Health

A quick guide to avoiding

Angela Davis

Sunday, August 12, 2018

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KNEE pain becomes a common problem as we get older and osteoarthritis is the main culprit.

Our knees absorb a huge amount of pressure with every step we take. Over time, this will take its toll. To avoid this pain coming on too soon in life, and to relieve symptoms, follow this basic DO guide to knee care.

Do lose weight

If you are overweight, your knees will suffer. Even losing a small amount can make a significant difference. A 2005 study found that losing one pound resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.

Do exercise

Exercise will strengthen the muscles that support the knee and increase flexibility. Good choices for exercise are swimming, walking, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and Tai Chi. Avoid high-impact sports that jar the joints, for example running and jumping.

Do wear supportive cushioned shoes

A shock-absorbing insole will reduce the stresses placed on the knees. They should always be worn with a shoe that is securely held onto the foot. The wrong type of shoe can make knee pain a lot worse, so no high-heeled, narrow shoes that will upset your balance.

Do use a walking aid if you feel unsteady

A cane, walker or crutch can stabilise your gait and prevent a fall. Don't let pride be your downfall, causing you to end up with a broken hip or torn knee ligaments. As well as walking aids, ensure that your environment is hazard-free so that you are less likely to fall.

Do eat a healthy diet

Avoid processed foods. Consume omega-3 fatty acids and foods that are high in antioxidants. Glucosamine and vitamin D supplements are also helpful.

DO use a natural anti-inflammatory like turmeric and ginger

These will not be toxic to your body and can work just as well as ibuprofen.

DO consider acupuncture

This ancient form of Chinese medicine can be very successful in relieving knee pain.

DO see your doctor if your symptoms persist.

Angela Davis BSc (Hons) DPodM MChS is a podiatrist with offices in Montego Bay (293- 7119), Mandeville (962-2100), Ocho Rios (974-6339), Kingston (978-8392), and Savanna-la-Mar (955-3154). She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom.

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