Does your knee give way?
I have been reading the latest articles in my physiotherapy journal and was interested in an article regarding knee buckling.
(Nevitt MC et al. Symptoms of Knee Instability Are Risk Factors for Recurrent Falls, Arthritis Care and Research 2016.)
Older people sometimes describe a fall as having been caused by their knee buckling, or giving way. New research shows that knee-buckling is linked with an increased risk of falls, especially among people who have knee pain or osteoarthritis.
The researchers analysed data covering 1,842 people in the US Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. The patients, aged 54 to 84 (average age 67) when the study started, were followed up five years later.
Because knee buckling can be caused by muscle weakness and poor balance, researchers recommend a programme of targeted exercises to increase the joint’s stability and reduce its likelihood of giving way. Building knee stability also improves patients’ quality of life as they regain confidence in their balance, say the authors.
Those who, before the trial started, had already experienced a fall when their knee buckled were 4.5 times more likely than others to have had further falls in the next five years. They were twice as likely to have been significantly injured in a fall, three times as likely to have had their movement limited by a fall injury, and four times as likely to lack confidence in their balance.
‘Interventions that reduce knee buckling may help prevent falls, fall-related injuries and adverse psychological consequences of falls in persons with knee osteoarthritis,’ the authors conclude.
If you have experienced your knee giving way, knee exercises have been shown to help prevent falls and help prevent knee bucklimg episodes. Give those knees the strength they need to work and they will do their job.
If in doubt what exercise is right for you then I recommend asking your GP, physiotherapist or appropriate healthcare professional.
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