Be well: 6 tips for preserving your knees for as long as possible after an arthritis diagnosis

It was about one in four adults in the United States Diagnosis of arthritisAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the knee is the joint most commonly affected.

In the case of knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage gradually breaks down until bone rubs directly against bone.

“When the bones in the knee joint rub against each other, it creates friction that causes the knees to ache, become stiff or swollen,” said Dr. Nakul Karkare, joint replacement surgeon at Complete Orthopedics. in New York.

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Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments that can relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the condition.

Fox News Digital spoke with the doctor, who shared with him six tips to help preserve your knees for as long as possible after an arthritis diagnosis.

1. Maintain a healthy weight

The heavier you are, the more weight you have to support through your knees, Karkare said.

Knee arthritis

One in four adults in the United States has been diagnosed with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the knee is the most common joint. (iStock)

“This extra pressure on your knees exacerbates the symptoms of arthritis,” he said. “Lose weight By eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise can help relieve pressure on your knees.

2. Stay active

The doctor said arthritis can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which may contribute to weight gain and increased pain.

To break this vicious cycle, he recommended trying low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling and walking.

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“These activities can help strengthen the muscles around your knees without excessive stress on the joints,” he said.

“If cycling causes pain in front of the knee, try moving the seat up to reduce pressure on the underside of the knee.”

Participating in regular strength training can also help stabilize the knees, Karkare said.

A man with a knee brace

Participating in regular strength training can also help stabilize the knees, Karkare said. (iStock)

He said focusing on exercises that target the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles can provide better support for the joint.

The doctor suggested: “Before exercising, be sure to warm up and do light stretching.” “This can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.”

High impact exercises Running or jumping should be avoided, as they can aggravate knee pain.

3. Use of assistive devices and braces

The doctor said that although many people resist using a cane because of its association with aging and disability, canes can benefit individuals with hip or knee pain, promoting stability and comfort.

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He recommended using a cane on the opposite side of the affected joint, which reduces pressure, aids mobility, and reduces bouts of pain during activities such as shopping.

Walkers and canes also help prevent falls, while braces can correct flexural deformities and relieve knee pain.

4. Choose supportive shoes

Karkare said wearing shoes with proper cushioning and arch support can help absorb shock and reduce pressure on the knees.

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The New York joint replacement surgeon said people with arthritis should try low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking. (

“If you have flat feet, a custom orthotic from your podiatrist will improve limb alignment,” he added.

5. Try injections to relieve pain

There are two types of injections for arthritis pain relief: gel and cortisone.

Karkare said cortisone injections, which contain synthetic corticosteroids, quickly reduce inflammation.

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In contrast, “gel” or “cock comb” injections, which use hyaluronic acid, have a different mechanism of action – they aim to relieve joint pain and enhance mobility in patients with osteoarthritis.

“While there is a lot of interest in injections using platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness,” Karkare said.

Moreover, these injections are not covered by insurance.

6. Stay informed

When arthritis pain doesn’t respond to other treatments, Karkare says some newer, less invasive surgical techniques are available.

A woman getting an injection

There are two types of injections for arthritis pain relief: gel and cortisone. (iStock)

“For example, a customized knee replacement is a surgical technique that involves replacing a damaged knee joint with a specially designed implant through smaller incisions, which minimizes tissue damage,” he said.

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“This approach aims to improve implant fit and alignment by using advanced imaging to create a customized 3D model of the patient’s knee.”

He said the benefits of this procedure may include faster recovery, less postoperative pain and possibly better long-term outcomes.

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Approximately 43% of people with osteoporosis in the United States are 65 or older, while 88% are 45 or older, according to the Osteoporosis Action Coalition.

However, for knee osteoarthritis, the annual incidence rate is highest between ages 55 and 64.

More than half of people with symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are under the age of 65.

To read more articles in the “Be Well” series on Fox News Digital, go to: click here.

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