What to Do About Pain in Your Knees and Hips
Consumer Reports highlights activities, foods, and other lifestyle steps that can really make a difference that can help alleviate joint pain.
Joint pain is a common part of aging. And the discomfort can make it more difficult to do everything from going up and down stairs to taking a walk to getting dressed.
Most joint pain in older adults is due to osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive condition that occurs when the cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of bones wears away—causing bones to rub together.
Two-thirds of adults between ages 50 and 80 turn to over-the-counter pain relievers. While these drugs ease discomfort, they can carry risks if used chronically, especially in older adults, explained Heidi Prather, DO, physiatrist at HSS.
Some research suggests that inflammatory substances in your body can worsen OA, Dr. Prather said. What you eat may help. A 2022 review of 14 studies, published in the European Journal of Rheumatology, found that a plant-based diet reduces OA pain and slows cartilage changes in joints, and lowers inflammatory “markers” in the body, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6.
Managing stress can help reduce pain. “When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol that promote inflammation and lead to worse pain,” Dr. Prather said. Consider doing activities to help you relax, whether it’s a minute or two of deep breathing to ease tension, or a formal stress-reduction class.
Read the full article at consumerreports.org.