Since I had my now 2-year-old daughter, my almost-80-year-old mother has been helping me a lot with her. This many times implies caring a 15kgs baby all around. The result of all this heavyweight is that my mother, who already has a knee problem, got worse. Because of her age, surgery is not really recommended, and she gets by with injections… each 6 months to ease the pain. It turns out that Knee pain is too common among her friends too. And it’s a very inconvenient pain, one that can be imobilizing. So I got interested on looking for other ways of knee pain relief in between.
Knee Pain is a Common Concern for Seniors
When I started digging about Knee pain among seniors, I confirmed what I was suspecting, knee pain is in fact very common among seniors. Just like every other joint, knees are impacted by time and gravity. Over the years, every step adds a little wear and tear. According to Everyday Health website, by the time a person is 65 or older, they have an increased chance of experiencing persistent or occasional knee pain.
Can Seniors Prevent Knee Pain?
You may be one of the lucky ones and not suffer from knee pain at all. But if you are like most everyone who suffers from it, it’s important you consult with your doctor or physiotherapist to get on a movement and exercise plan early. This will hopefully ward off major issues in the future.
You may ease the knee pain, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to prevent it.
What Causes Knee Pain?
The Knee joint of the human body is the largest joint in the body and bears much of the body’s weight when we walk, run or climb stairs as it takes the most stress. It is also the joint more prone to injuries and degeneration. According to the Narayana Health website, in western countries almost one in every three persons over the age of 45 report some type of knee pain which increases with age.
A number of factors can cause knee pain. The list below shows some causes of acute knee pain:
- Fractures and dislocations
- Sprained or torn ligaments
- Meniscal injuries
Chronic pain may occur due to:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gout or Pseudo gout
- Chondromalacia patella
- Iliotibial band Syndrome
- Post Traumatic arthritis
As you can see, there is a wide range of causes of knee pain, from overuse and previous injuries to the area, to obesity and improper gait. Unfortunately, years of wear and tear on your joints can eventually catch up to you.
The most common cause: Osteoarthritis
But out of all the cases mentioned above, arthritis is the most common cause of non-traumatic knee pain in the elderly population. Age is actually the major reason for osteoarthritis and the breakdown of the cartilage in the knee, as pointed out by the Lifebridge Health website.
Osteoarthritis and cartilage breakdown. What does it mean? Cartilage is a rubbery substance that acts as a cushion between our bones. When the cartilage in a joint deteriorates, it causes the bones to rub together which often leads to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also called wear and tear arthritis and it’s characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in a joint.
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the natural cushioning between joints, which is the cartilage, wears away and the bone ends of the knee joint, rub more closely against one another. This results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability to move and sometimes formation of osteophytes (bone spurs).
This can become terribly painful as we age, but even if the pain is only occasional, it’s still something that can alter your life in a significant way. Not only does the discomfort stop you in your tracks, but your knees are a vital part of your movement. Here are some common questions about knee pain that we often hear people ask.
For some individuals it may be hereditary, while for others, Osteoarthritis of the knee can result from injury, infection or even from being overweight. Women are at more risk of developing the same.
Can Seniors Fix Knee Pain?
There are several different options to help relieve knee pain. For severe cases, knee replacement surgery is often the best route (in which the damaged cartilage and bone are removed and replaced by a synthetic joint). But because the recovery process can take several months, even if knee replacements are typically successful in eliminating pain and improving movement, it’s not always a solution for seniors who need and want to remain active and not to waste months in bed.
So for less severe cases, a senior may be prescribed painkillers, knee injections or regular physical therapy. The right dosage of medication or frequency of physical therapy can help with pain management and inflammation. Your doctor or pharmacist will know what to recommend for you.
But What Can Seniors do by Themselves?
Behaviour modifications can help prevent and reduce knee pain. Obesity creates an immense amount of stress on our knees. Therefore maintaining a healthy weight and practicing regular exercise are important for all seniors, but especially those who suffer from knee pain or other health conditions. Even if you have arthritis or other pain which may not completely vanish, alleviating excess weight on your joints will definitely help.
In some cases, certain exercises and stretches can work to strengthen your knees and help with the pain. And if exercises seem to fire up your ache, don’t assume the solution is to stop working out. Especially for people with degenerative arthritis, a lot of them think to stop, but the evidence mentioned on the Prevention website we have shows that’s counterproductive. Instead of giving up exercise, you want to switch to lower-impact workouts. Your doctor or physiotherapist can provide you with more information and let you know if these are methods that you should try.
It is also recommendable keeping a diary of your daily physical activity. That diary should include a record of how your knee pain reacted to exercise that day and in the days that follow. You need to identify patterns that can help you adjust your workouts to reduce your pain.
And there are also devices you can use at home, such as knee massages, hot and cold compressions, we will be sharing at the end of this post, that can ease the pain. * As they are not by any means, substitute of treatments, it’s always good to consult a doctor (or more than one) to see what’s the best treatment plan for each case.
Knee Pain Relief Devices That Actually Work
“It really has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” he says. “But there are a lot of off-the-shelf products that are good, low-cost options that many people have success with.” We’ll get to those in a minute.
The list goes from the most sophisticated (and most expensive) device to the simplest (and cheapest) one.
All the devices offer clinically proven treatment. Both heat and cold are clinically proven to relieve pain associated with muscle tension and stress. Heat increases blood flow to the source of the pain, which accelerates tissue healing, while cold reduces inflammation directly after an injury.
The Comfer Heated Knee Brace Wrap with Vibration Massage combines heat and soothing vibration massage to help relieve muscle soreness and joint pain associated with overwork, strain and sprain, as well as with arthritis, meniscus, bone Arthritis, bursitis and chronic pains, cramps etc.
Heat Treatments-The Knee massager knee pads are built in heat pads with adjustable 2 heat levels that work well for soothing stiff joints and tired muscles and enhances blood circulation, provides nutrients to joints and muscles. The heating pads with 30-minute auto-shut off function and an overheating protection system ensure safe use.
Vibrating Massage-Comfier leg massager with heat has 4 powerful massage motors to deliver soothing massage to tissue muscles (leg massager and knee massager helps to further relax the soreness and muscles pain). It also has a variable 5 massage modes for individual use.
The adjustable velcro straps secure the knee massager in place, and the massage heat pads can be wrapped around and locked to any knee or extended to the thighs, calves, arms, legs and held in place.
This Knee and Leg massager use soft and smooth fabric materials for close touch in a comfortable way. The Heating pad for knees should be connected with the adapter to work.
Check this item on Amazon.
The MS.DEAR knee brace wrap provides powerful vibration massage and comfortable heating, helps reduce joint pain, muscle stiffness and joint swelling. Note that heating and massage are a good relief for arthritis and swelling.
Ergonomic and compact wearable wrap massager fits perfectly knee, shoulder and elbow joint shape. The knee heating wrap stays in place. Hook and loop straps closure, easy to keep it wrapped at the right position you need do the heat therapy
Massage, heat and time modes seperately controlled by 3 buttons. Heating and vibration massage modes can work together or separately. 3 Time limited settings for your selection, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes.
This device is wireless.
Check this item on Amazon.
The Sunbeam Flextemp Joint Wrap is targeted on both hot and cold therapy. Its custom-designed shape provides high-level heat and anti-inflammatory cold therapy for joint pain with a removable, freezable gel pack.
The device features 3 heat settings, 2-hour auto-off for peace of mind, and even offers a moist heat option (spray the pad with water to provide deep penetrating pain relief).
A compact controller that’s Sunbeam smallest yet and a long, convenient 9-foot cord.
Check this item on Amazon.
The Coldest Knee Ice Pack Wrap is specially built for faster recovery, soreness, injuries, sprains, Meniscus TEAR, bursitis, Swelling and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Making use of cold compression, this product comes in multiple size to adjust perfectly on your knee, and reduces knee swelling, pain and inflammation. The custom webbing of the pack wrap allows for improved cold transfer to knee.
Check this item on Amazon.
The CAMBIVO Knee brace is a knee sleeve support made 65% nylon, 20% latex, 15% spandex. It is effective in managing knee pain caused by any activity that puts pressure on your knees, reduces swelling, inflammation, stiffness and supports in muscle recovery, also it has heating effect for muscular recovery.
This item is commonly used by people suffering from knee pain, stiff or sore muscles & joints, arthritis, tendonitis, and other common conditions that caused by repeated overuse or injury of knee.
This knee sleeves designed with anti-slip silicone waves on the top for superior comfort. Unlike other knee sleeves, the premium material provides extra reinforcement without sacrificing comfort
Check this item on Amazon.
- Prevents stress, strain and shock that can cause knee pain
- Helps protect knee cartilage and meniscus from shock and stress
- All day pain relief
- Designed to relieve pain: general knee pain, pain from osteoarthritis and Runner’s knee
- Take more steps With less pain. Dr. Scholl’s shock Guard reduces impact as you move, absorbs pain-inducing shock and helps transition weight and distribute pressure.
* After reading this post, we would appreciate you sharing your experience with us. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive more content from us. We really hope you enjoy!
You May Also Like
- Do Massage Guns Really Work?
- How Smart Gadgets For Massage Can Benefit Seniors
- Are Eye Massagers Worth it for Seniors?
- Do Seniors Need a Foot Spa?
- Foot Massagers to Help Seniors with Common Foot Issues
- Best Hand massagers for Seniors
- Best Recliners for Seniors to Watch TV More Comfortably
- How Smart Speaking Technology can Fight Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors