Age comes to us all, steadily and readily and means we could soon find our joints a bit stiffer and noisier than we were used to in our heyday. Is that something to be concerned about?
Most health professionals agree, the knee is a really common joint to make noise. After all, we use our knees more than we realise; when we bend, stand up, crouch down, walk, run and jog. The new noises could be coming from naturally aging cartilage or ligaments – which when developing unevenly can cause tight patches and rough areas that rub when you move.
Keeping your knees healthy is fairly simple, and just involves adding to your regular routine. If you don’t exercise and are experiencing cracking and popping from your knees – now is the perfect time to start!
Even if you’re not planning on exercising today, stretching warms up the muscles for daily use. It has a lot of other benefits too – it makes you more awake and refreshed, ready for the day ahead. Or stretching at night can help your body wind down for a better sleep.
2. Start Gentle
If you’re not a regular gym-rat then you’ll need to start slow and short. Build up gradually – at your own personal pace – to longer and harder workouts. Too much too soon and you could end up with injuries.
3. Focus on the muscles around the knees
The knees work best when they are supported, so focus on the muscles around the knees for the best outcome. Cycling and climbing, even if it’s just some stairs, will help.
4. High Quality Shoes
Don’t waste your money buying cheap shoes you have to replace every few months. Invest in a pair of good shoes and make sure they fit well – all of your joints will thank you!
5. Try specific Exercises
Building up leg muscles to support your knees requires special exercises that target this area. Go for a walk up a hill or some steps, and don’t forget about weights – adding these to your ankles while you watch the TV can also help to keep your lower half strong.
6. Watch your Weight!
Obesity does more damage to our overall health than we realise. Extra weight puts more pressure on your hips, knees and legs and this can contribute to pain and weakness. Try to eat a balanced diet, exercise moderately and see your doctor if you require more help.
Overall, most knee noises bring little cause for concern. However, see your doctor if you experience any pain or swelling. Cartilage damage could be a sign of Arthritis and causes pain if it wears down too thin. Another section to check for is the Meniscus. This curved disc operates as your inbuilt shock absorber, but trauma or age-related damage can result in quite a lot of pain.