Keeping your knees healthy can reduce the risk of injury. It can also help to relieve the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis and give you the best chances of recovering your mobility fully after knee surgery.
Carrying excess weight puts extra pressure on your knees, so one of the best things you can do to protect your joints is to maintain a healthy weight. Even a small amount of excess weight can affect your joints, but losing it can often help to improve symptoms such as knee pain.
A healthy diet is the key to good health. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables will ensure that your body has all of the nutrients it needs to keep your knees as healthy as possible.
Smoking can limit your body’s ability to heal itself by restricting blood flow. It can therefore make it more difficult for your knees to recover from minor injuries. Giving up smoking is especially important if you will be undergoing knee surgery, as it will make it easier for your body to recover.
Climbing up and down the stairs is one of the most strenuous everyday activities for your knees. Although taking the stairs can give you a good workout, you should climb steadily to reduce the stress on your knees. You should be particularly careful if you have knee pain or other symptoms that are triggered by the stairs.
Keeping active can be great for your knees as well as your general health. However, it is important to exercise the right way, especially if you have arthritis or another issue with your joints. You may need to avoid high impact activities such as running on hard surfaces. Exercises such as squats that involve bending the knee can also place extra strain on your knees, especially if your form is incorrect. Options that can be better for your knees include swimming and exercises that build up your inner thigh muscles. Ask your doctor for advice on the best ways to exercise and talk to a personal trainer or gym employee to find out how to exercise safely.
Choosing the right footwear will have a big effect on your knees. Make sure that your feet are properly cushioned and supported when you are walking long distances or exercising. It is also best to avoid wearing high heels too often or for too long.
If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness or reduced mobility in your knees it is important to see a doctor. You can treat knee injuries right away with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), but persistent or severe pain needs to be checked by a doctor. Ignoring the problem could allow it to get worse, which could lead to serious problems with your knees. The earlier you seek help, the easier it will be to limit the effects and provide treatment.
Matt Dawson is a Specialist Knee Surgeon with over 16 years Consultant experience. Matt is internationally renowned as one of the leading authorities on knee realignment surgery
Specialist Knee Surgeon
Over 16 years Consultant experience
Patient Centric Approach
Enhanced Recovery Programme (ERP)
Leading in Knee Realignment Surgery