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Treating Knee Pain in Middle-Aged Women

(CNN) — Women with knee pain know how miserable and debilitating it can truly be.

“When women are younger, they tend to get more tendonitis or irritation issues around the knee and then as they age, especially when they accumulate previous injuries, it may lead to arthritis and further changes,” said Dr. Ken Mautner, Orthopedist at Emory University.

The American College of Rheumatology says nearly two-thirds of women ages 50 and older have some degree of knee pain. The pain may come and go or stick around. Osteoarthritis is often to blame.

“Women are more at risk for arthritis than men are, and specifically, when women go through menopause, we think that estrogen may have some protective effect on cartilage of the knee,” Dr. Mautner said.

But sometimes the pain is due to over-use injuries.

So how do you know what the best treatment is? See your primary doctor to start determining the cause. He or she may need to send you to a specialist.

Discuss options like acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medications with your doctor.

Also don’t forget to use exercise as medicine. Do exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knee. You may also need physical therapy. Avoid high-impact exercises, instead, focus on low-impact ones.

Keep in mind, weight is also a leading cause of knee pain.

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