When it comes to your overall health, it is quite easy to take your knees for granted and neglect them, however there are some things you can do to look after them well and ultimately give them a longer life.
Many people suffer with wear and tear on the knee, particularly as they grow older. A big cause of this can be due to the knee area not being moved properly or enough. The fluid inside the knee should be circulated correctly as it is necessary for its nourishment.
Knees also depend on muscles around them to limit the pressure on them, enabling them to move more efficiently. Strong muscles should therefore help with the longevity of the knee.
Pain in the knee can be caused by the cartilage breaking down; here are five suggestions to slow down the process:
1 KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR WEIGHT
If you are overweight, you may be putting an extra strain on your knees, every pound that you can lose will have an impact in taking the pressure off your knees.
2 DO REGULAR EXERCISE
If you already suffer with knee problems, aerobic exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing as you may worry about aggravating these problems. However, pain and stiffness are much worse in inactive people.
As well as being good for your heart, the boost to the blood flow when you exercise will nourish the cartilage in the knee. If you do already have knee problems though, it is probably best to avoid any jumping or too much running; but exercises such as walking or swimming would be advisable, or you may want to take up Yoga or Pilates, as these can help with your flexibility which again enables the joint fluid to nourish the cartilage.
3 CONSIDER USING INSOLES
Insoles can help your knee in the sense that they act as shock absorber between your body and shoe. So whenever you are in power position or working out, your feet may over-pronate or supinate, your insoles will support your arches and hence make your arch muscles stronger to carry your body weight in more neutral and stable position placing balanced weight and less pressure on your knee.
4 INTRODUCE MORE HEALTHY FOOD TO YOUR DIET
There are certain foods that have been linked to fighting knee osteoarthritis. These include almonds, hazelnuts and spinach that contain the antioxidant Vitamin E; fish such as salmon and tuna, rich in Vitamin D; oranges and strawberries, rich in Vitamin C and spinach and kale, rich in Vitamin K. You could incorporate some of these suggestions to your weekly eating plan.
5 STRENGTHEN THE MUSCLES AROUND YOUR KNEE
Strong muscles in your knee can help to lessen the effects of sudden jarring. There are specific exercises that can help with strengthening muscles around the knee. Exercising of the hamstrings, gluts, calves and quadriceps all play a part when it comes to knee strength.
An example of a good exercise for the quadriceps is a straight leg raise, this can be conducted by simply standing up and raising one leg ten times and then alternating with the other, whilst keeping the back leg straight; or by lying down and raising one leg for ten times while the other is bent, then alternating.
– Karen Hill