Knee joint discomfort is a common problem in daily life. Most often it involves pain and a feeling of stiffness. The main cause of these symptoms is degenerative disease. Its development may be related to advanced age, excessive strain and injuries. That’s why it’s worth taking care of your knees in advance. Following the rules below will keep your knees fit and protect you against degenerative changes.
Maintain a healthy weight
The knee joints bear a lot of weight. The heavier you are, the greater the forces acting on your knees. The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the human musculoskeletal system, which is also known as the locomotor system. It includes, among other things, articular surfaces covered with articular cartilage and menisci. Menisci are fibrocartilage structures that are critical for maintaining the integrity of the knee joint. They act as cushions in the joint and contribute to its lubrication. Excessive or abnormal mechanical loading can lead to cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a healthy weight and a proper diet.
A proper diet will help you to maintain a healthy body weight and provide many valuable nutrients. Your diet should contain products rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (including fish and other seafood, plant oils, seeds and nuts) and antioxidants (including fruits and vegetables), which protect against inflammation. It is also important to eat the right amount of protein. It is recommended to consume around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (or 0.36 grams per pound) of body weight per day. Physical activity increases the need for protein to 2 grams per kilogram (or 0.9 grams per pound) of body weight per day. Protein is essential for building and strengthening the muscles that support your joints.
It is also worth mentioning vitamin D. Most of it comes from skin synthesis and only to a small extent from food. Due to limited exposure to sunlight, which is required for skin synthesis, vitamin D supplementation is recommended in the fall and winter. Vitamin D plays a key role in regulating bone metabolism and maintaining adequate bone mineral density. It makes your bones more resistant to injuries.
Physical activity helps to prevent cartilage deterioration. It also stimulates the production of synovial fluid, which reduces friction between joint surfaces and nourishes the cartilage. In addition, physical activity has a beneficial effect on bones, ligaments and muscles. It increases bone density and strengthens ligaments and muscles. As a result, the joints are well supported and less susceptible to injuries. However, remember to avoid excessive loads and non-physiological body positions when exercising. Excessive forces destroy the structures that make up the knee joint. Special caution must be taken by overweight or obese people and those who already suffer from knee joint problems. They should not engage in physical activity involving running or jumping. Swimming, cycling or other activities that strengthen the leg muscles will be much better.