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Yeah for Healthy Knees

Updated on November 21, 2016

The Amazing Knee

Did you know that when your knees are well they can carry four times your body weight?

Not only that, they can gyroscope in three dimensions. They can bend, twist and pivot.

The knee joints actually can outlast you, as long as you do not abuse them, and give them regular preventive maintenance. I suppose it sounds like I am talking about a car rather than a knee joint. Too bad you can not turn in your old knees in for a new pair when they get hurt.


Picture of knees with replacement joints.
Picture of knees with replacement joints.

To maintain your knees and keep them agile and free of pain, the following tips are recommended:

  • Stretch regularly - The hamstrings and quadriceps need to be kept loose. If they become too tight, they can pull the knee out of alignment. Especialy before any strenuous exercise, it is very important. Act like your animal and stretch when you first get up to keep your knees flexible.
  • Keep your thigh muscles strong - This is very important. Doing weight strengthening exercises will help with this. Be careful not to put too much stress on the knee joint. Just enough and increase slowly.
  • Lose extra weight - Just losing a few pounds can dramatically reduce your chance of having knee problems. Carrying extra weight is the most common cause of knee pain.
  • Be active - A knee that is kept still too long will become stiff. Your muscles will atrophy and be unable to absorb the normal shock that comes with each step. Your knee will have to take on more of your body weight, so walk, run, garden, dance - do something.
  • Take glucosamine/chondroitin daily - Aging cartilage can use a boost of chondroitin each day. It is recommended that you take 1500 mg and 1200 mg of chondroitin daily. This is somewhat controversial, but no studies have proven this to be harmful, but more evidence shows that it does help.
  • Have your physicals - You should have your physical each year and if you have any swelling, grinding, rattling, or weakness, see the doctor immediately. Pain killers just mask the problem, but you should start with physical therapy to improve the joint before it gets worse.
  • Seek a second opinion - If you have been told you need surgery, try other therapies first. You may need to take anti-inflammatory medications and give it a little time to heal. I had a friend whose knee cap would just not stay in the grove and she had to have surgery. Nothing else could have helped her.
  • Be Wise - If you play tennis, make sure the surface is not hard. Do not exercise longer than you should.
  • Wear Knee Braces - If you are involved in an activity that may injure your knee, wear a knee brace or knee guard.

Your knees are the largest joints in your body. They include the following parts carefully woven together:

  • Tendons which attach bone to muscle
  • Ligaments which attach bone to bone
  • Bones - the thighbone (femur) and kneecap (patella) and shin bone (tibia)
  • Cartilage which provides cushioning

Actually, you have two kinds of cartilage in your knee. One is the articular cartilage which covers the ends of the bones to keep them safe and smooth. Then there is the meniscus which is a crescent-shaped small soft cushion that is located between the tibia and femur. It acts as a shock absorber. Actually you have two in each knee, one on either side of your knee.

Knees are the most often injured joints, and the ones most likely to get arthritis with age. They can have pain, swelling , have clicking noises or twinges as well as totally lock up.

When I was a young girl, I was trying to do a high jump and landed awkwardly on my knee. My kneecap (patella) was knocked out of the groove and went to the outside of my leg. This began a long life of difficulties with my knees.

I have been told that I need to have my knee replaced. Others advise me to wait until I cannot walk to do it. Right now it is just a nuisance. If I am on my legs for a long time, this knee will swell up and makes it difficult to go up and down stairs. I have had a few more injuries to that same knee so it can be knocked out of alignment quiet easily.

Currently I have cortisone shots periodically to relieve the pain and calm it down which works quiet well, but eventually it comes back.

Statistics indicate that six million men and women 62 years of age and older and another five million between 40 and 60 see a doctor for knee problems in a year.


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  • peacegirl101 profile image

    peacegirl101 6 years ago

    Sorry about that, Elayne. Aloha

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    thanks - I need it, lately my knee is a swollen mess.

  • peacegirl101 profile image

    peacegirl101 6 years ago

    Mahola! :) good luck with your knees and your skating!

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Alright peacegirl101 - glad you are enjoying good knee health. Hope you can keep them that way. I'd love to see you skate!

  • peacegirl101 profile image

    peacegirl101 6 years ago

    Great tips! I don't have knee problems ( thankfully ). Very well written hub. :D

    P.s. I can skate very good, I love figure skating ( NOT SPEED SKATING ) all thoose twists and jumps etc. That's my style!! B)

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks ahostagesituation. Hope you can avoid having knee problems as long as possible. I wish I could run marathons, but my knee gets swollen from it. I took a jogging class and passed the course, but it took a while for my knee to recover. I appreciate your comments.

  • ahostagesituation profile image

    SJR 6 years ago

    Awesome hub! I run, and my uncle messed up his knees pretty bad running marathons (which I certainly do not do...maybe when they change them to 5 miles I'll do them). I am always looking for ways to avoid that, thanks for the great hub!

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Sorry about your knee pmccray. Mine still gets swollen from time to time, but I am still putting off going under the knife as long as possible.

  • pmccray profile image

    pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

    Voted up, marked useful, bookmarked and shared this very needed advice. I have a bad knee as a reminder of my late nephew during a game of football when he was 4.

    It's a two-fold painful reminder. Excellent and beautifully done hub.

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I just love ice skating, but can't do it - just love watching it. Sorry it hurt your knees - I can just imagine.

  • Zannie10 profile image

    Zannie10 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! I was a competitive ice skater for 12 years and it has kinda ruined my kness so I will definitely keep all of these in mind.

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad it could help B Stucki. Appreciate your comments.

  • B Stucki profile image

    B Stucki 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips and information!

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You and me both. Thanks for commenting Jemmy-T.

  • Jemmy-T profile image

    Jemmy-T 6 years ago from Lovely Home

    I envy with those legs and knees (especially the first picture). Thank you for sharing these tips.

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you found it helpful Kaie Arwen. Hope your daughter's knees will improve.

  • Kaie Arwen profile image

    Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

    My daughter has problems with her knees all of the time........... I will be forwarding this link for her too read. Well done and thank you! Kaie

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You are welcome MartieCoetser. Glad you found it useful about knees.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

    I've bookmarked this one - thanks for the relevant info, elayne.

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You are welcome Hello, hello. Glad you find the article about healthy knees useful. Hope you keep yours healthy.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

    That is an interesting, informative hub. Thank you for putting all these information together.

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for your additional information dallas93444. We better stop eating so much, right!

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    I understand each pound we weigh contributes to four pounds of "pounding" our knees take... thanks for a great hub!

  • elayne001 profile image
    Author

    Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing diogenes for your knees. Surgery should be the last resort, in my honest opinion. I've seen scars and seen my friends suffer so much pain from the surgery, so that makes me hesitant to jump into it.

    @Lecie - sounds like I have something similar to yours, but I guess it is never too late for a little physical therapy. Glad they are doing better.

    @John B Badd - Thanks - yes, our knees are very important and we usually do not appreciate them until something goes wrong.

    @LianaK - That's great - you need to be good to your knees and they will be good to you.

    @Mentalist acer - Yes, aging does seem to work on our joints and we need to keep informed. Thanks for commenting.

  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

    I'm a husky male who has alway's had a active lifestyle on the job and outdoors...I'm getting to the age where I need all the information I can get on maintenence of the knee. So far so good;)

  • LianaK profile image

    LianaK 6 years ago

    Great hub. Very useful information. Knees are very important. I will use this information to take care of mine :). Thank you.

  • John B Badd profile image

    John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

    Great tips and recomendations Elayne. Our knees are like our drive train, we need to care for them.

  • profile image

    Lecie 6 years ago

    a couple of years ago i was diagnosed with patella-femoral pain syndrome in my left knee. that's where the ring that holds your knee cap in place is stretched out and your knee cap moves freely to positions it's not supposed to, it even pops clear out of the socket. well that doctor only told me to wear a knee brace when i do my house work.

    i just recently went to another doctor, he was furious that the first doctor had not put me in physical therapy, the result is that i now also have arthritis on that knee from the cap grinding up all of the cartilage. so i went through physical therapy and have to continue the exercises at home. my knee feels a lot better. i wish that i had not waited so long to get the second opinion.

    you give very good advice here.

  • profile image

    diogenes 6 years ago

    I have had a knee problem since the 1970's after I dislocated left knee playing ball on the beach. I could have had an op., but decided against it and have maintained health by walking, etc. Very useful hub...Bob

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