Americans are riddled with knee problems, from nagging inflammation to immobility, all the way to ACL reconstructions. Knee pain is the second most common form of chronic pain and it affects roughly 100 million Americans.
The complexity of the knee, as well as sedentary lifestyles, terrible posture, inflammatory diets, obesity, poor training protocols, and a lack of time focused on improving mobility are all significant contributors to the wide degree of knee problems in modern society. Here are several keys for healthy knees.
Our knees contain cartilage—soft tissue that lines the ends of our joints and enables us to move pain-free. Cartilage is made up of mostly water, about 80% when we are hydrated, but as we grow older the water content decreases. This decrease can lead to cartilage becoming unhealthy as well as lead to degenerative joint disease. Stay hydrated to keep your knees healthy.
For each pound of weight lost, knee stress decreases by 4 pounds in overweight and obese people. Eating healthy portions and an anti-inflammatory diet can help in losing weight, reducing knee stress, and decreasing systemic inflammation throughout the body.
Check Your Footwear
Footwear such as high heels or overly rigid shoes can wreak havoc on your knees, ankles, and feet. Whether you are a nimble young person or someone with osteoporosis, picking out proper footwear can bring about tremendous pain alleviation as well as promote healthy feet—which are essential for healthy knees, ankles, hips, and the rest of your body’s posture.
Strengthen Your Hamstrings & Glutes
Our sedentary lifestyles that repeatedly keep us seated and in poor postures lead to underdeveloped hamstrings and glutes, and overuse of the knee and quadriceps muscles. Women especially have a natural disposition to having quadriceps that are much more dominant than their hamstrings, which leads to them suffering many more ACL tears than men. Strong hamstring and glute muscles are a powerful defense against knee pain and injuries.
Get Up and Move
Cartilage lacks blood vessels to carry nutrients into it, meaning that in order to get our blood flowing and carrying vital nutrients we need to get up and move our bodies. It doesn’t have to be rigorous either, as three 10-minute walks throughout the day, a few days a week, is perfect.
Stretch Your Quads & Calves
This prospective study’s statistical analysis demonstrated that those in the study who ended up developing patellofemoral pain had significantly tighter calf and quadriceps muscles.