The knees are one of the most responsible and the largest body joints. They are the ones who provide immense help when we try to turn around, walk, jump, run, stand or crouch. They provide stability, support, and flexibility so we could perform all those tasks flawlessly.
Because of that, we need to make sure to keep them in good health and prevent injuries, since week knees can affect our mobility and prevent us from performing our everyday activities.
If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, smoke a lot or consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you are prone to knee injuries. The weakness in the knees might also be a result of an osteoarthritis in the knees, knee strain or excess sodium intake. Have in mind that as we get older, we will face these problems more often so age is also a factor when it comes to weakened knees.
The pain that we might experience in the knees can be treated completely naturally, with a dietary and lifestyle changes. Here are some of the best ways to strengthen your knees and prevent further injuries:
The most responsible mineral for the strength of the bones is calcium. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to thinning and weakening of the bones to finally turn into osteoporosis. Our body is unable to naturally produce calcium for its needs so we need to take it through foods and supplements.
Cheese, milk, sardines, blackstrap molasses, edamame, almonds and dark leafy greens are abundant in calcium and will easily satisfy your daily need. You can also resort to taking supplements and we recommend to focus on the ones who also contain vitamin D since it will immensely help in the absorption of calcium. Make sure to talk with your doctor to find out your proper dosage.
2. Anti-inflammatory Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods might help in the case of weak knees since the pain and the weakness can be caused by an inflammation. Try solving the problem by adding spinach, ginger, walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, avocados, tart cherries, blueberries or sweet potatoes to your diet. Also try to avoid soda, sugary foods, foods high in saturated fats and white flour products.
Swimming activates almost every muscle and joint in our body and can provide significant help in the case of knee pain or arthritis. It strengthens the bones, the muscles around the joints and reduces stiffness of the knees. 30 minutes a day will be more than enough but make sure to avoid breaststroke as it applies pressure on the knees and is not recommended in a case of weak knees or knee injury. Focus on improving your butterfly stroke, backstroke or front crawl.
If you are unable to visit the local swimming pool, try to improve the situation with some exercises on dry land. Lunges, straight-leg raises, knee bends, squats and step-ups can significantly improve the condition of the knee joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Same as swimming, 30 minutes a day is enough but make sure to consult your doctor if you start experiencing pain while performing any of the exercises mentioned above.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamins C plays the most important role in the formation of collagen. The synthesis of collagen and the quality of the bone matrix depend on it and that’s why we must never neglect it. It also reduces the risk of fractures and enhances bone mass density.
Vitamin C can be taken in a supplement form, like capsules or tablets or we can go all natural and satisfy our daily need of this vitamin by consuming lemons, spinach, berries, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts or bell peppers.
6. Epsom Salt
If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis, it means that you also have extremely low levels of magnesium.
Here, Epsom salt comes to the rescue. It is abundant in magnesium and will significantly reduce the intensity of the problem. Once it takes care of the inflammation, it will enable a proper function of the joints and will help the calcium absorption.
Take a cup of water and dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt. Soak a washcloth in and apply it on your knees. Keep it for 15-20 minutes on each leg and rinse with water. Perform this treatment twice a week.
If you want to take it up a notch, you can enjoy and Epsom salt bath. Fill a cup with Epsom salt and pour it into your bathtub. Soak in it for 20-30 minutes. Once or twice a week is enough.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium in the body and helps maintain the health of the bones and the joints. The body is able to naturally produce this vitamin when it is exposed to the sun so make sure to spend at least 15 minutes a day outside, under the sun.
If you are unable to do so, you can take vitamin D supplements. You can also balance the levels of vitamin D by consuming fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks or fortified cereals.
Another solution to the knee pain problem is massage. A daily massage can treat the knee pain and improve circulation, enabling more nutrients to come in the knee area and strengthen it.
Grab your favorite massage oil and rub it with firm movements. You can perform this type of massage all by yourself but if you are suffering from chronic knee pain, make sure to consult with a professional masseuse or massage therapist.
9. Fish Oil
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can enhance the bone density and strengthen the joints. The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) will provide additional help and their anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the pain and the inflammation.
10. Healthy Weight
Your knee problems might also be a result of excessive weight. Excessive weight means more pressure on the knees and that forces the joints do more work than necessary until they eventually weaken. Therefore, it is very important to introduce a healthy diet and lose the excess weight in order to help the knees and ease their job.
You can also follow some of these additional tips:
- Avoid wearing high-heels whenever possible
- Avoid smoking and drinking
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time
- Practice yoga
- Drink more fluids
- Try cycling and walking to strengthen your knees
- Limit the salt intake since it causes calcium loss
- Try to avoid sudden movements, twisting, stopping, jumping
Other included sources linked in HealthyFoodHouse’s article: HealthAndLovePage, Top 10 Home Remedies, JN Nutrition