Health Tips

Health Tips: Healthy Knees

Knee joints are an essential yet neglected part of the body. They hold the weight of the entire body and transfer it to the ground. Old as well as young people are affected with knee pain due to lack of care. Here are a few health tips to avoid knee pain and to accelerate knee rehabilitation in patients with chronic knee pain:

 1. Watch your weight:  Overweight women have nearly 4 times the risk of knee Osteoarthritis; for overweight men the risk is 5 times greater. For a woman of normal height, for every 11 lb weight loss (approximately 2 BMI units), the risk of knee Osteoarthritis dropped > 50%.

2. Stairs as an exercise: Ascending and descending stairs are the best form of functional exercise that strengthen your knee muscles and also helps in burning your calories. Just like any other exercise, avoid them if you are prescribed complete rest.

3. Maintain your flexibility: Stretching the muscles of the back of leg (hams and calf) when done after a mild warm up, say 5 min of cycling or treadmill have shown beneficial effects on knee pain.

4. Correcting biomechanical errors: weak hip muscles (glutei) and flat feet can cause unnecessary stress on your knees. These errors should be acknowledged and treated promptly.

5. Strengthening of knee and hip muscles: Strong hip abductors and quadriceps (specifically inner side), can help in decreasing the stress that is put on the joint, and thereby delaying the degenerative changes in the arthritic knee and improving your balance.

6. Low impact exercises: Low impact exercises like rowing machine, cycling, swimming or even cross-training at times should be preferred than high-impact exercises like running and jumping.

7. Power up your core: An over arched back can make your legs and knee to roll in towards the midline of your body, while a stronger core will equally distribute the weight of the body to your legs and knee.

8. Support your knee with supplements: Eat omega-3 fatty acids foods like flaxseed, salmon, fish oil, chia seeds and good vitamin D and calcium food sources to decrease the inflammation in the joints, and improve their strength.

9. Prevention is better than cure: Avoid injuries, falls, overtraining of your muscles, and unnecessary stress on your joints caused by prolonged wrong sitting posture. Always switch gradually!10.  Check your heels: stilettos and wedges can collapse your ankle arches by overworking your calf. Also change your sneakers every 300 miles to maintain proper cushioning of your shoes.

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