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[December 2019] How to Keep Your Knees Healthy
Date 12-17-2019 14:20 Hit734
How to Keep Your Knees Healthy

The knee joints are by far one of the most frequently used joints in the human body. Damage to the knee cartilage is irreversible in most cases. It is, therefore, crucial to keep our knees healthy by strengthening the muscles around the knees.

Causes of Knee Pain

The knee joints sustain much of the bodyweight. Whenever we lift heavy objects, climb up and down the stairs, run, or even just stand still, our knees work hard to support our weight. There are diverse reasons that lead to damage and pain in the knees, but the most common manifestation is chondromalacia patellae, or “runner’s knee.” Pain occurs as the cartilage underneath the patella or the kneecap is worn. Some people are born with thinner and weaker cartilages. Aging is another major contributing factor. But physical exertions, maintaining bad postures, and standing long hours on a repeated basis can also lead to the runner’s knee.

You may have grounds to suspect runner’s knee if you feel sore in your knees, pain in your knees when you walk up and down the stairs, or piercing pain or even swelling in your knees. If left untreated, the condition may evolve into degenerative arthritis. When symptoms begin to appear, it is therefore critical to do everything we can to prevent the condition from getting worse.

Knee Strengthening Exercises

We can prevent or mitigate knee pain and chondromalacia patellae by keeping the muscles around our knees toned through regular exercises. The key point to remember is to repeat strengthening and relaxing the muscles around our knees. Here are a few simple exercises we can do daily.

[Knee Stretching 1]
1. Sit on the floor, with both legs stretched out.
2. Place your hands on your knees and gently grab your kneecaps.
3. With your fingers securely holding onto your kneecaps, push them gently from the center of your body outwards and hold for 10 seconds. Pull them toward the center of your body and hold for 10 seconds. Push them toward your ankles and hold for 10 seconds. Pull them toward your thighs and hold for 10 seconds.
4. Move your toes upward and pull the big toes toward your upper body so that the muscles on the back of your lower legs are stretched. Hold for 10 seconds.

[Knee Stretching 2]
1. Sit on a chair and place the soles of your feet on the floor.
2. Rub your palms together to warm them. Rub each of your knees with your palms so that your knees are warmed.
3. Raise your feet so that your legs are completely stretched all the way from your buttocks to your ankles. Your toes should be pointing upward. Your back should stay straight.
4. Keep your one foot raised for 10 seconds. Lower your feet.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 five times. (As you get used to it, extend the time you keep your foot raised, to 15 seconds, etc.).
6. Repeat Steps 2 to 5 on your other leg.

[Thigh Stretching]
1. Lie on the floor on your abdomen. Place a foam roller underneath the front of your thighs.
2. Raise yourself on your elbows placed on the floor. Move your torso front and back to massage the front of your thighs on the foam roller.
3. Lie on your side and massage the outer part of your each thigh on the foam roller as well. Repeat this once or twice daily.