Knee pain can be debilitating. Knees do everything for us. They give us support and stability, they help us walk, stand and run, we can turn around because of our knees, we can jump and crouch, be flexible and fully mobile. When our knees give us problems, all of these things become compromised.
Knee joints are the largest joint in the body. As we get older we often have problems with our knees through general wear and tear. But younger people have weak knees too.
Why do we get weak knees?
- Old age
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Wrong exercise
- Wear and tear
- Excess sodium
Strengthen your knees with dietary and lifestyle changes.
Exercise your knees
Keep your joints properly positioned and aligned and work on knee strengthening exercises. These can include step ups, lunges, hamstring stretches, squats with both double and single legs, knee raises, knee bends and leg raises.
It is a good idea to have a personal trainer or physiotherapist give you actual exercises for your knees and for you to follow a routine, three or more times per week.
If knee pain gets worse after exercise, stop immediately and consult a doctor.
Swimming is one of the best all round exercises. It is a low impact aerobic exercise that does not put pressure on the joints. It can also strengthen all your body muscles as well as bones, and be good for all round mental health and fitness. Backstroke is the best stroke for your knees, breaststroke is the worst.
Massage therapy can strengthen your knees and alleviate any knee pain. Massage will get your circulation going and provide your body with more blood and nutrients.
You can make a natural poultice out of olive or coconut oil and mustard, warm it up and rub it into your knees. Massage should always be in both directions, and do it for ten or more minutes per day. Repeat as necessary.
If you are worried about your knee pain, consult a physiotherapist.
Maintain your weight
Excess weight puts extra stress on your knees. Maintain a healthy diet and do not eat processed foods or any foods with sugar. People who are obese tend towards having knee and hip issues and you want to avoid replacements at all costs. When you diet, do this sensibly and under the auspices of a nutritionist. Do not do anything extreme or unhealthy.
Usually knee problems go hand in hand with low magnesium levels which can result in rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium. They will also reduce inflammation quickly, so if knees are inflamed, or the muscles around them, epsom salts will do the trick.
Dissolve two tablespoons of the salt in warm water. Apply the solution to the knee with cloth and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat when necessary.
A warm bath filled with epsom salts is also relaxing and incredibly soothing.
Low calcium levels result in weakened bones, also leading to osteoporosis. Eat a diet rich in calcium by including leafy greens, almonds, cheese, milk, calcium fortified cereals, sardines and blackstrap molasses. There is nothing wrong with taking a calcium supplement in the form of a capsule and include those rich in Vitamin C and D as well. Check with your doctor for the required dosage.
We always need vitamins and minerals in our diets. Vitamin D is a threshold nutrient for bone health and supple joints. We need Vitamin D to absorb calcium into our bodies and bones. Expose your knees to the sunlight every day for ten minutes to get natural Vitamin D and eat fish, egg yolks and dairy. Supplements are fine too.
Vitamin C gives us collagen which is vital for knee cartilage. Vitamin C is important for the development of bones too, and for their mass density. A shortage of Vitamin C can increase the risk of fractures.
Eat broccoli, strawberries, berries, kiwi, cauliflower and spinach, as well as papaya and lemon. Supplements can only help and consult your doctor for advice.
Eat a diet rich in fruits and herbs that contain natural anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is excellent, as is ginger, flaxseed, spinach, avocados, sweet potatoes and walnuts.
Avoid sugars, processed foods, white flour products, fizzy drinks and any food rich in saturated fats.
- Do yoga
- Do not jump.
- Avoid high heels
- Cycle and walk
- Do not run
- Stop smoking and drinking
- Follow a healthy diet
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