The largest joints in the body are the knees. They provide the body with stability, flexibility, and support. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to stand, walk, run, jump or even turn around. So, we need to keep them healthy.
Older adults usually are the ones who face knee problems, especially because of their age. Their bad knees can affect their mobility and limit their daily activities. The simplest chores are made to look complicated because the knee pain is unbearable.
Moreover, there are different reasons that can cause a weak knee. Whether it is an injury, strain, excess sodium intake, nutritional deficiency, drinking, osteoarthritis or smoking, the knee affects the entire body.
So, to strengthen your knee, you should try these ten ways that may prove useful.
10 Ways to Strengthen the Knee
Calcium is an important source of energy for the bones. It has a huge effect on their overall health. It can strengthen them and help people with osteoporosis. However, the body can’t create its own calcium naturally, so it is best to take supplements.
These supplements can be either naturally or chemically produced. The natural are dark leafy greens, milk cheese, almonds, and sardines. To take more calcium, you should try edamame, fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified cereals and blackstrap molasses.
2. Vitamin C
This vitamin is vital for the knee cartilage, in other words, the collagen. It can help with the synthesis of collagen, the bone matrix and the normal development of bones. Furthermore, it can help increase the density of bones and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Therefore you should try the following foods that contain the necessary amount of vitamin C like oranges, broccoli, strawberries, berries, papaya, kiwi, lemon, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers and Brussels sprouts. If you still need more vitamins in the form of medicinal supplements, consult your doctor.
If you suffer from knee pain, try the low-impact aerobic exercise while swimming. This exercise is immensely popular and with good reason. Plus, it is great for strengthening the muscles, joints, bones and lowers the stiffness.
If you can swim 30 min per day, five days a week, you can get the best results. However, make sure you don’t exhaust your body, because the pressure may cause a breaststroke. Be careful.
4. Anti-inflammatory Foods
If you want to remove inflammation try these foods: olive oil, ginger, flax seeds, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, turmeric, avocado, tart cherries, blueberries, and walnuts.
So, you need to avoid sugary foods, soda, white rice, saturated fats and white flour products.
5. Exercises for Knee Strengthening
There are various exercises that can help your weak knee. These exercises can strengthen the muscles that surround the knee and keep the joints in the right position. Thus, the bones get stronger and properly aligned.
Some of these exercises are step-ups, hamstring stretches, single-leg squats, straight-leg raises, lunges, with thigh contraction, knee squats and knee bends with a Swiss ball.
6. Manage a Healthy Weight
People who are overweight tend to have more problems with their knees. Their knees are constantly under pressure because of the weight. Thus, they become weaker. Plus, obesity can raise the risk of the need for a knee or a hip replacement.
Therefore, people who are overweight should try to lose weight with a healthy diet and a daily exercise if they want to improve their stability and knee strength.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the most important nutrient for the bone and joint health. Therefore, people who lack this vitamin have an increased risk of minimal trauma fractures. On top of that, due to its deficiency, the body can’t absorb the necessary amount of calcium in the system.
Besides, you can get the necessary amount of vitamin D by exposing yourself to a little sunlight, so it is best to walk around in the morning for 15 minutes per day. You should also consider eating more fish, egg yolks, dairy products, cod liver oil, and fortified cereals.
However, if you need more supplements in the form of medications, you should consult with your doctor.
8. Epsom Salt
If you suffer from osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis, your knees usually lack magnesium. Therefore you should try taking Epsom salt to decrease the bad feeling in the knee. Plus, this salt may reduce the inflamed knee joints.
Furthermore, magnesium can help the muscles absorb calcium easily. So, in ½ cup of water dissolve 2 tbsp of Epsom Salt. With a washcloth apply the solution on the affected area and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 min. Wash it off with slightly warm water. You can do this once/twice per week.
Besides, you can add this salt to your bath and rest for twenty minutes. You can use this method once/twice per week.
9. Fish Oil
The fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Therefore they can improve the knee joints and bone density. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help with the stiffness and pain.
According to a study by International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience in 2006, the people who took 1,200 mg fish oil daily had improved joint health. They consumed tuna, salmon, and mackerel twice per week.
If you don’t like cold-water fish, you can consume 6 grams fish oil instead, two times per day. This would give at least 30% DHA/EPA. However, consult your doctor before you decide on taking any supplements.
This method is the most effective if you visit a professional. Massage therapy has proven to help with the muscles and joints pain. Plus, it makes them stronger and improves blood circulation along with the necessary nutrients.
If you want to massage your joints at home, you should use coconut or olive oil to rub your knees gently. You can massage them both counter-clockwise and clockwise for 10 to 15 minutes. You can repeat this procedure as much as you need it.
However, if the pain is constant and doesn’t go away, it is best to visit a professional.
- Avoid consuming too much salt – it can lead to loss of calcium.
- Drink more fluids to soften the cartilage.
- Learn yoga poses that can help your condition.
- Try to cycle and walk to strengthen your knees actively.
- Don’t move too suddenly in a way that would put pressure on your joints, like jumping.
- Avoid shoes with high-heels.
- Don’t do the activities that can increase the pain in your knee.
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for a longer period.
- Quit smoking and drinking.