Want to avoid or postpone knee surgery? That is often possible by following recommendations by a knee surgeon, Dr. Gregory Martin. Dr. Martin not only is a knee surgeon, he is an author, lecturer, researcher, and designer of knee replacement techniques. For more information, go to (education4knees.com). Currently 34 percent of Americans in their mid-50s and older are experiencing chronic knee or leg pain, constant pain that often results in surgery. To postpone or avoid surgery, Dr. Martin offers the following six keys to knee health.
- Educate yourself. Being educated helps you develop reasonable expectations for how your knees work and feel and helps you maximize how they perform, enabling better communication with your physician. How you treat them is more important than why it went bad.
- Lighten up. For every pound you weigh, your knees endure four pounds of pressure. Lose 15 pounds and you relieve 60 pounds of pressure on your knees. Less pressure equals less pain.
- Drink more water. Staying well hydrated is important. Water makes up most of the cartilage that lines the ends of joints and enables pain-free motion. More water may mean a lot less pain.
- Take glucosamine and turmeric. Dr. Martin recommends glucosamine sulfate and turmeric but check with your doctor since turmeric can interfere with some medications. The National Institutes of Health state that glucosamine sulfate is “likely effective” for treating osteoarthritis of the knee; turmeric is a natural remedy which eases pain as effectively as ibuprofen, according to recent research.
- Keep moving to keep muscles strong. Knees will get stiff if they are not exercised; exercise is critical to knee health and helps avoid injury and reduces pain. Try bicycling, pool workouts and elliptical machines.
- Learn safe ways to control pain. There is risk in taking some pain relievers and anti-inflammatories and should be discussed with a doctor. Topical treatments such as analgesic creams, gels, rubs, and hot/cold packs can be highly effective in controlling pain.
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