While osteoarthritis and knee pain may run in your family, Dr. Scott Silverstein from Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland has some suggestions on how to keep you active while taking care of your knees:
1. Participate in quadriceps strengthening and low impact exercise. Walking on flat ground, biking and the elliptical can all be good choices. For patients with severe arthritic disease, swimming or water aerobics may be the best choice. For individuals who have not been actively exercising, OACM’s physical therapists can help develop a good home exercise program.
2. While weight gain is most likely not the cause of your knee pain, losing weight can help reduce the force across your knee especially when walking up and down steps. Weight loss is mainly from watching your diet. Talk to your doctor before beginning any diet program and remember that crash diets just lead to a rebound later! Be consistent. Also, don’t exercise so much that you make your knees feel worse.
3. Braces and shoe wedges can be helpful in some cases. Talk to your OACM doctor about this option. Many of our offices stock a variety of wedges and braces.
4. Save your money and avoid buying glucosamine, chondroitin or other supplements. The FDA does not regulate the over-the-counter supplement market and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons clinical practice guidelines could not find any proven benefit of the supplements for knee pain/arthritis.
5. If you have an injury or experience swelling and/or catching and popping in the joint that is new, come see us. We will do our best to get you back to your pre-injury level of activity.
Remember – OACM is there for you on the weekends in our Columbia walk-in urgent care center as well as on Fridays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-1 p.m. Call 443-524-2577. No appointment is necessary!