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How can I take care of my knees at home?

Your knees are essential to a healthy and vibrant life! Let me clarify that statement a bit more for you. Picture watching an elderly loved one in your family or acquaintance of the family as they live their life. Watch what happens to their quality of life as they start to show signs of aging. Their posture starts to deteriorate. Their breathing becomes more difficult. Finally, their ability to move becomes more and more compromised. The less moving this person does, the faster the physical health seems to occur. The knees are an essential part of moving.

We were meant to move. It can be said that movement is life! One of the keys to being able to move is the ability for your knees to function properly. If you reach 75 years of age and average 5,000 steps per day you would have taken 150,000,000 steps in a lifetime. Calculated with an average body weight of 150 pounds would load 22.5 billion pounds (11.25 million tons) of force on each knee over that same time frame. The knee absorbs a lot of force over the years.

We expect a lot from our knees, but like anything in life, if we do not care for them properly, we can expect problems and breakdowns. Let’s take a deeper look at what we can do from a problem preventative perspective as well as a problem repair perspective with regards to knee problems.

One of the primary concerns we should have with our knees is reducing the weight load the are expected to handle. Weight reduction logically reduces the amount of force with each step. We already know that reducing the movement that our knees provide is counterproductive to our goal of longevity.

A second preventative measure we can take is to provide excellent nutrition to our knees. Our automobiles perform better if we provide it with regular oil changes, quality gasoline, and regular maintenance. Our knees operate in a similar manner. We need a diet that is high in easy to digest protein because protein is the framework of the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons that comprise the knee. This means eating plenty of fish, chicken, and plant proteins like beans and legumes. Water is another essential ingredient to maintaining good knee health. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, sugary proteins with long names, are the glue-like structure of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. I recommend taking 1500 mg of these products as a supplement daily for good knee health.

Finally, exercise is essential to maintaining good knee health. It is an undisputable fact that movement of two cartilage surfaces against each other, a process known as stroking, leads to enhanced NEW cartilage production. If we are going to eat well to help our knees, we need to exercise to make use of that nutrition.

A third perspective in knee care are proper methods of repairing damage that does occur with overuse, accidents, and time. When a knee problem occurs, usually there will be a certain amount of swelling associated with the problem. This is a normal body response called inflammation. The purpose of the inflammation is to transport the raw materials needed to start repairing any damage that has occurred. The inflammation can stagnate and cause congestion, internal scarring, and pain. The best way to prevent that from happening is to move the knee through ranges of motion even though it hurts. Start your movement exercises by moving the knee non-weight bearing until the movement becomes easier. Then slowly start to add more weight bearing to the treatment by supported movements with the foot on the floor to eventually standing knee movements.

Exercise for conditioning and strengthening can only be applied after your knee is able to flex and extend fully in a weight bearing situation. The best way to test this is to walk up and down stairs and determine the level, if any, pain you experience. Exercise of the knee for conditioning can take the form of bicycling, walking, jogging, golfing, dancing, and so on.

If you have any questions you would like to ask us about your knee problems, you can contact me at or call my office to schedule a consultation. Also, you can go to (A Topic You KNEE To Know) and (Do Your Knees Talk Back?) to see our previous FB videos and check our blogs on this website to learn more about on knee problems.

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