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Do This Now If You Want Healthy Knees Later

Joint replacements are surgeries that many people eventually need as they get older. Thanks to aging, arthritis, old injuries, and even prior surgeries, many people experience a functional decline in the joints they use most. Your knees are no exception, as they support most of your weight for your entire life. 

While knee replacements are widely available today for people who need them, they come with some setbacks. Risks and surgical complications, including nerve damage, blood clots, and infections, might make you wary of surgery. Additionally, knee replacement recovery is often complex and can take up to a year. Ideally, you want your original joints to function for a lifetime. 

It’s never a bad time to adopt healthy habits to support your knees well into old age is never a bad time. Our experts at Elation Physical Therapy in Houston, Pearland, Cypress, and Katy, Texas, can teach you everything you need to know about keeping your knees healthy and functional so you can avoid surgery and stay active for decades. 

Want to get a head start on healthy knees for your future you? Here’s what you need to do. 

Manage your weight to ease stress on your joints

Body weight plays a significant role in determining the health and function of your joints. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in your joints, particularly your knees and hips. 

Your physical therapist can evaluate your weight and joint health to determine if weight loss is necessary to preserve the long-term health of your knees. 

Be consistent with physical activity

Exercise can help you manage your weight to support your knee health, but it’s also great for keeping your knees strong and flexible. Moderate, regular physical activity is beneficial to your health in numerous. In the context of your knee health, low-impact exercise can:

If your knees feel sore or uncomfortable after exercise, don’t push it. Start any new exercise routines slowly and cautiously to avoid injuring your joints. 

If you’re wondering where to start with low-impact activity, consider walking, swimming, or cycling to start. Your physical therapist can teach you additional exercises and recommend activities to keep your knees functional for life. 

Choose foods that promote joint health

When it comes to long-term knee health, what you eat matters. In addition to helping you manage your weight, a nutritious diet can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and other conditions that harm the knees. A diet full of whole foods like fruits, veggies, fish, and beans lowers inflammation in your joints. You should also try to minimize saturated fats and processed foods to optimize your joint health (and your overall health, too). 

Choose comfort over style for footwear

Although a high-heeled shoe can be flattering, it’s not conducive to long-term knee health. That goes for shoes in general: Consider the support they offer while picking out your next pair. When your feet are unstable or unsupported, your posture, knees, and hips can suffer the consequences. Be sure to choose shoes with a little flexibility and plenty of space for your toes (no pointed-toe shoes). 

Consult an expert

If you have a family history of arthritis or joint complications of your own, talk to one of our experts. We can help you establish healthy habits to support your knees and minimize discomfort or stiffness. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Elation Physical Therapy to learn more today.

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