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KNOW YOUR DOCTORS September 2018

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Best ways to prevent knee arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint can cause severe knee pain and disability and can significantly impact the quality of your personal and professional life. Although some risk factors such as old age and your genetic makeup cannot be modified, certain other risk factors can be modified to prevent knee osteoarthritis and its complications and to avoid the risk of knee replacement surgery in the future.

Avoid certain activities
Avoiding certain activities in your daily life can reduce your risk for knee cartilage damage and osteoarthritis by minimising excessive loads on your knee joint. Avoid doing activities which involve sitting cross-legged on the floor as this can put tremendous pressure on your knee joints while sitting and getting up. This can be prevented by sitting cross-legged on your bed or an elevated platform. Similarly, you should avoid squatting (like when using Indian toilets) to reduce excessive loading of your knees and ideally use Western style toilets. Stair climbing also needs to be avoided whenever possible especially while carrying heavy luggage or bags.

Loose excessive body weight
One of the best ways to prevent knee osteoarthritis is by maintaining a healthy body weight. Extra kilos of body weight increases pressure on your knee joints and can cause knee cartilage to wear down more quickly. Short-term weight loss of 7–10% of body weight is achievable with a combination of healthy diet and exercise. However, maintaining your weight loss in the long term will require strict control of calorie intake and maintaining a daily routine of physical activities like walking, cycling and strength training.

Keep your knee muscles strong
Exercise strengthens muscles around your knee joint, reduces excessive load on the knee joint, maintains joint flexibility, and helps you control your body weight. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, walking and water aerobics are “knee joint-friendly” which helps strength your knee muscles without causing damage. However, exercise regimen should be tailored to each individual, rather than using a ‘one size fits all’ approach. A person with joint instability is likely to benefit from neuromuscular exercises, whereas a patient with muscle weakness is likely to benefit from strength training exercises. You need to take certain precautions before you start your exercise routine to prevent knee injury and pain. Before starting any exercise, warm up and then do stretches. Wear shoes with a good fit. Start with a small amount of activity and increase the activity level in small amounts, allowing your body to adjust (“Start low and go slow”).

Modifying your daily routine and life-style to avoid certain activities and to include healthy diet and exercise can go a long way to minimise your risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in the future.

For further guidance:
Call or visit
Mumbai Shoulder Institute,
407B Galleria, 4thFlr B Wing,
Above ICICI Bank,
Hiranandani Gardens,
Powai between 5pm-730pm (Tues-Sat).  Tel: 9820039758 or 40717084