on the joints. Less weight equals less pressure and happier knees. But avoid high-impact jogging, aerobics, or jumping while you lose the weight.
According to the Harvard Health Letter, people with good range of motion in the knee have fewer pain symptoms. It’s important to be able to straighten out the knee. Try sitting on a bed with a pillow under the ankle. Then use your leg muscles to gently move your knee down and straight.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often get worse by standing on a hard surface for long periods or squatting (as an example, while gardening). Sitting on a low stool is better than squatting. You can also wear cushioned shoes or gel inserts.