For many people, knee pain can be a way of life, limiting their ability to climb stairs, squat down to get something off the floor, enjoy long walks, shopping and a host of other daily activities. The knee joint is one of the most complicated joints in the body and has to bear up to 6 times your body weight with running or jumping.
This incredible joint has to move over a million times each year and over 80 million times over a lifetime. This is also the reason why things can go wrong, causing injury and pain.
How to Take Care of Your Knees
Just like taking care of your heart, your joints need attention to maintain a healthy state. Here are 3 easy ways for you to take care of your knees, avoiding arthritis and other joint problems:
- Stretch your thigh muscles (hamstring, quadriceps and adductors) each day. By keeping these muscles flexible, the forces on your knee joints can be balanced, allowing your joint to bend, rotate and for your knee cap (patella) to track properly.
- Keep the muscles around your hips and knees strong. Especially the glutes and quadriceps muscles. Studies show that those adults, especially over 55 who have stronger hip and thigh muscles (glutes and quadriceps), tend to have less back pain and more ability to do daily activities.
- Exercise regularly. While this is good for the whole body, the knees especially need exercise to keep their cartilage healthy. The cartilage does not have much blood supply and requires its nutrition from joint fluid. Most of the joint fluid absorbs into the cartilage only through movement and compression of the knee. Therefore, it is important to do weight bearing exercise such as walking, running and other sports. However, if you have arthritis, it is advised to do less impact activities such as biking, elliptical machines, aquatic exercises, etc.
Having a regular physical therapy checkup ensures that your joints are working at their peak performance. In addition, any problems will be discovered early, preventing the onset of arthritis and joint injury.
If you have arthritis or have had surgery, then a regular physical therapy check up is especially important. If your attention is on that sore knee, then it is time you called us for a free knee joint analysis. Talk to one of our expert physical therapists today and see how life can be with freely moving knees.