How Not to Have Healthy Knees

Orthopaedic & Spine Center

Dr. Bob Snyder, an Orthopaedic Specialist who regularly treats patients with knee problems, tells us what to do if we DON’T want to have Healthy, Pain-Free Knees:
1. Gain all of the weight you want!
2. Don’t exercise, but if you do, make it a very high-impact form of activity.
3. Don’t ever stretch.
4. Eat junk food. Constantly.

If you really enjoy having knees that are stiff, that are painful and that prevent you from enjoying the activities you love, you can stop reading now. If not, you may want to read a bit further…

1. Gain all of the weight you want! Other than having a genetic make-up that predicates arthritic knees, Dr. Bob thinks that being overweight is the # 1 reason so many people have knees that hurt. If you don’t mind having knees that become increasingly painful and immobile as you age, don’t pay any attention to your weight. However, if you want to be more mobile and have less pain, you must maintain or lose pounds to reach a healthy weight.

2. Don’t exercise, but if you do, make it a very high-impact form of activity. Of the areas that we can control, how we choose to exercise can greatly influence the level of knee pain we may feel later in life. If you are like most people, a life-time of running or doing high-intensity aerobics can bring on knee pain and stiffness. Unless you are a Kenyan marathon runner or Jane Fonda, Dr. Bob suggests that many of us could benefit from forms of exercise that are lower-impact, like walking, swimming, cycling or Pilates.

3. Don’t ever stretch. If you want to have knees that are problematic, make sure that you never stretch or work to improve your flexibility. Stretching is silly, unless you are a professional football, baseball or soccer player, a prima ballerina or elite Olympic athlete. Even though they have knees that can help them perform the most incredible activities, we wouldn’t want to be like those amazing specimens of health, strength and vitality, now would we?

4. Eat junk food. Constantly. Like Twinkies? How about Fried Twinkies? There is scientific evidence aplenty that proves diets high in fat, sugar, gluten and processed ingredients contribute to inflammation, which greatly impacts our joints as we age. Want to reduce the inflammation that makes your knees hurt? Try switching to a diet that has unprocessed meats, vegetables and grains, with organic dairy and fruit. Also include foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Your knees (and other joints) will benefit, not to mention your waistline. Diets that lower inflammation are also considered to be beneficial in preventing or halting diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other unpleasant conditions of aging.

If you are having some pesky knee pain, we encourage you to make an appointment to see an orthopaedic specialist so we can get you on your way to feeling better. Most of our patients respond well to non-surgical treatment, so please think about seeing a physician if you’re feeling as though your knee pain is inhibiting you from enjoying your life to its fullest. Call 757-596-1900 to reach OSC.