Knees

Six Tips to Keep Your Knees and Other Joints Healthy

Knees are the weight-bearing joints of our body and critical for a complete range of motion. The joint includes parts of thigh bone and shin bone, and knee cap (patella) supported by cartilage, ligaments and muscles. There are many diseases and medical conditions that can damage or deteriorate the knee over time. With age, some amount of natural wear and tear of the joints is inevitable.

However, the overall function or movement of the knees must not be affected. One should consult a doctor if they experience a clicking or popping sensation in the joint while walking, bending or twisting, and this is accompanied by persistent pain or swelling. Orthopaedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists initially recommend non-invasive methods of treatment to manage pain and inflammation. When the pain is severe enough, even while resting, and movement is too restricted to perform everyday tasks, surgery might be recommended.

Knee replacement surgery is a common orthopaedic procedure and has a good success rate. The aim of the surgery is to relieve and improve the quality of life by restoring the knee functions. It involves replacing the damaged knee joint with artificial prosthetic parts made of metal alloy, plastic or ceramic.

As the knee replacement surgery cost in India is highly reasonable in comparison to other countries, the Indian hospitals receive numerous patients from all over the world. The high quality treatment is not only effective but safe, as the best quality implants and the latest surgical techniques are used. 

However, it is a major operation, and a person should take care of the knees to avoid such procedures. To remain active and maintain quality of life, it is important to keep your knee joints in good health and avoid any injury or damage. 

Here are some tips to keep your knees and other joints healthy:

A healthy weight

As knee joints are among the weight bearing joints of the body, the excess weight may put tremendous pressure on the knees. The experts say that every pound of weight a person puts on, the knees have to take four more pounds of force on them. The pressure even increases when climbing up and down stairs. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is necessary to keep the knee in good condition. 

Stay moving

Remaining active and taking part in regular physical exercises help maintain proper joint functions, including strength and range of movement of the knees. This also helps in avoiding sports related injury. However, high-impact activities such as running and jogging might be bad for the knees, as indicated by some research studies. However, the latest evidence also shows that recreational runners are known to have a much lower risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in comparison to competitive runners and people with sedentary lifestyle. So, it is recommended for runners to not run on successive days but only every other day. Also, older people should take care as recovery doesn’t happen as well as with age. You can mix up some low-impact activities such as bicycling, pilates or swimming on some days.

Maintain bone strength 

Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients for healthy bones. There are many good sources of these nutrients. Dairy products are the best calcium sources. Other foods such as green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale are also considered good sources. Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption. Sunlight is the best source for obtaining vitamin D. However, some diet sources are also there. Some people may even need supplementation, if natural source is not enough. Vitamin D deficiency or low calcium are associated with less bone density and increased risk of fracture. 

Muscle Strengthen to support the knees.

Having strong thigh muscles, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors  are important to maintaining proper range of motion. It also helps to protect the knee cartilage, maintain stability and reduce the stress on the knee. Include squats and lunges twice a week to your exercise routine can help make sure that the knees stay above the feet and don’t extend in front of your toes. Although, people above the age of 50 should avoid squatting below a 90-degree angle with hips dropping below the knees as deep squats increase the pressure on the knees. 

Have a good posture

Slouching or stooping may happen as a person gets older. This is can cause problems as poor posture alters the body’s centre of gravity, and puts excess stress on the knees and hips. Practice standing tall, with head in line with the shoulders, and keeping the shoulders directly over the hips. The hips should be aligned with the knees, and knees must be aligned with the feet. Pilates, yoga, and core-strengthening exercises (including planks and back extensions) can help improve the posture and prevent irritation in the kneecaps.

Wearing the right kind of footwear

Feet should be comfortable to maintain a good walk and avoid stress on the knees. Supportive and comfortable shoes help to keep a proper alignment of the joints in the lower extremities with movement. Use appropriate footwear for different situations, running shoes for running and sports shoes for exercising. Good and balanced footwear help gait and prevent foot problems.