Are You Overweight? – 3 Reasons Why Obesity Causes Joint Problems

Are You Overweight? – 3 Reasons Why Obesity Causes Joint Problems

Are You Overweight? Three Proofs Show How Obesity Hurts Your Joints

Did you know that obesity is one of the leading causes of immobility in adults? The excess body weight some people carry around increases the pressure that is being put on the joints. Over time, this excess weight can cause the cartilage to begin to break down as well, which can lead to severe pain and difficulty when walking.

Can Obesity Cause Joint Problems?

By losing weight, you are not only reducing risks of heart failure and cholesterol increase, but you are reducing the pain as well. In addition, experts were able to find out that obesity bone and joint problems lead to osteoarthritis. So, if you want to treat joint pain, cut back on those double cheese bacon burgers and fries.

Does Obesity Cause Joint Problems?

Before you end up with obesity-related joint pain, it is best that you are aware of the other risks of being overweight. One of the common health risks brought on by obesity is coronary heart disease.

A study proved that as your body mass index (BMI) increases, your coronary heart disease risk also increases. The condition is characterized by reduced blood flow and blocked coronary arteries.

Moreover, high blood pressure is common among obese people. According to an American Heart Association study, being obese or overweight increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. This is due to the fact that increased weight causes heart strain. Moreover, even triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels rise.

Type 2 diabetes risk is another disadvantage of being obese. Obesity increases blood sugar levels. Having diabetes causes kidney problems, stroke, and blindness.

Obesity causes joint pain and other health problems

Health Problems Caused by Obesity

The Relationship Between Obesity and Knee Pain

There are different ways you can understand the relationship between obesity and knee joint pain. To make it easier for you, given below are three situations explaining how obesity wrecks joints:

  1. Increases pressure on the knee. According to a study, a pound of weight is equivalent to a four-pound load to your knees. With increased pressure on your knees, you will be at risk to wear and tear.
  1. Additionally, your osteoarthritis risk may also increase. In contrast, you can reduce your risk of osteoarthritis by losing weight. According to the American College of Rheumatology study, a four-fold reduction in knee load is achievable by losing a pound. The research added that the progression of osteoarthritis occurs when biomechanical joint stress increases in obese adults.
  1. Worsened pain in the knees. Obesity and pain have long been related, based on numerous studies. The studies concluded that obesity could cause health problems as detrimental as chronic pain. This is due to the fact that chronic pain is associated with increased triglycerides, harmful cholesterol levels, and metabolic syndrome. Aside from knee pain, obesity has been related to other pain issues. These pain issues include headaches, abdominal pain, and fibromyalgia, among others.
  1. Cartilage Breakdown and Higher Osteoarthritis Risk. Being overweight results in a breakdown of the cartilage, which covers the ends of the bones. The more obese you become, the more stressed your joints are. Rheumatology experts claimed that knees and hips have the most weight-bearing joints. This is the main reason why obese people have joint problems more frequently than people with normal weight. Obesity dramatically increases arthritis risk.

It can be depressing to know that your obesity causes all your pain, including knee problems. However, you can still correct this by losing weight. Start eating right, exercising, and getting professional help for weight control. If you want to learn more about your obesity and joint pain, watch this video:

 

So, what’s the answer to this?

Eat Less Sugar, Refined Foods, Fast Foods, Trans fats, Diet and Sugary Sodas

I got a phone call from one of my customers at one point. He was complaining about his knee pain. So, I asked him how much he weighs. “350 pounds”, was the reply. I said, ” Gee, maybe you should consider changing your diet.” He said that he eats a perfectly healthy diet of a large bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce.

My friends, if you are eating like that, you are probably overweight, too. And unless he changes his diet radically, I don’t see any hope of improvement for him.

Switch to a Healthy Diet and Include Some Superfoods

There has been a lot of research into what constitutes a healthy diet, and that includes lots of fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins and minerals we need, plus a good amount of protein to keep muscles in shape.

Some oils are better than others. Olive oil and coconut oil are two of the most common ones. In fact, some common foods, called superfoods, can reduce knee discomfort.

Here is another advantage of eating wisely. Did you know that spices not only make food taste better, but they’re good for you, too!

Foods to Avoid

Sugar, refined foods, fast foods, diet or sugary sodas, and lots of dairy are all examples of foods you want to minimize or avoid. Likewise, lots of bread, pasta, and refined grains like white rice, white bread, and pasta made from refined flour, are best to minimize as well.

The question arises, if you are reading this, and you are overweight, then take a look at a structured diet program, something to keep you on track.

Obesity and Joint Replacement Surgery

There have also been investigations into how obesity can affect joint replacement surgery. Some studies found that patients who were overweight had a much higher chance of infection and developing blood clots. The surgery can also take longer for an obese patient because of a more extended period of anesthesia is necessary. This all means that the recovery time may also be extended.

Losing Weight with Bad Joints

So, what if you have knee pain and bad joints, and you are in pain? There are still ways you can lose weight safely and effectively. Weight loss is definitely not easy, and it will only get harder with each excuse you make not to follow through.

Exercise is one of the best ways you can lose weight by burning calories. Eating fewer calories is also beneficial and a critical part of a weight loss journey. If you have arthritic joints and it makes it hard for you to engage in many physical activities, consider changing your eating habits as we have described above and then find some low impact exercises like rowing and swimming to start incorporating into your routine.

Low impact exercises put far less strain and pressure on your joints. They can also boost your cardiovascular fitness while allowing you to burn the calories you need to burn to lose weight.

Health Problems Linked to Obesity

In addition to joint problems and knee pain, obesity can also be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, and kidney disease.

In summary, to help with knee pain, and to benefit your overall health, work on losing weight and decreasing the pressure you are putting on your knees and reduce the inflammation in your body. Even just a 10 percent reduction in your weight can mean much lower inflammation throughout the body.

As always, before you embark on this health journey, make sure to discuss everything with your doctor to make sure you are losing weight safely and effectively.

Homemade Bread: 13 Reasons How It Makes You Happier

Homemade Bread: 13 Reasons How It Makes You Happier

What are the Benefits of Baking Homemade Bread?

Nowadays, we all seem to be pressed for time and money. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of both. This all leads to stress. This blog is also about knees and how to have healthy knees. So first let’s take the issue of stress, which just about everyone is feeling, head on.

One indirect factor of knee pain is stress. And fact is, stress is a major component of modern life. Decades ago, Freud the famous psychologist wrote the book, Civilization and its Discontents. What to do? We need to get back in touch with the everyday stuff humans used to do for themselves. One thing I do is bake my own bread.

8 Spiritual Benefits of Baking Your Own Bread at Home

  • It gives you a mental break from all the stress, cares and preoccupations of daily life.
  • You know exactly what ingredients went into it, maximizing benefits and minimizing artificial and other ingredients, such as excess sugar, that cause inflammation and undermine health. This gives you peace of mind.
  • Those around you appreciate home made bread.
  • Home made bread is fresh and delicious out of the oven.
  • You can teach others, such as your children, your spouse, or neighbors and acquaintances.
  • Baking bread is a community event that is free of controversy and builds friendships and solidarity.
  • As the old saying goes, ‘nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven.
  • To paraphrase the three great demands of the people–Peace, Love, and Bread.

 

 

5 Additional Benefits of Homebaked Bread

  • You avoid the store bought packaged bread, which often has weird additives that we shouldn’t eat in the first place. Bad for health.
  • We have more control over the ingredients–you can put almost anything we want into a loaf of bread!! Different flours, even things like olives, walnuts, seeds cheese, etc.
  • If you have food allergies, for example, to gluten, you can make bread without wheat and its gluten
  • Fresh bread is, well, fresh, whereas store bought is usually several days old by the time you get it
  • Homemade bread is cheaper. You don’t pay for packaging, advertising, transport and middlemen

 

 

Here is the Bread Recipe I Made Up

 

Homemade sesame whole wheat breadI just baked this bread. It’s made with mostly regular bread flour. If I use all whole wheat flour it is more nutritious, but doesn’t look as nice.

My white bread loving friends say that a heavy whole wheat, whole grain bread tastes like eating a brick. And my all natural foodie friends think white bread tastes like eating a feather pillow. So each to his or her own.

Whatever you do, if it’s fresh with real ingredients, you can’t go too far wrong. The only ‘danger’ is that it tastes so good, right out of the oven, you may eat the whole thing before it cools down, adding to your weight. So a little restraint, OK:)?

 

1 1/2 cups White Bread Flour
1/4 cup Whole wheat Flour
1/4 cup Rye Flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 duck eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
Honey, yeast, water, oil for total liquids 1 cup.

Take a look at the ingredients. While whole wheat, white unbleached and rye flours are quite common in bread. But where do you think you’ll find bread made with duck eggs (which are more nutritious than chicken eggs), poppy seeds, which also add nutrition and flavor, and olive oil. Most breads, especially store bought, have cheaper ingredients. Which are also not as healthy.

I hand made this. No bread machine. Let it rise once, made this loaf, baked 35 minutes for nice brown crust. A great midnight snack.

 

Secret to a Quick Bread Rise

Before you get your other ingredients together, heat a small amount of water, hot enough to dip your finger in. Add it to a mix of activated dry yeast and either real natural brown sugar, or a couple of table spoons of honey. Get your dry ingredients together while the yeast mixture is doing its thing.

By the time you put your dries into a nice big mixing bowl. and get your wets, such as eggs, milk, honey, oil, butter, and so on, the yeast mixture should have frothed up to make a nice thick head of foam. Add that to the other ingredients in a measuring cup. It should come to about a cup of liquid.

The oil keeps the bread dough from being too sticky, so it is easier to cleanup.

Yes, all my Vegan, Keto, low carb, zero gluten and all the other diet fad friends. It breaks all their rules. But sometimes, there’s nothing like a nice piece of bread, a sandwich, or some of the other great stuff you can do with bread, like stuffing or french toast or even the lowly PB and J sandwich.

 

Learn to Bake Bread the Zen Way

I learned this when I lived in a Zen community in the USA. One of the first books on natural foods baking was by Zen monk Ed Brown, who wrote The Tassajara Bread Book, named after Tassajara, site of the first Zen monastery in the USA, where I lived for 2 years.

The Tassajara Bread Book
274 Reviews
The Tassajara Bread Book
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brown, Edward Espe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 196 Pages - 02/15/2011 (Publication Date) - Shambhala (Publisher)

Last update on 2020-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Post Note: Scared to Bake from Scratch? Try This

After writing this post, I realized that, while baking is second nature to me, having baked for almost 40 years, that it might be a bit intimidating to try baking at home with no one right at your side. So what to do? Get a bread baking machine! You just add the ingredients, press the button, and these machines do all the rest.

I just did a quick search on Amazon, and as ‘a bread expert’ (hope I’m not being presumptuous here:) I picked out three which look real good. Check them out!

Last update on 2020-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Physical Therapy You Can Do at Home: Knee Meniscus Tear Exercise

Physical Therapy You Can Do at Home: Knee Meniscus Tear Exercise

Physical Therapy Helps to Treat Knee Injuries

 

Let’s face it: Joint pain is not fun. You will not know how dreadful it is until you’ve got surgery or a bunch of medications to take. However, joint pain treatment should not only be limited to those two. You also have a more natural solution, such as  physical therapy, which can help relieve joint pain.

If you go to a licensed physical therapist, he or she will probably perform several procedures, including the use of pain relief devices such as ultra sound, TENS, use of hot and cold packs, and so on. Plus, teach you some exercises to do at home.  You can learn about pain relief devices here.

Joint pain causes difficulty in climbing the stairs, walking and playing sports among others issues. Not only that, but when you have knee problems, even doing exercise, which you need, becomes problematic. So it’s a matter of knowing the right kinds of exercise to do.  That is how physical therapy may treat your knee problem,  by bringing back the natural movement of your body. Besides, physical therapy will also strengthen your joints, restore their health and maintain fitness.

There are different approaches by which physical therapy heals knee pain.

  • First,  low-impact aerobic training. The training will engage your joints for mobility improvement. Furthermore, it helps in enhancing your heart rate. Instead of engaging in rigorous exercises, the therapy will teach you to warm up properly.
  • Second, strengthening your body. Besides knees, the targets of the therapy are your back, belly and butt. The therapist may ask you to perform body weight-based or machine-supported exercises.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is vital to improving not only your joint health but also your overall wellness. Besides strengthened joint muscles, you can also maintain bone health, get higher energy, and control weight.

Why Choose Physical Therapy Over Other Joint Pain Treatments?

 

A good physical therapist can help you  preserve your health, which is difficult if you have arthritis or an injury such as a meniscus tear, ACL or MCL tear, and so on. According to National Health Interview Data Survey, 37% of arthritis patients are inactive. The situation is brought by increased general distress, disability and poor quality of life. Physical therapists will be able to support you in overcoming barriers while exercising.

Improved mobility is achievable with physical therapy. By attending sessions regularly, and then doing the exercises on your own, physical therapists can help you gain pain-free movement. Though you may have  knee pain or arthritis, you can now enjoy recreational activities. In addition, increased mobility and physical independence will reduce your hip fracture and heart failure risks. Watch the video for a quick lesson by a physical therapist.

Choosing physical therapy as an alternative will give you an edge to avoid prescription drugs. Physical therapy is cheaper and equally effective in treating knee osteoarthritis, low back pain and degenerative disc disease, too.

Participating in your own recovery is ideal using physical therapy. These health professionals will help you develop physical independence. They will work by teaching you what to do, and later on, letting you do the activities alone.

Physical Therapy Relieves Knee Pain, Aids Faster Healing, and It’s Not Painful

 

Physical Therapists, who specialize in bringing back your mobility, know how to make you stronger without pain. They prioritize activities that do not require you to exert much effort. However, take note that physical therapy is challenging since the focus is on using your injured joints. So, ask for a recommendation from your doctor for the physical therapist option. On the other hand, you can get suggestions around your area through peers.  For a discussion of 26 things you can do to treat yourself, go here:

 

 

 

Seven Easy Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

Seven Easy Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

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What Causes Knee Injuries?

Are you aware that knee pain is usually caused by an acute injury or by repetitive motions that wear the joints down over time? Runner’s stretch is one of the more common causes of knee pain. This is when you grab your foot and bring the heel to your butt. Many people do it as part of their warmup, not realizing that this can be the cause of some knee pain and injuries.

Playing Sports and Engaging in Physical Activity is Fun, but Do It Right

People love sports and heavy activities but don’t factor in the possibility of hurting themselves. Our first priority before starting is to prevent knee pain and injuries associated with sports. Sports enthusiasts often complain about Knee problems.

Some only maintain a healthy physique and but then fail when it comes to taking preventive measures. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent knee injuries.

To Prevent Knee Injuries, Know Their Risk Factors

There are different ways you may suffer from knee pain and injuries. Accidents cay happen every day, even during a supposedly safe exercise. Scientifically speaking, knee pain and injuries occur due to imbalances around your knee muscles.

In addition to muscles, knee injuries may occur due to kneecap pressure. Dislocation of the patella is common, which results from quadriceps (the muscles that surround the knee) imbalances.

Seven Easy-to-Follow Tips to Avoid Knee Problems

Prevent Knee Injuries

swollen knee

It is possible to prevent knee injuries, except for the ones from accidents. You can avoid the problem in terms of your general habits, recreational activities, and sports. Make choices that will lessen your risks of having knee stress by stabilizing your joints.

Given below are the best ways to prevent knee pain and injuries:

Maintain Your Weight

You may have always asked yourself, “How can I prevent knee injuries”? The answer will come from you. If you have extra weight, more stress will be applied to your knees. Sometimes it is not about your exercise, but rather, of your weight. This video will prove it to you:

 

Studies published in arthritis and rheumatism have shown that obese adults with knee osteoarthritis can lose one pound of weight, which can result in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. This means that even if someone were to lose just ten pounds of excess weight, they could ultimately relieve up to 40 pounds of pressure from the knees. This results in less pain.

Use the Right Shoes for Training

Wearing the right shoes matters in exercising. Trainers to prevent knee injury are available and have always been recommended by doctors. Current Opinion in Rheumatology review stated that the right choice of footwear could reduce pain and decrease knee pressure.

The right shoes will offer you stability and will keep your feet firmly planted. You need to know your foot as well to find the absolute best fit. Wet your foot and set it down on a brown piece of paper so you can see the outline. This will give you a lot of good information you can use to find the right shoes for training. You will see the curve of your foot and if you have a narrow heel or not, for example.

Always Warm-Up

Warming up is the key to keeping your thigh muscles stretched and prepared for exercises. Moreover, it relieves the knees from pressure and tension on your tendons. You can warm your knees by using an elliptical trainer, by cycling or by jogging. This will not only lessen your knee injury risk but also prepare your cardiovascular system for a strenuous routine.

Choose the Right Exercise

There are several exercises to prevent knee injury. It is best that you perform a low-impact exercise. For instance, you can use a rowing machine to strengthen your knees without putting much pressure. In addition, you can consider swimming and walking. Low impact exercise can still work all of your major muscle groups and can increase blood flow and circulation. It is also the ideal exercise for those with arthritic knees, inflammation, and chronic pain.

Never Increase Intensity Fast

Do not be too excited and overdo your exercises. Expediting your fitness goals is best done by increasing your routine intensity gradually. You may use the 10 percent rule in exercising. Every week, you may increase your activity repetitions or duration by 10 percent.

Do Not Decrease Your Activity

You should be building up activity for better health results, and not decreasing. If you worry about your knee pain, be aware that there are knee pain exercises. Exercises for knee pain include knee squats, straight-leg raise, leg cross, and step-ups.

Prevent Knee Injury with the Right Exercises

Just as there are exercises for better knee health, there are also activities that increase risk. Surprisingly, lunges, hurdle stretches, and deep squats can cause knee injury.

Consulting a fitness expert or doctor will give you a better understanding of preventive measures. Bear in mind that your willingness to prevent a knee injury will also help in maximizing your fitness outcomes. In addition, many professional athletes stabilize their knees with knee supports.

Taking Anti-Inflammatory Medications to Treat Knee Pain

The main and most common anti-inflammatory medications for knee pain that you can get over the counter are acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, before trying any of these medicines, you want to try RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to try to reduce swelling and decrease pain.

When using NSAIDs, you may find some side effects like a greater risk of heart attack and stroke. You can also get ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or holes in the stomach if you take these medications for too long.

Physical Therapy and Knee Pain

Through evaluation and assessment, you can find treatment plans that make sense for your knee pain. Your physical therapist can assess the knee pain and teach you ways to decrease the pain while also improving your overall mobility.

Four ligaments support the knee. Two of these ligaments act as shock absorbers, and one is known as the meniscus and is found within the knee. When there is repetitive trauma and injury, it can cause pain in the knee. When you are experiencing this kind of pain, you may also find walking to be more difficult as well as getting up from a seated position or going up and down the stairs.

So, it is important to work with your doctor or physical therapist to determine the type of knee pain you have to find the best course of treatment.

What to Expect

When you see a physical therapist, you will go through a series of evaluations. A gait evaluation will assess how you walk. Palpations allow the therapist to feel for any abnormalities. They will also take range of motion measurements to see how far the knee is bending and if it can be straightened.

Strength measurements are then done to see if there is any muscular weakness that may be the cause of knee pain. Your balance is also assessed because imbalance can cause excessive strain and stress on your knee, and this can result in pain.

Types of Knee Pain

When determining your knee pain, it is important to distinguish between acute, sub-acute, and chronic knee pain. Acute pain is more severe and typically starts one to seven days following an injury. It is essential to rest the knee and let it heal before you put it through motion like that again.

Sub-acute pain happens two to six weeks following an injury, and you will need treatment to help improve your mobility. Chronic knee pain lasts for eight to twelve weeks and needs to be evaluated by your doctor.

If you are experiencing any of these pains, you should see your doctor and physical therapist to get it assessed. Also, by following the 7 easy tips above, you can be more proactive when it comes to your knee joint health.

13 Effective Knee Rehab Exercises

13 Effective Knee Rehab Exercises

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The Arthritis Foundation has said that exercise may be one of the most effective ways to treat osteoarthritis without surgery. Additionally, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons also have said that strong and flexible muscles can keep knees healthy while preventing injury.

Can Rehab Exercises Help Heal Knees?

Do you have knee pain? If you do, you’re not alone. Knee injuries are incredibly common.

To ease your knee pain, you’ll have to use a range of rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the joint as well as the muscles around it.

In this article, we’ll go over the best knee rehab exercises that you can use to reduce and even eliminate your knee pain. Read on for some of the best knee rehab exercises out there.

Benefits of Knee Rehab Exercises

Did you know that your knees are the largest joints in the body? It is a joint that is used everyday very heavily as we walk, climb, run, and jump. Because of this high amount of usage, the knees are prone to injury and pain. To strengthen the muscles around the knee, you may find that your doctor will recommend knee strengthening exercises.

These exercises may prove to be one of the most effective ways to treat osteoarthritis without surgery. These exercises will not affect the joint directly either. Instead, the exercises will strengthen the muscle that is around the joint and help alleviate pressure and strain that is put on your knee joints day in and day out.

Yoga Knee Rehab Exercises

Yoga is great for building strong muscles and stabilized joints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion. This means that it can reduce your risk of experiencing injuries in the future as well as rehabilitate ones that you already have.

Here are some yoga knee rehab exercises you should use.

Forward Fold

This is a basic exercise for beginners, which strengthens the muscles in the back of the knees as well as the thighs.

 

To perform this pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart and a neutral spine. Bend forward at the hips as far as you can, then bend at the knees to allow your hands to reach the ground.

From there, try to straighten the knees as much as you can. If you can’t get them fully straight, don’t worry. Just go as far as you can without experiencing any pain.

As you try to straighten the knees, put your hands on the back of your legs, and try to pull your head towards your legs.

Bridge

This is predominantly known as a glute exercise, but yields great benefits for the knees, too. Therefore, it’s commonly used in conjunction with other knee rehab exercises.

Lie on a yoga mat with your back flat against the floor. Draw your belly in towards your spine so that your lower back flattens, which should mean that you can’t fit your hand between your back and the floor.

Bend your legs so that your feet sit on the floor directly under your knees. Place your hands on the floor parallel to your legs.

 

Using your feet and glutes, push your hips upwards. Your knees, hips, and shoulders should be in a straight line. Engage your core to stabilize your body.

Hold this pose for a few seconds before slowly coming back down to the floor and repeating.

Half Frog Pose

This pose stretches the muscles at the front and sides of the knee. Start by laying on the floor on your front. Your legs should be straight.

Rest your forearms in front of you in a sphinx-like pose. This will cause your upper body to come up off the floor.

From there, reach one hand behind you to grab your foot on the same side, then pull it towards your body. If you are flexible enough, your heel should meet your glute.

Hold this pose for a few seconds, breathing throughout the movement, then release slowly and do the same on the other side.

Pilates Knee Rehab Exercises

Pilates is great for strengthening muscles as well as improving the mobility of your joints. Regular practice will improve your posture, too.

Here are some Pilates exercises which can be used to reduce knee problems.

Clam

This exercise works to strengthen the muscles above the knee on the outer thigh.

Lie on a yoga mat, on your side. Place your legs on top of each other and bend them at the knee at an angle of about 45 degrees.

Extend your arm out on the mat and lay your head on it. If you find it uncomfortable, you can try putting a towel down to rest your head-on.

 

With your top leg, raise the knee to the ceiling, so your legs open up like a clamshell. As you do so, maintain tightness in your core and the natural curvature of your spine.

You can keep your feet together, but to achieve a fuller range of motion after warming up, try lifting the top foot to separate them.

Repeat this exercise for 10-20 reps before switching sides and doing the same again.

Inner Thigh Circles

It’s important to maintain symmetry in a workout to create balance in the strength of opposing muscles, so the next exercise focuses on the inner thigh.

The inner thigh muscle is often neglected, and this can be a contributor to knee pain.

To perform this exercise, lay on your side and prop your upper body up by putting your forearm on the floor. Create a straight line from your shoulder down to your elbow for balance.

Bend your top leg, resting the foot flat on the floor. Extend the lower leg out straight and lift it slightly off the ground. At this point, you should already feel your inner thigh muscle engaging.

From there, move the leg around in small circles. The leg should be the only body part that’s moving, so make sure to maintain your position with your upper body, core, and glutes.

Do ten circles clockwise and counter-clockwise, then turn over and repeat with the other leg.

Bridge with a Ball

This exercise is a scaled-up version of the bridge yoga exercise described earlier. Once you feel comfortable with that one, you can move onto this one for more of a challenge.

To start, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, sitting in a straight line under the knees. Put an exercise ball, such as a light medicine ball, between your knees.

Put your hands at your sides, palm-down on the floor. Using your glutes, raise your hips off the floor, keeping the ball between your knees.

Once you are comfortable with your balance, gently squeeze the ball. You’ll feel your inner thighs working here.

If you want to make it even more difficult, extend one leg. Taking away one point of contact from the floor will force you to work harder on maintaining your position.

Repeat this exercise for 2-3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

Bodyweight Knee Rehab Exercises

To add resistance, there are bodyweight exercises you can do. These are great because they require no equipment and can be done just about anywhere.

They are generally higher intensity than yoga knee rehab exercises but are just as beneficial.

Wall Squats

This exercise strengthens the quads, as well as the ligaments around the knee.

Stand with your back against the wall, about 15 inches away, then bend at the knees, so your back is flat against the wall.

 

Your hands can be out in front of you, resting on your thighs or against the wall for support. Choose whatever is most comfortable for you.

With your heels planted and toes and eyes facing forwards, slide your back down the wall, so you’re in a squat position. The angle at which you come down depends on your comfort and strength, but do not exceed a 90-degree angle.

If you experience any pain in the knee during this movement, stop immediately.

Hold the squat position for a few seconds, come up, and then repeat.

Seated Straight Leg Raises

Sit either on a chair or the floor, with both feet flat on the floor.

Extend one leg out straight, lifting the foot off the floor. Hold it there for a few seconds, trying not to let it wobble or shake. After that, bring it back down and repeat on the other side.

This is one of the most basic knee rehab exercises there is.

Weighted Knee Rehab Exercises

These knee rehab exercises should only be performed once you have built strength with yoga and bodyweight exercises first. Going straight into using weights can be dangerous and result in further injury.

Once you’ve built a strong foundation, it’s helpful to start using equipment to enable you to progress further. Here are some exercises you can do with weights.

Leg Extensions

Most fitness gyms have a leg extension machine. If used wisely, it can be an excellent tool for rehabilitating knees after injury.

This exercise predominantly strengthens the quads, but benefits all the ligaments around the knee, too.

Sit on the leg extension machine with your back flat against the rest behind you. The pad should rest at the bottom of your shins, just above your feet.

Set the weight to something very light, to begin with. This is very important. Being too ambitious could cause further damage to your knee and slow your recovery.

Holding the handles at either side of your thighs, extend your legs at the knee to bring the pad up. At the top of the movement, your legs should be completely straight.

In a slow and controlled way, bring it back down to the bottom, making sure not to slam the weights down. Repeat this for three sets of 10 reps.

Dumbbell Step Ups

This exercise requires the use of a box or step and some dumbbells. You can start without weights and then add them once you feel confident enough to do so.

Start with your feet a hip-distance apart, and with one foot, step up onto the box. Your knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Then, step up with the other foot.

Using one leg at a time, come back down to the floor and repeat for four sets of 15 reps.

As you perform this exercise, keep your body as stable as possible and control the movement as much as you can so as not to twist and turn.

Barbell Lunges

This exercise is not only great for knee rehabilitation, but for building strength throughout the legs. Again, it can be performed without weights for complete beginners, but the use of a barbell will increase the intensity.

Put a light barbell on your shoulders, resting on the meaty part of your upper back. Your shoulder blades should be back, and your core should be engaged to support the weight.

Stand with your spine straight and your feet a hip-distance apart, then take a big step forward with one leg. Your toes and knees should be in line, both pointing in the same direction, straight forward.

With the back leg, bend down, so the knee goes towards to floor. Keep it under control, so as not to let the knee hit the floor. Your body should come down in a straight line, but your eyes should be looking forward keeping the spine straight.

Come back to the starting position and then repeat with the opposite leg.

How to Protect Your Knees

Once the knee has been injured, it can become very weak and is therefore susceptible to further damage.

Building the strength back in the knee can be a long and tedious process, but it’s crucial to persist with knee rehab exercises to facilitate the recovery process.

When performing any knee rehabilitation exercise, it’s extremely important to protect the joint in order to make sure the movement is as safe as possible.

You can do that by wearing knee braces for extra support during your knee rehab exercises.

If you’re overweight, you can also reduce the pressure on your knees by losing weight. There is a strong link between weight loss and knee pain. If this is the case for you, you will benefit from adding cardiovascular exercise to your routine.

Make sure to avoid exercises that could injure your knees. Choose ones that put as little pressure as possible on the knees, like swimming or using a cross-trainer machine. High impact exercises like running are not ideal.

For more variety in your routine of knee rehab exercises, you can use extra tools like resistance bands.

Take It Slow

Whichever type of knee rehab exercise you use to fix your knee problems, be sure to start slowly and increase the intensity gradually over time. That way, the ligaments will develop as well as the muscles, resulting in a strong knee joint, which will be less susceptible to injury in the future.

Every time you exercise your knee, warm up properly first. This is an important step in preventing injury.

For more information about how to take care of your knees after injury, see our post on natural treatments for sore knees.

Further Help

If you don’t feel comfortable undertaking a knee rehab routine on your own or don’t see any improvement with your home exercises, you can seek help from a professional such as an orthopedic specialist.

A physical therapist can demonstrate knee rehab exercises for you and guide you through them. A professional will show you scaled versions and variations, adjusting the difficulty of each one.

For more information, see our post on physical therapy treatments for knees.

Knee Rehab Exercise FAQ

How often should you perform these knee strengthening exercises to alleviate knee pain?

Knee strengthening exercises can be done daily as long as they are done correctly. When done daily, you can begin to see the benefits of the exercises after about two weeks. You should also not feel any pain when doing these exercises either.

How do you perform these knee exercises safely?

Before performing any exercises for knee pain, you want to make sure to warm up and stretch beforehand. You also want to do the exercises with both knees so that they both benefit and stay strong and healthy.

Also, start slowly as you build up muscle strength. Try out a few beginning exercises, and as your knees become stronger, you can work up to doing more sets each day. Finally, if you begin to feel any pain, make sure to stop. Remember, it is normal to feel some discomfort at first, but this will lessen over time.

Should certain activities be avoided when you are experiencing knee pain?

Usually, long-term exercise is good for those who are experiencing knee pain as a result of knee arthritis, but you need to know the right exercises to do to avoid making your condition worse. Everything we have mentioned in this article is good for knee strength training as long as you know the proper way to do them so as not to put too much pressure and stress on your knees. Running, for example, puts pressure on your knees.

Can deadlifts cause your joints to be sore?

Deadlifting can cause a lot of force to be brought down on the knees, and this can cause an injury when there is sudden movement; however, there should never be any sudden movements at the knee joint if you are doing a conventional deadlift the correct way.

Is aerobic walking or strengthening exercises better for osteoarthritis of the knee?

Participating in both aerobic walking and knee strength training exercises can help you reduce any pain you may be experiencing from knee osteoarthritis while helping improve your knee range of motion. There isn’t much of a difference between the two when they are compared.

Natural Approaches to Knee Health for Runners: Advice from a Naturopath

Natural Approaches to Knee Health for Runners: Advice from a Naturopath

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A Marathon Runner and Naturopath’s View of Runners’ Knee Health

By Katie Stone

I’m a runner. A keen, dedicated (to the point of obsession) runner.

I run every morning, no matter where I am in the world, and no matter whether it’s raining, snowing or suffocating hot.

I’ve pounded the pavement in Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh, and Bangkok (albeit not without some difficulty!). I come from New Zealand, where long-distance running is a pretty big deal. So far, I’ve run five marathons and one ultra-marathon.

I’ve made the podium in four of those marathons, and I was the first woman in the ultra. Which, by the way, was an “entry-level” ultra: only 60km. People often ask me, how do you run that far? Don’t you get injured? Don’t you get bored?? As for injuries, I am no stranger to runner’s knee health care, having had my share of knee issues.

I’m no “expert” on running. I run because I enjoy it, and I compete when I feel like it. I am, however, a qualified naturopath (BNatMed), so I know a thing or two about being able to run and keeping my body – especially my knees – in good shape.

Yes, I’ve had my share of injuries over the years. But after studying natural medicine and holistic therapies, I’ve been able to treat any problems that come up and advise a few of my running friends, too. It’s time to share a few of the tried-and-true natural approaches to knee health that I’ve learned over the years.

Benedict Lust, founder of naturopathy in the US

Benedict Lust, founder of naturopathy in the US

What Is a Naturopath?

Contrary to popular belief, a naturopath is not the same as a homeopath. Homeopathy is based on treating specific ailments with specific, minute remedies. Naturopathy is about treating the cause of a problem by examining the whole person – their diet, lifestyle, health history, activities, mind, and body.

A naturopathic consultation involves sitting down with the client for an hour or more and asking detailed questions about every aspect of their health and lifestyle.

By examining all these details, the naturopath can link the cause-and-effect of various problems and come up with a solution that best suits the client. There are lots of naturopathic solutions to treating problems that come up with running. As you’re probably aware, knee health is a big issue.

Running Ruins the Knees? It Doesn’t Have To

If you’re a regular runner, you’ve no doubt been told that “running will ruin your knees!” Although knee problems are indeed common among runners, there’s no reason your knees will end up arthritic and painful by the time you’re forty-five.

A study by the University of California showed there were no significant differences in the rate of knee osteoarthritis between runners and non-runners. Another study by Helsinki Research Institute for Sports and Exercise Medicine in Finland tracked the development of osteoarthritis in different sportspeople: shooters, runners, weight-lifters, and soccer players.

They found that the incidence of osteoarthritic knee problems was 3 percent among shooters, 14 percent among runners, 29 percent among soccer players, and 31 percent among weight lifters. So, no – it’s not necessarily running that will ruin your knees!

anatomy of the knee

Anatomy of the Knee

How the Knee Functions in Running

Understanding how the knee works is key to preventing injury. When you know which part of your knee is under the most strain, it’ll make more sense to put preventative measures into place. It’s no surprise that the knee takes a lot of impact when running.

When walking, each heel-strike causes a force equivalent to several times your weight to travel up your leg travels up your leg. With running, the shock of this force increases substantially. Runners knee health care guidelines include this consideration in your training. For runners, the problem usually begins where the kneecap intersects with the thighbone (femur).

Unlike the hip and the shoulder, the knee lacks a deep-fitting socket to act as a hinge. Instead, as the knee swings, it pivots to accommodate the thigh bone. Because the thigh bone is longer on one side than the other, it pulls on the four major ligaments of the joint with every flexion, extension, and rotation. These ligaments are the bands that hold the knee joint together, with some passing right through the knee itself. With each step, the kneecap rubs against the cartilage in your knee.

Over time, this friction can lead to painful inflammation. Anterior knee pain or patella-femoral syndrome is the medical name for a burning, aching sensation in or around the kneecap. The good news is that all these knee-breaking issues can be treated – or even better, prevented!

Knee Problems Runners Have and Why

With the above studies in mind, it’s clear that runners can and DO suffer from knee problems. In fact, of all the injuries that runners are most vulnerable to, one of four involves the knee. It’s the most commonly-injured joint! Knee injuries can include:

Runners Knee Patellofemoral pain area

  • Kneecap – also known as ‘Runner’s Knee’
  • Iliotibial Band Inflammation (IT band)
  • Meniscus and/or cartilage wear and tear
  • Patellar Tendinopathy

I know many runners who give up running because they’ve been told their knees are beyond help. There are lots of physiotherapists and doctors out there who advise against running and tell their patients that the impact on the knees will lead to problems later in life.

In fact, my own coach had given up running himself – because his doctor had told him to. Then, a year or two ago, he found a brand of shoes that provide extra support to the knees. Suddenly, after a ten-year hiatus, my dear old coach was out running again.

With the proper methods, runners’ knee health care becomes possible. There are lots of websites out there that will tell you running and injury are inevitable. I even found a study that suggests 30-50 percent of runners will get injured during any particular training year.

The thing to remember is that injuries happen – and they happen whether you’re running, or whether you’re walking down the street. You can reduce the risk of running injuries, however, and so can their severity.

Preventing Knee Problems – Naturally

As I explained above, naturopathy is about treating the cause, not the symptom. When it comes to preventing knee problems, the naturopathic approach involves several very important factors: diet, lifestyle, health history, and exercise.

Diet and Supplementation

Runners need an extra supply of nutrients in their diet in order to replace those that are used up with physical activity and to support the daily repair of muscle and cartilage.

Studies show that mineral supplements are an easy and effective way to support knee health and reduce the symptoms of knee pain. A good quality supplement provides a therapeutic dose of vitamins and minerals directly to where your body needs it most, giving you the best chance of maintenance and repair.

  • Omega 3 Fats are known as ‘healthy fats.’ Omega 3 is vital for keeping cells supple and functioning well. Omega 3 nourishes the cell membrane of joint tissue, allowing for proper flexibility and fluidity. It also sets the stage for repair and health maintenance.

Cells high in Omega 3 cool the body more quickly, reducing inflammation, and thus reducing the risk of disease. Fish oil also helps to reduce the “bad fats” (triglycerides) in the blood and raise the “good fats” (HDL). This makes the blood less viscous, improving healthy circulation, and reducing the risk of heart disease or other chronic illnesses.

Eat: Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon. Plant-based Omega 3’s include chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts.

Supplement: High-quality purified fish oil liquid or capsules. One to three grams of fish oil every day can help reduce the overall intensity of joint problems like stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort. There are also omega-3 fatty acids that help increase blood flow during exercise, which also helps reduce joint pain and swelling.

Glucosamine supplements are usually available together with chondroitin, which is also a part of the bone and connective tissue and helps to improve joint mobility.

Eat: Bone broth soups made from chicken or beef bones (organic where possible)

Supplement: Capsules are available, usually as a joint supplement containing a variety of compounds

  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

    MSM molecule image graphic

    MSM graphic image

Although not as well known, MSM is essential for the building and maintenance of connective tissue – joints, skin, and hair. It’s a sulphuric compound that helps to break up calcium deposits in the joints, improving joint flexibility, reducing inflammation and stiffness, and improve cellular function.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Calcium Calcium is essential for building and supporting bone structure. It’s also required healthy muscle contraction and balancing electrolytes. Eat: If you’re lactose intolerant (which many people are!), then dairy isn’t the best source of calcium.

Try tofu or non-dairy nut milks that have been fortified with calcium. Supplement: Calcium citrate is the most bioavailable form of calcium supplement. Cheaper forms can cause constipation and digestive issues.

  • Trace minerals: Zinc, boron, iron, potassium Each of these minerals are required for healthy electrolyte balance and re-mineralization of the bones. Muscles also depend on minerals for repair and contraction.

Eat: Wholefoods in their natural form (raw and organic where possible) are a good source of minerals. Unfortunately, due to the low mineral content of the soil, many foods lack the therapeutic dose of minerals we need each day.

Supplement: Look for a good quality brand of multi-vitamin that recommends divided doses throughout the day. Large amounts of vitamins and minerals taken in one go won’t actually be absorbed well by the body.

  • Vitamin C Not just for the immune system! Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, the stuff of our skin, joints, and connective tissue. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals generated by exercise. It’s these free radicals that can cause cell damage, inflammation and pain.

Eat: Fruits high in Vitamin C include kiwifruit, berries, blackcurrants. Supplement: Vitamin C absorption is helped with bioflavonoids. Sodium ascorbate is also usually better absorbed by the body.

  • Magnesium One of the most important minerals, magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions that take place in the body every day. These include muscle contraction and relaxation, cell repair, mineral uptake, energy metabolism, and many others. If you experience muscle cramp regularly, you’re likely to be low in magnesium.

Eat: Mineral-rich foods include shellfish, lean meats, and dark, leafy greens. Supplement: Magnesium is available in oral form as a powder and capsules, or as a topical spray. Best forms of magnesium include citrate, amino acid chelate, glycinate, chloride.

blackberries, raspberries,blueberris

Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eat Lots of These

What To Avoid To Prevent Knee Problems

So, now that you know which foods and dietary supplements will help to improve the health of your knees, let’s look at the things that WON’T help – or will make things worse.

Sugar

Sugar is a pro-inflammatory food. Sugar causes your blood sugar to spike, which results in a release of insulin.

Numerous studies have shown that, if sugar is regularly consumed to excess, it can lead to all sorts of serious health problems. Although many runners believe that their high level of physical activity justifies eating sugar because it provides energy, the truth is that there are much healthier ways to get an energy hit!

In fact, sugar can be disastrous to any athlete’s body, particularly runners. Excess sugar in the diet has been linked to:

  • Weight gain. A heavier body increases the amount of pressure on your joints
  • Increasing uric acid levels in the blood. This is caused by the liver’s inability to process fructose, one of the most common forms of refined sugar. This, in turn, can lead to gout, a painful inflammation of the foot.
  • Spiked blood sugar levels. The higher the amount of sugar in the blood, the higher the levels of inflammatory cells called cytokines. Inflammation is a major cause of pain and disease.

Fizzy, Carbonated Drinks, Alcohol

Carbonated drinks such as soda are the worst insult to the health of your bones and joints. First, these drinks are usually loaded with sugar – most sodas can contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per can. (see above for why that’s bad!).

Second, the phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks tends to bind with trace minerals (magnesium, zinc, and calcium) in your lower intestine. Instead of those minerals being absorbed by your bones, they’re passed out as urine, depleting your body of the very nutrients it needs.

Saturated Fats

transfat filled foods

Many packaged and processed foods are loaded with saturated and transfats. Minimize Eating These.

Fast food, processed foods, and fried food is high in saturated fats and trans fats, which contribute to a multitude of problems. Not only does saturated fat put you at risk of weight gain, but it is linked to inflammatory processes in the body, which, later on, can cause or exacerbate arthritis and pain.

Avoid or limit saturated fats by replacing them with healthy fats – i.e., those that are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. These include oils made from fruits, nuts, and seeds, such as avocado, olive, chia seed, coconut.

The Right Shoes for Runners

While some people believe that it’s possible to run in just any old shoe, you’d be surprised to find just how much your running improves in the RIGHT shoe. The right running shoe is one that suits your running style, the shape and width of your foot, your arches, the terrain you’re running on, and, most important of all, the vulnerability of your knees.

Shoes Should Support The Knees A few years ago, the book ‘Born To Run’ had everybody rushing out to buy minimalist running shoes. While the theory of these zero-drop shoes seems sound, the truth is that they’re not for everyone. The minimalist shoes have since been replaced by the opposite – the maximally cushioned shoes.

It’s a design that was pioneered by Hoka One One a few years ago and has since been followed by other major shoe brands including Nike, New Balance, Hoka One One, Saucony, and Brooks. The “super support” shoe is an innovative design that provides ultimate cushioning to the bones and joints.

The super-light foam cushioning in Hoka One One shoes helps to reduce the shock to your knees when your foot hits the ground. Admittedly, the shoes look rather strange: they have oversized foam midsole, a modern profile, and bright, quirky colors.

Last update on 2020-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HOKA ONE running shoes are known for max-cushioned kicks. They feel light and breezy when they are worn and offer a more comfortable ride for those everyday running sessions. The brand was founded in 2009 by two French trail runners, and it began as just a minimalist shoe trend before it reached its peak.

They were offering a pair of running shoes designed to cradle the runner’s feet while also cushioning them. They wanted runners to feel as if they were floating. They ended up working with a chemist to come up with a new kind of EVA foam that was soft and lightweight. The cushion is just enough for runners who are on tough terrain and aren’t too heavy as to weigh them down.

Other recent developments HOKA is making include:

  • Cushioning system with soft foam in the heel and firmer foam in the forefoot
  • Shock absorption and energy return for the runners
  • Midsole construction without rigid plastic materials often used in other support shoes
  • Matryx upper made with Kevlar fibers to increase the durability of the shoe

A Life Saver for those with Sore Knees

But they get accolades as a lifesaver for those runners with aching knees, allowing those who have given up their running to get back into the game.

Shoes Should Last The Distance Another major factor in knee health is the wear and tear on your running shoes. Most shoe retailers recommend replacing your running shoes every 300-400 miles (or 600km), although this may depend on the type of surface you’re running on most regularly. The more worn out your shoes are, the less support they’ll be providing your shoes.

Cushioning and stability are vital to protecting knee cartilage, not to mention shock absorption. Don’t let pain or discomfort be the first sign that you need to replace your shoes!

Where to Run: It’s Not All About The Road Terrain matters!

The type of environment you subject your knees will have a major impact on their long-term health. Fortunately, running is certainly not limited to the road. There’s a huge variety of run-friendly places and spaces to get your jog on.

Trail Running

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that running on a trail is less damaging to the knee joint than running on the pavement. Trails have a much softer surface that absorbs the impact of the foot hitting the ground, which in turn reduces the shock to the knee.

Sports medicine experts recommend trail running over road running for this very reason, explaining that the force normally transmitted from the pavement through to the knee is dissipated on the trail. Knee injuries or knee pain can be aggravated by the impact of the foot on tar seal, whereas trail running provides a softer landing.

Gym Running

Some people are gym bunnies, some aren’t – but the gym can be a lifesaver when a knee injury prohibits your usual running routine. Treadmills are designed to provide a cushioned platform to run on, which absorbs more of the impact than a typical concrete or tar seal surface would.

The main problem with treadmill running is that, unlike the road, the terrain doesn’t vary – so there’s a risk of repetitive motion injury. This is why it may be a good idea to alternate between the treadmill and other surfaces.

Water Running/Aqua Jogging

Possibly the best form of exercise for a runner with sore knees! Many runners prefer aqua jogging to cycling or gym machines because they’re in the same range of motion as they are when running and using similar muscles.

Studies have even found that aqua jogging provides a similar cardio benefit to cycling in terms of oxygen consumption and heart rate elevation. Other research has even suggested that aqua jogging at a slow-to-moderate intensity is more demanding on the cardiovascular system than cycling. To get the most out of aqua jogging, try wearing a floatation belt. This will help to maintain normal running biomechanics.

Treating Knee Problems with Natural Approaches

Even when you’re eating the right foods, taking supplements, and following a healthy exercise regime, injuries can still happen. Sometimes they’re running-related, and sometimes they’re not. It’s simply the case that knees take a lot of physical wear and tear.

While it’s not entirely possible to prevent knee injuries, it IS possible to reduce the magnitude of an injury. The key is to act as soon as possible. Don’t ignore even the slightest inkling of a problem; that’s your body warning you that something isn’t right. Taking action early on could save you untold pain, money, and, yes, heartache!

ice bag applied to knee

If you hurt your knee or if it’s just plain sore, the fastest easiest thing to do is apply an ice pack. It reduces swelling and pain.

I.C.E

Knee pain can be the result of any number of afflictions: injury, arthritis, irritation, or even cysts. All of these problems will usually involve some degree of inflammation, which in turn is typically accompanied by swelling, pain, and redness.

The R.I.C.E method is a tried-and-true runner’s favorite. And it’s very simple! R = rest. Keep your weight off the knee for as long as possible. That means sitting down!

I = ice. As obvious as it sounds, ice is the number one treatment for reducing acute inflammation and bringing down swelling. Most health practitioners recommend applying ice for 10-20 minutes a day, up to three times a day.

Use an icepack or fill a bag with ice cubes and wrap in a towel before applying to the skin. A bag of frozen peas is particularly good – the peas can mold around the joint. A wheat bag is also good: it can be frozen and used straight out of the freezer.

C = Compression. A compression bandage such as an elastic wrap, knee support sleeve, or simply a soft fabric dressing helps to reduce the blood flow to the area, which in turn reduces the swelling.

Consult a health professional regarding which bandage is best for your particular knee problem, and how tight it should be. Be careful not to wind the bandage so tight that it cuts off circulation altogether!

E = Elevation. Get your knee UP. The trick is to keep it raised higher than your heart: this helps to reduce blood and fluid building up in the knee area. Use pillows or a chair to arrange yourself comfortably.

If you’re an avid follower of natural health remedies on the internet, you’ll no doubt have heard of the amazing benefits of turmeric. Turmeric is a bright orange spice common to Asian cooking and has long been used in traditional medicine.

Its benefits are particularly coveted by runners – both as a preventative and a treatment. Because it’s high cardio and causes an intense impact on the joints, running is a major contributor to inflammation in the body. That’s why turmeric should be in every runner’s diet!

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant that counters inflammation in the tissues. It’s also a rich source of phytonutrients that aid repair and maintenance of weary muscles. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers are so great; it can relieve the pain of arthritis. Many supplement formulations use it alongside other minerals.

Turmeric Latte Recipe

turmeric latte

A Turmeric Latte is Loaded with Nutrients and Anti-Oxidants. You can also put turmeric in salads, soups, and just about any dish you like for some added spark

While the thought of taking turmeric in anything other than curry may surprise some people, this creamy latte is certainly very palatable.

This is a fantastic healthy beverage that I try to drink at least once a day when training for a marathon. And yes, the pepper and coconut oil are necessary – they work together to improve the bioavailability of turmeric’s health properties.

Almond milk or coconut milk makes for a delicious, dairy-free beverage.

Ingredients 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk 1-2 tsp turmeric paste (see instructions for making this below) 1 tsp organic cinnamon powder A dash of vanilla extract 1 tsp ground raw ginger ¼ tsp ground organic cardamom (optional) ½ – 1 Tbsp. Extra-virgin organic coconut oil Honey or stevia to taste Pinch of black pepper.

Method First, make a turmeric paste by combining 2 parts turmeric powder with 1-part boiling water. Mix well. You can store any extra in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re new to the taste of turmeric, start with one teaspoon and build up.

  1. Gently warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan. Make sure it doesn’t boil.
  2. Add the turmeric paste, followed by the ground ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and ground cardamom.
  3. Combine the coconut oil with the mixture, then gently heat all ingredients together until liquified.
  4. Using a stick blender or even just a wire whisk, blend to create a foam. Continue to stir until frothy and heated through.
  5. Add honey or stevia and stir.
  6. Pour into a glass or mug and sprinkle with a little cinnamon (or ground cardamom). Serve!

Run Along!

Runners knee health care keeping your knees healthy and pain-free is simple if you take the naturopathic approach. The trick is to look at the ‘whole picture,’ rather than focus on the pain alone. Pain in any part of your body is a sign that something is wrong (obviously!).

The solution lies not in covering up the problem with painkillers – as a doctor might suggest – but in investigating the source of the pain. Treating the source means the solution is long-term. As mentioned before, prevention is the best cure.

If you’re running regularly and never had a knee problem in your life, that doesn’t mean you won’t! Give your body the best chance it has of going the distance by taking preventative measures now – whether through diet, rest, footwear, or the terrain you run on. Who knows how many marathons you might end up running?

Knee Health for Runners FAQ

Can alternative remedies offer runners a better route to pain relief?

Alternative remedies of pain relief for runners include things that place a much greater emphasis on biomechanics, nutrition, and alignment. Homeopathic therapies have also been found by some to help them access the body’s natural healing potential. However, before any treatment or remedy, you need to be assessed by your doctor or physical therapist to see what methods would work the best for your situation.

How can you reduce stress on your knees by improving overall form and posture when running?

To reduce stress on your knees while running, you need to have the right form and learn the proper techniques. To do this, evaluate your stride and establish new muscle memory. You also need to make sure to have a good pair of running shoes. Take into consideration the shape of your arches and find a running shoe that provides you with the support you need. You should also avoid overstriding. Your foot should land below your hips as you run in good form, rather than out in front of you.

Does running cause osteoarthritis?

There is no evidence that running does or doesn’t cause osteoarthritis. The risk of developing this condition should be evaluated on a more individual basis and based on other factors. You then need to weigh the benefits of running as an exercise to the possible risk that can be involved.

What are the possible causes of chronic knee pain for runners?

Runner’s knee is one of the more common causes of knee pain for runners and is due to overuse, trauma to the kneecap, misalignment of the kneecap, flat feet, weak or tight thigh muscles, arthritis, and inadequate stretching before exercise. Ligament tears and meniscus tears are also common and can cause pain in the knee joints as well.

What is the most common injury in runners?

There are several common injuries runners can experience. Some of them include Runner’s Knee, Achilles Tendinitis, hamstring issues, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, and stress fractures.

How do you heal a running injury?

Rest is of the utmost importance when you are trying to heal a running injury, followed by ice and cold therapy and compression. You can use splints to help support and control the swelling and inflammation while also stabilizing the area.