How to protect your knees

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Keeping your knees healthy is important to keeping you moving throughout your lifetime. They keep working through all the walking, sitting and standing you do, but wear and tear can happen naturally over time.

Sometimes injury or conditions like osteoarthritis can also cause problems, and there may come a time when knee surgery such as a knee replacement might be something you have to consider, but in the meantime there are things you can do to keep your knees moving and reduce the risk.


Exercise for knee strength

High impact exercise and various sports can impact your knees, but exercise can also help to support your knee joints by strengthening the muscles around it, helping to reduce the risk of injury. Of course, this should be gentle exercise as too much working out can actually put extra strain on joints.

Stretches and gentle exercises like yoga can help to strengthen joints and protect against injuries – as well as help speed up recovery if something does happen – but you should always seek professional advice and supervision to ensure you’re exercising safely. If you already have any knee or other joint problems, you should also check with your doctor before taking up a new exercise routine.

Find out more about specific knee exercises for runners.


Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying a lot of excess weight can put extra strain on your joints, causing them to wear out faster. The effect is also amplified when it comes to joints, so an extra stone of weight can mean seven times the amount of strain on your joints.

Your knees are the largest joints in the body, and naturally take a lot of the strain of your body weight over the years, so losing just a little bit of weight can have a big effect.


Give your knees some comfort

Everyday activities can put strain on your knees, such as walking or standing for a long time on hard surfaces, or kneeling while gardening or other chores. Of course, these things are unavoidable sometimes, so the best approach is to provide some support and relieve strain where you can.

When you’re gardening, use a knee pad to kneel on or sit on a low stool. You could also invest in some cushioned gel inserts for your shoes to take some of the pressure off when walking on hard surfaces. If you already experience knee pain, you could also use one of the different types of knee support available.


Keep your joints oiled

What you eat also has an effect on your joints and your knees. Eating a healthy and balanced diet that includes omega-3 fats can help to keep your joints moving and lubricated. You can find omega-3 in oily fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel. You could also take an omega-3 supplement.

Foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can be beneficial, too, such as fruits and berries, olive oil, and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin E can also help, found in nuts and seeds.

At Ramsay Health Care we offer a full range of diagnosis and surgery options for knee pain and other joint problems. You can find out more about our knee and other orthopaedic treatments, or if you’d like to talk to us about any knee or joint problems you’re having, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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