The knees provide support, stability, and flexibility to the legs so that we can stand, walk, turn around, jump, and crouch. Therefore, it is very important to keep these large joints strong and healthy.
Although the knees are getting weaker as we age, people can also experience knee problems at any age since there are many other factors that can cause damage. Some of the most common causes that lead to weak knees include nutritional deficiencies, knee injury, knee osteoarthritis, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, and high sodium intake.
In case you suffer from weak knees or pain, you can strengthen them by changing some of the lifestyle and dietary habits you have. In this article, we will present you 10 simple ways which will strengthen the knees and prevent further occurrences of knee pain:
1. Anti-inflammatory Foods
Inflammation can be one of the leading cause of painful and weak knees, which is why it is of utmost important to eat more anti-inflammatory such as avocados, spinach, turmeric, ginger, walnuts, blueberries, sweet potatoes, olive oil, and wild-caught salmon. In addition to this, you should also avoid inflammatory foods like white flour products, white rice, soda, and foods that contain a high amount of saturated fats or sugar.
Swimming can be extremely effective in the treatment of knee pain and arthritis since it reduces knee stiffness and strengthens the bones and the muscles of the knee joints.0
For best results, it is recommended to swim 30 minutes daily, 5 times a week. The best swimming strokes for the knees are backstroke, butterfly stroke, and front crawl. Make sure avoid breaststroke, because it puts a lot of pressure on knee joints.
There are many exercises that can strengthen the knee bones and surrounding muscles. Some of the best include hamstring stretches with thigh contraction, step-ups, knee bends, lunges, squats with a Swiss ball, single-leg squats, straight-leg raises, and lunges. Try to learn the knee exercises from an expert, and do them for 30 minutes daily, at least 4 times a week.
4. Epsom Salt
Most people who have weak knees or suffer from knee pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis, usually have very low magnesium levels in their bodies.
Epsom salt is one of best sources of magnesium and many experts recommend its use. It can effectively improve your condition due to its ability to reduce inflammation around the knee joints. Moreover, the Epsom salt can also improve muscle function and increase calcium absorption
How to Use Epsom Salt?
Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt into a half a cup of water, then soak a washcloth in the mixture and apply it on your knees. Let it sit for 20 minutes, and then, rinse it off with warm water. It is recommended to repeat this at least twice a week.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very important for collagen synthesis, proper development of the bones, and the quality of bone matrix. It also increases the density of bone mass and greatly reduces the risk of fractures. Although lemon is the best source of vitamin C, this essential lemon can also be found in spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, papaya, strawberries etc.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another vitamin that is extremely important for the health of bones and joints. People who are deficient in vitamin D are at higher risk of experiencing fractures. Moreover, the lack of this vitamin reduces calcium absorption.
The best source of vitamin D is sun exposure. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to spend at least 25 minutes a day in the sun. Other good sources of vitamin D include fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
Calcium is crucial for bone health and its deficiency can lead to weakening and thinning of the bones, which causes osteoporosis. Since our body does not produce calcium in a natural way, we need to take it from dietary sources or in the form of supplements. The best sources of calcium include milk, cheese, almonds, dark leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, edamame, and sardines. When it comes to supplements, it is recommended to take those that contain vitamin D, because vitamin D improves calcium absorption.
Regular massage is another effective way to strengthen your knees. Use coconut or olive oil to rub your knees with gentle yet firm movements. Massage in both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements for about 10-15 minutes each day.
9. Fish Oil
Fish oil can help increase the bone density and strengthen the knee joints due to its high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Moreover, the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil will also reduce the stiffness and joint pain.
10. Healthy Weight
Overweight people put much more pressure on the knees when compared to those with a healthy weight. This makes their knees weak, which significantly increases the risk of hip or knee injuries.
If your overweight or obese, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian to help you lose weight in a healthy way. It will boost the strength and stability of your knees.
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Stop smoking cigarettes
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes
- Never sit or stand in the same position for a long time
- Drink more water
- Practice yoga more often
- Enjoy walking and cycling to strengthen your knees
- Try to reduce salt intake as much as possible because it causes calcium loss
- Try to reduce activities such as sudden movements, stopping, jumping, twisting
- Avoid activities which can intensify the knee pain