Healthy Knees for Life!
By Kate Gardner
There's not much that can make you feel old like a pair of achy, creaky knees (except maybe forgetting why you walked into a room). It's no wonder our knees hurt as we get older -- they take a beating every day. They carry most of our weight while helping us walk, run, and use the stairs. Knee pain might seem inevitable as we age, but there are things we can do to keep our knees healthy for life.
Knees Are Complicated
To take care of your knees, it's important to understand how they work. According to WebMD.com, the knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the human body. The knee is the connection point for four bones: the tibia, fibula, femur, and patella (kneecap). Ligaments help hold these bones together and attach them to the leg muscles with tendons. Two pieces of cartilage act as shock absorbers.
Now, think about what your knees put up with each day. All the parts of the joint work together to let your knee bend, straighten, and bear the weight of your body as you go through your day. That's a lot going on in one joint! It makes sense that knees suffer a lot of wear and tear and start to break down as you get older. Cartilage starts to wear thin. Tendons and ligaments suffer strain and injury. But don't despair! There are plenty of things you can do to protect your knees as they age.
In their article, "Age-proof your knees," Harvard Health gives us tips on how to protect our knees as we get older.
Strength training - Strengthening leg muscles takes some of the pressure off your knees. Stronger muscles protect your tendons and ligaments by holding things in place better and they protect your cartilage by helping to absorb shock.
Weight - For every extra pound of weight you carry, an additional four pounds of pressure are put on your knees. Losing weight can help reduce, or even eliminate knee pain.
Range of motion - Maintain a normal range of motion with your knee by doing gentle stretches.
Chiropractic care can be an important part of keeping your knees, and the rest of your body, healthy. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct joint restrictions throughout the body that affect how your knees work and feel. These adjustments may improve joint motion, relieve joint discomfort, improve flexibility, or decrease inflammation. Chiropractic care has the added benefits of being non-invasive and non-addictive.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Azusa, Calif.