Interestingly, knees are the largest joints in the human body, which provide support, stability, and flexibility in the legs, so that a person can stand, walk, jump, run, crouch, and turn around easily. That’s why, it is so important to keep these large joints in your body strong and healthy.
Even though, elderly people usually have knee problems since their knees weaken with age, but people at virtually any age can also experience some knee problems.
In fact, weak knees affect a person’s mobility, and impede his/her everyday activities.
There are a wide variety of reasons that can contribute to weak knees, such as a knee injury or strain, nutritional deficiency, a sedentary lifestyle, excess sodium intake, smoking, drinking, or osteoarthritis in the knee.
If you suffer from knee pain or weak knees, they can be strengthened with the help of some dietary and lifestyle changes.
Here are the top 10 ways for knee strengthening:
1. Exercises for knee strengthening
There are a great number of exercises that can improve your weak knee condition, by strengthening the muscles around them, keeping the joints properly positioned and aligned, as well as strengthening the knee bones. These exercises actually include step-ups, lunges, straight-leg raises, single-leg squats, hamstring stretches with thigh contraction, and knee bends and squats with a Swiss ball.
Consider learning these exercises from a professional, and do them half an hour a day, at least 4-5 times a week. But, in case you notice your knee stiffness or pain increases with these exercises, just stop doing them and visit your doctor in order to see which ones are suitable for your condition.
You can also strengthen your knees and address your knee pain with a massage therapy. In addition, you will make your muscles and joints stronger as regular massage will improve the circulation, providing them with more nutrients.
By using warm mustard, coconut, or olive oil you should rub your knees with gentle yet firm movements. Namely, massage them in both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements for 10-15 minutes. Also, repeat two times a day if needed.
However, if you have chronic knee pain, consult an experienced massage therapist.
3. Epsom salt
It is well-known that those having weak knees, or experiencing knee pain due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis, typically have extremely low magnesium levels. So, Epsom salt that abounds in magnesium, is highly recommended to reduce the unpleasant feeling since it can quickly decrease the inflammation around the knee joints. What’s more, magnesium is also necessary for proper muscle functioning because it can help the calcium absorption.
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in half a cup of warm water. Afterwards, apply the solution on your knees with a washcloth, and leave it act for about 15-20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this once or twice a week.
Another option is to prepare a warm Epsom salt bath with a cup of Epsom salt, and then to soak your body for at least 20 minutes. Have this amazing bath once or twice a week.
Those suffering from knee pain or arthritis can benefit from the low-impact aerobic exercise swimming. Despite improving the overall fitness, but swimming can also strengthen the surrounding muscles of knee joints, bones, and decrease the knee stiffness.
Try to swim about half an hour on a daily basis, 5 days a week. Moreover, swimming strokes beneficial for knee joints are backstroke, butterfly stroke, and front crawl. Ensure you avoid breaststroke as it puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints.
The bones require calcium for their optimal health, therefore a lack of calcium can lead to weakening and thinning of the bones, resulting in osteoporosis. As the human body isn’t able to produce calcium naturally, the best alternatives to prevent calcium deficiency is through dietary sources and supplements.
Calcium can be obtained from these natural ingredients: dark leafy greens, milk, edamame, cheese, almonds, sardines, calcium-fortified cereals, fortified orange juice, and blackstrap molasses. In case you decide to use calcium supplements, use those including vitamin D in order to help the calcium absorption in the body. Also, consult your doctor for the proper dosage.
6. Vitamin D
It is regarded as a threshold nutrient for optimal joint and bone health. Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to bone loss and increased risk of minimal trauma fractures. Additionally, your body is not able to absorb sufficient calcium amount without adequate amounts of this vitamin.
As the human body produces vitamin D in sunlight exposure, it is advisable to expose your knees to sunlight early in the morning, for around 15 minutes daily. You can also get this vitamin by consuming cod liver oil, fortified cereals, fish, dairy products, and egg yolks.
7. Fish oil
It includes omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid that can help improve bone density as well as strengthen knee joints. Due to its great anti-inflammatory properties, it can even reduce the joint pain and stiffness.
According to the International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience, there was a 2006 published study that showed those participants that took EPA from fish oil in amount of 1,200 milligrams a day had better joint health. Plus, consider consuming cold-water fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon two times a week.
Or consume up to 6 grams of fish oil, two times on a daily basis (but, ensure it is at least 30% DHA/EPA). In addition, you should also consult your doctor prior to taking any supplement.
8. Vitamin C
It is vital for the formation of one of the main components of knee cartilage, i.e., collagen. Furthermore, this vitamin is also important for the quality of bone matrix, collagen synthesis, and normal bone development. Vitamin C can improve the mass density of bones, as well as lower the fracture risk.
It is important to know that good dietary sources of vitamin C are the following ones: broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, berries, lemon, cauliflower, strawberries, papaya, oranges, kiwi, and Brussels sprouts. Before taking supplements in the form of chewable tablets and capsules consider consulting your doctor.
9. Healthy weight
Those who are overweight actually put much more pressure on their knees as a result of their heavy weight, thus increasing the work of their knee joints, and making their knees weak. Plus, obesity increases the risk of hip or knee replacement.
10. Anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation can result in weak and painful knees, so you should consume more anti-inflammatory foods in order to fight this condition. For example, some of them are salmon, turmeric, flaxseeds, spinach, walnuts, tart cherries, blueberries, olive oil, ginger, avocados, and sweet potatoes.
What’s more, you should also omit inflammatory foods like white-flour products, soda, sugary foods, white rice, and saturated-rich foods.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes
- Consider cycling and walking to strengthen your knees
- Avoid taking too much salt, since it can lead to calcium loss
- Don’t perform the activities that increase your knee pain
- Give up smoking and drinking
- Increase the fluid consumption to soften the cartilage
- Practice yoga poses that are suggested for this condition
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for a longer period of time
- Don’t practice sports involving sudden jumping, twisting, and starting and stopping.