Your knees are essential and powerful joints that you use, and sometimes abuse, just about every day. Because of this, it’s a source of pain for many people as they age.
Knee pain starts to develop as we age due to wear and tear on the joint and the cartilage in the knee. You may not realize that a few extra pounds can make the pain start sooner.
Body Weight and Its Effect on Your Knees
Body weight plays a pretty important role in knee health. Every extra pound of body weight puts additional pressure on the knees, particularly when walking or running. This extra weight leads to wear and tear on the knee joint, which can eventually lead to a painful condition called osteoarthritis.
As we get older the cartilage in our knees wears away, reducing the amount of cushion between the bones that come together at the knee. This rubbing together causes inflammation and ultimately results in osteoarthritis of the knee. If you have more weight on your frame than is recommended for your height, your knees are doing a lot of extra work, making the wearing out of the knee joint happen faster than it should. This can mean pain at a younger age if you’ve been carrying the weight for a while.
There’s also the concern that extra weight causes inflammation in the body including your knee joints which only make the problem feel worse.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Losing as little as 10 pounds can really take the pressure off your knees, as well as your hips and spine. Some steps that you can try to help lose weight include:
Bring more exercise into your routine. It may be as simple as going on a daily walk with the dog, taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator or just parking further away from the door at the store. Factoring exercise into your daily routine is not only good for physical health but for mental health as well. Exercise becomes tricky when your knee already hurts. If you currently have a knee injury, talk with your doctor about what exercises are safe and any modifications you need to make. Consider swimming where there is very little pressure on your knees.
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Make an effort to eat a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains to help with weight loss. Avoid eating processed foods and foods that are high in oils and salt, such as restaurant food and packaged food.
If sticking to a weight loss plan is too challenging, you may benefit from trying a weight loss program or attending a support group.
Many people think of the chiropractor as a place where people go for back pain, but the chiropractor can also help treat other conditions, including those associated with knee pain. Some chiropractic treatments for knee pain include:
Cold laser therapy. This holistic knee pain treatment promotes healing while also offering pain relief. Cold laser therapy causes blood to rush to the treatment area to promote healing where cells are damaged. Cold laser therapy is a versatile treatment affecting muscle, ligaments, cartilage, and nerves.
Knee traction. Knee traction helps gently stretch the knee joint to improve flexibility and mobility. You’ll need multiple sessions of knee traction to see results, but it can help reduce pain and increase the fluid around the knee. Your chiropractor may recommend combining knee traction with other therapies, depending on your unique situation.
Visiting the chiropractor to help with your knee pain is a smart choice for anyone who struggles with a knee injury. Chiropractic treatments aim to heal the actual problem rather than masking symptoms. You may find that chiropractic treatments for knee pain help to improve your pain, helping you avoid the need for medications and even surgery.
Can a Visit to the Chiropractor Help You?
Chiropractors do a lot more than just spinal adjustments. Even if you struggle with pain outside the back area (such as in your knees), a chiropractor provides helpful treatments as well as recommendations for how you can lower your body weight for even greater relief. Plus, seeing a chiropractor for care before knee pain becomes unbearable can often help delay or even avoid surgery.
At Village Chiropractic in The Woodlands, we are here to help you with knee pain and how you can keep it from coming back.