Protect Your Knees With These 3 Tips

05 Jun 2019
Health Articles
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Guess which is the largest joint in our body? Yes, our knees! They take plenty of abuse from our everyday living. Running, climbing, lifting weights, squatting, jumping, and many more. There is no surprise that we frequently hear knee pain complains from elderly. 

Common reasons of knee pain complain are due to knee inflammation, muscle weakness, inflexible joints, or tissue damages such as torn ligament/tendon, and torn cartilage. If the source of discomfort is caused by inflammation, physical, medication or rehabilitation may help to relieve the symptom. If it is caused by severe tissue damages, it would require surgery to recover. 

Here are some ways to protect your knees 

1.      Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

This may be counter intuitive at first. Some may ask, why should we do more to stress the joints while it has already taken a lot of beating? The truth is that exercise will preserve the strength of the surrounding muscle and tendon tissue of the joints. When you have a strong muscle, tendon and ligament, you will have less chance to sprain your joints. 
 
 The key here is – know your limit. Exercise does not mean you must sprint and break your personal record every day. It does not mean you need to do long distant running or lift heavy weight. Every pair of knees are different. If you feel pain when you sprint, that doesn’t mean you cannot do slow morning walk for 15 minutes every morning. There is more danger to quit exercise altogether than exercise itself when you have knee problem. 

2.      Stretch!

If you have not been moving much for a long time, the chances is that your muscle fibers would be stiffened up and your tense. Some moderate stretching would be great to take the tension and pressure off your kneecaps. 
 
 You need to focus the stretch on your calf, quadriceps and hamstrings. These muscles are often the ones that pulling too hard and exert extra stresses to your knees. However, we advise you to do some mild warm up before stretching your muscles to prevent injuries. You could walk around your neighborhood for 10 minutes before stretching. 

3.      Lose Weight!

This would be an obvious remedy if the patient suffers from body weight issues. Here is how you calculate your BMI:
 
 BMI = Weight (kg) / Height x Height (meter)


 BMI above 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is considered obese. Assuming an average Asian male is 1.7-meter-tall, he would be considered overweight when he is 73 kg and obese when he is above 87 kg. Imagine our knee joint as a moving machine with a lubricating oil , every extra kilogram of weight we load on the machine will increase the friction and wear out the machine faster. For someone who is seriously obese, do not attempt high impact exercise such as badminton, basketball, or sprinting for slimming. Be easy to your joints. Cycling and swimming would create much lesser impact and damage.
 

 Conclusion

The key principle to have a longer lasting knees to your old age is to strengthen the supporting muscles and tissues of the joint, and to reduce the extra burden that damage the joint bit by bits. Pay attention to your habits and your knees will walk you a long journey!