We rely on our knees to support our bodies to perform the essential activities of daily living: sitting, bending, running, and standing. Therefore, it is extremely important to care for your knees properly. The knees are made up of delicate joints, bones, ligaments, and tendons and must be treated with care. Over time, bad habits can affect knee health. Improper care can lead to chronic pain, osteoarthritis, knee injury, dislocation, ACL tears, loss of cartilage, and tendon tears.
The faster you begin to care for your knees the better outcome, as you age. The key is to prevent unavoidable wear and tear and surgery. Knee replacement surgery can be debilitating and painful; as well as, preventable if you start to care for your knees properly. The choice is pain-free continued mobility or strained painful immobility. Imagine a decrease in the activities you once loved? Simple tasks such as walking and sitting will become difficult.
We have pinpointed the following 9 tips to strengthen your knees and keep them healthy:
Knee pain is a common ailment amongst many. Preventative measures work best when trying to maintain a healthy body. Exercise is the key to supporting and improving physical health. Functional exercises work best to improve knee strength. Functional exercises like squats and lunges will strengthen and prepare essential muscles for everyday activities. Stretching is important, as well. Something as simple as a calf stretch will help strengthen your knee. Stretching helps with knee flexibility and mobility.
2. Add supplements to your daily regimen.
Supplements should be added to replenish your body of nutrients and improve upon health. Some signs and symptoms of joint pain include swelling, redness, inflammation, stiffness and an inability to straighten the knee. The two top supplements for knee health are glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine and chondroitin are a part of the knees normal cartilage. Glucosamine increases both cartilage and fluid around the joint, while chondroitin reduces pain, inflammation and also improves joint function.
3. Avoid injury or re-injury.
Listen to your medical care provider. If you have already injured your knee follow medical instructions. Even if it feels better, you must take caution and care to avoid re-injury. Perhaps, physical therapy was prescribed? Do not avoid going; a trained professional can show you proper exercise and rehabilitation techniques to adequately heal the knee.
4. Lose weight.
A healthy weight provides immense health benefits. Even being slightly overweight can negatively affect your knees. In fact, knee pain is a leading complication of being overweight. Experts say that one pound equals four pounds of pressure to the knee. Losing weight also lowers your risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee and decreases both knee and joint pain. Consult with your physician to determine the proper weight for your body size and frame.
5. Modify diet to add healthy superfoods.
A diet rich in superfoods can assist with knee health and overall health and well-being. Superfoods contain powerful antioxidants that work to prevent disease and age-related diseases, such as arthritis or diabetes. The following superfoods can help with knee health and or knee pain: almonds, soy, oranges, and spinach. Almonds are dually beneficial; they are rich in phosphorus, which helps with bone health and they also help with weight loss. Foods containing soy are filled with isoflavones, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, a diet high in vitamin C could protect the body from bone degeneration. Finally, spinach is low in calories and provides the body with a good source of vitamin K, extremely important for bone health.
6. Utilize Massage Therapy.
Adding massage to your health routine will prove beneficial for your knees and your body overall. Regular massage can be used as a preventative measure to keep the body active and limber. More specifically, knee massage can relieve pain, reduce scar tissue, stimulate blood flow, improve upon a range of motion, and relax the knee. Upon initial consultation, your therapist will discuss what areas of the body you would like to concentrate on.
7. Check your footwear.
Wearing the wrong type of shoes or sneakers can lead to knee pain and discomfort. Shoes become worn and sole uneven contributing to knee pain. At times, we may also require a more durable shoe or sneaker, depending upon the activity. Be sure that your sneaker or shoe fit the activity. Avoid grabbing the first pair of sneakers in your closet, if you are going hiking chose a hiking shoe or boot, not a running shoe. Lack of proper knee support can lead to injury. Health care professionals suggest checking your shoes first when experiencing knee pain.
8. Use knee supports, as needed.
Knee supports could be knee braces, sleeves, wraps, or any device utilized to support the knee for a benefit. One must take proper care in choosing the right equipment as each piece of equipment is used for diverse reasons. For example, a knee brace used to support muscle pain would be different than a knee sleeve used for support during a routine workout. It is important to discuss any choice with a certified medical or health professional. Remember, the knees are delicate, and the wrong choice could lead to irreversible damage.
9. Choose anti-inflammatory foods.
At one time or another, our bodies may experience knee aches or pain. Sugary and fried foods lead to inflammation which adds to aches and pain. Choosing anti-inflammatory foods is a good health practice. Cherries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, nuts, and fatty fishes are all considered healthy anti-inflammatory foods.
Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines and wrinkles, joint pain treatment, weight loss and fitness routine. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook and Pinterest.