Did you know that your knees carry three times your weight? With each step the pressure is triple. Over time, this can lead to problems with the cartilage, bursa sacs and bones of your knee joint.
The bones of the joints have cartilage on the ends. This prevents the bone from being worn down. There are also fluid filled sacs that help the joint to move without pain. The fluid cushions the joints. When that fluid is gone or the cartilage is worn down, then the bones can rub against bone and you have knee pain.
So what can you do to avoid this pain? Here are a few suggestions to keep your knees healthy.
* Weight loss – Carrying as few as ten extra pounds can affect the use of your knees. Proper diet and exercise can help you to shed pounds and limit the pressure on this joint.
* Exercise – The knee is a joint that supports a lot of weight. To keep it working, strengthen it with weight-bearing exercises. Using a program targeted at improving joint health can help you strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the knee so that the patella (knee cap) doesn’t shift or move during normal activities.
* Stretching – Stretching isn’t just good for a warm-up before exercise. Making a habit of performing some sort of stretching each day can increase the pliability of your muscles. When muscles move better they can help support joints better. There is less chance of injury.
* Practice ergonomics – Part of joint pain could be attributed to poor body mechanics. When we fail to stand or sit properly, joints are pushed out of alignment. Tendons and ligaments can be stretched over time and this can add to pain on the knee. Pressure is evenly distributed across your hip, knee and ankle when you use proper posture. Any changes can affect the knee. So, your knee pain may be the result of a weakness in another part of the body.
* Protect the knee – Avoid exercises that put a lot of pressure on the knee. This can be a team sport like hockey or soccer. It can also happen in the workplace. Improper technique when bending or lifting can affect the health of the knee. Bending from the knee protects the back, but putting the balance in your glutes protects the knee.
* Know your limits – When you feel pain in your knee, stop what you are doing. Contrary to popular opinion, pain is not a sign of any type of physical gain. Choose a less strenuous exercise, especially if you are getting back to exercising after a sedentary life. See a doctor to learn how to deal with your particular pain.