11:15 AM

Why Your Knees Might Ache More With Age and What to Do About It

Livestrong.com highlights steps you can take to prevent knee problems as you age. 

HSS physiatrist Elizabeth T. Nguyen, MD explained what causes knee pain in older adults and what you can do to decrease discomfort. 

Over the course of your lifetime, cartilage tends to deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. When this happens, "there is less shock absorption and increased stress along the joint, which can potentially lead to knee pain," said Dr. Nguyen 

Strengthening exercises offer the best form of prevention and management for knee pain related to cartilage deterioration, noted Dr. Nguyen. Specifically, you can support your knees by focusing on muscle groups that move and protect the knee joint. For example, strong quads are crucial for knee health. In fact, "studies have demonstrated the relationship between quadriceps weakness with [knee] pain," she cited. So, building up your quads will play a big part in preventing knee problems down the line.

Age-related weight gain is common thanks to things like a slower metabolism and a more sedentary lifestyle. But being overweight is a risk factor for developing knee pain, Dr. Nguyen continued. 

Losing one pound of body weight can reduce the stress across the knee joint by approximately four-fold," said Dr. Nguyen. "For example, a weight loss of 10 pounds can lead to a reduced load of around 40 pounds across the knee joint."

Read the full article at livestrong.com.