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Do This Today If You Want Healthy Knees for the Long Haul

Do This Today If You Want Healthy Knees for the Long Haul

You rely on your knees to walk, climb, jump, and kneel, and you use them constantly throughout the day. Your knees are strong and can withstand the force you place on them ― sometimes up to five times your body weight — but all that work and stress takes its toll.

While you can’t prevent all of the wear-and-tear your knees endure throughout the course of your life, you can take steps now that may keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

At Orthopedic & Wellness in Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland, our orthopedic and pain management physicians — Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi and Dr. Matthew Roh — know all too well the long-term effects that chronic knee pain has on quality of life.

Here, we present some of the things you can do today to keep your knees healthy for the long haul.

Stay active

Your knees, and most of the other joints in your body, are designed for movement. Regular exercise is good for all of your joints because it prevents stiffness, strengthens supportive muscles, and improves balance (reducing your risk of falls). 

If you have concerns about knee health, choose low-impact exercises like walking, biking, swimming, and low-impact aerobics. Activities such as yoga and muscle-building (lifting weights, using resistance bands) are also good exercises that can benefit your knees.

Mind your weight

Weight counts when it comes to knee health. When you squat or bend, the force placed on your knees is about five times your body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, for example, it feels like 900 pounds to your knees. 

Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the stress load on your knees, benefitting their long-term health. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help you manage your weight. 

Don’t ignore knee pain

Because of the amount of work your knees do day in and day out, injuries are common. If you develop knee pain after a fall or a misstep, don’t try to work through the pain. Continuing to use your injured knee may make things worse. 

When you have knee pain, we recommend:

If your knee pain is severe or getting worse, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic team. Knowing the cause of your knee pain ensures that you get the right care to heal the injury, reducing your risk of future problems.

Stop smoking

It’s widely known that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs. But did you know it’s also bad for your joints? Smoking cigarettes reduces circulation to the joints and slows bone growth. Smokers are more likely to injure their joints than nonsmokers and are more likely to have inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

Quitting smoking today is good for your whole body and can help keep your knees healthy.

You need your knees to maintain an active lifestyle. If you have knee pain or have concerns about knee health, call our office or book an appointment online today so we can help you keep your knees healthy for the long haul.

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