Mind Your Knees and Toes!
Seniors and healthcare, they go together, as seniors take care of themselves so that they can enjoy the benefits of the golden years! Take care of your knees and know when to speak to your doctor, because looking after your knees could go as far as knee replacement surgery.
When we were told, “Mind your P’s and Q’s” we knew it was a request for politeness. Instead of P’s and Q’s, this article has tips on how to look after your knees and a bit about your toes. No instructions are needed for being polite here. This is common sense, health education and being sensible all rolled into one!
10 Tips to Help You Mind Your Knees and Toes
- If your knees are swollen or feeling sore or if you suffer from arthritis, avoid the following types of exercise unless your physical therapy plan includes them: leg extensions, squats, stepper machines and rowing machines.
- The following exercise types are a good way of staying active that will not put a strain on the knees: swimming with the ‘crawl’ stroke, walking, water aerobics, soft-platform treadmill use, using a machine for non-impact walking or running such as a cross-country ski machine.
- Knee icing – elevate a swollen or sore knee above the level of the heart and cool it using ice. Use a bag of frozen peas, ice cubes, a frozen damp towel or a gel pad, for fifteen to twenty minutes as frequently as every 2-4 hours. This can be used to reduce inflammation caused by working out or rehabilitation.
- Some doctors recommend heat pads and some, cold pads and some recommend alternating between heat and cold or using what feels best to the user.
- Non-prescription pain relief should be discussed with a doctor to confirm suitability and that there are no cross-effects between any medications already being taken.
- Ask a physical therapist for gentle stretching exercises which can help in certain conditions even following an injury. The stretches should not hurt.
- Look after your knees by wearing the right kind of shoes. Shoes should protect your feet and provide enough stability for your entire body by aligning the legs properly.
- When you strengthen your core muscles, your whole posture will improve and the benefits will trickle down to your knees. The weight of the body will be distributed in the healthiest way. The core muscles are the muscles all around the lower spine, the pelvis and the hips and the abdominal muscles.
- The Chinese exercise called Tai Chi has a good name and success rate for helping with knee pain, especially osteoarthritis.
- Be kind to your knees by avoiding being overweight which would put a strain on the knees. It is probably wise to avoid carrying things that are too heavy for the same reason.
Prevention is always better than cure. Avoid knee replacement surgery where possible by adhering to good knee-care practices.
My Knees – A Rhyme
The joint between the top and bottom of the leg,
Those are the knees and daily they beg:
Oh! Be kind to us and watch your body’s weight,
Take some walks, sleep not later than eight.
Exercise each day and physical therapy please do,
And we will be happy for years to serve you!
Take note of this senior healthcare information
And avoid pain and inflammation!