KNEE HEALTH

Boost your knee health with these simple everyday tips

Find out why experts recommend use of one tomato in cooking

In Summary

• Experts say that walking is a low impact but a great way to keep your lower body and joints healthy

• Knee pain can affect individuals from all age groups not only those above 25.

Illustration of Knee pain
Illustration of Knee pain
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

Whether you’ve suffered a knee injury or you just find yourself experiencing regular discomfort as you engage in your daily activity, knee pain can damper your daily activities and you either end up in bed or the ER.

Dr Ezekiel Oburu, an orthopaedic surgeon says that Knee pain can affect individuals from all age groups not only those above 25.

Made up of bones, cartilage and ligaments, it is a very complex joint as it bears most of the weight of the human body which is the most prone to injury.

However, Oburu says a precise diagnosis of the underlying cause is important to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

The Nairobi Spine and Orthopaedic Centre, says that diseases and injuries disturb the normal functioning of the joint and can result in pain, muscle weakness and limited movement.

Associating other causes of knee pain to excess weight which increases pain in the joints, sports like basketball, previous injuries, and lack of flexibility which leads to tight or weak muscles, the centre advised people experiencing knee pain to visit a specialist who will identify the root cause of the pain.

However, here are some expert-backed tips to keep your knees healthy and pain-free.

Apple, banana, spinach smoothie
Apple, banana, spinach smoothie

Diet

Bananas are very good for people dealing with Arthritis since it has huge amounts of potassium.

Potassium helps to reduce sodium retention and help alleviate cartilage damage of joints.

Nanyuki-based Nutritionist Wincate Wangari recommends reducing salt intake, sugary drinks, wheat products, margarine and cooking food with at least one tomato.

Nanyuki-based Nutritionist Wincate Wangari recommends cooking food with at least one tomato.
Nanyuki-based Nutritionist Wincate Wangari recommends cooking food with at least one tomato.
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

“Excessive use of tomatoes cause a build-up of calcium which leads to inflammation. Calcium causes the rise the excretion levels of uric acid which triggers a form of arthritis that target the joints of wrists, knees, toes and fingers.” Wangari told the Star.

She recommended nuts, bananas, berries (blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries etc), spinach, broccoli, ginger, garlic, apples, avocadoes and watermelons.

Walk daily

When it comes to knee pain, having a sedentary lifestyle is as problematic as overexertion.

Experts say that walking is a low impact but a great way to keep your lower body and joints healthy.

Walking at least 20 minutes a day whenever you can, or after work not only helps you clear your head but also improves your cardio enduarance.

Sample stretching
Sample stretching

Stretch

Doing simple seated exercises, including long arc quads, ankle pups, hamstring stretch and hip adduction helps maintain the flexibility of the joint.

However, Robert Murimi, a gym instructor recommends going slow on the first days and doing a guided stretch to avoid injuries that can be caused by overstretching.

Dont sit with legs at 90 degrees
Dont sit with legs at 90 degrees

Adjust that sitting posture

Sometimes it's not always about exercise, but how you sit.

“Sitting with your legs crossed or sitting on the couch when the legs are under you puts more pressure on our knee joints which causes irritation and pain,” Sidney Hagge a physical therapist says.

Dr Mehta says that poor posture can cause arthritis, as it forces you to overwork the muscles in your neck and back.

“Your immune system's efforts to heal those muscles spur inflammation that over time, can lead to arthritis in nearby joints.

He recommends sitting with knees behind the toes, and your legs at a 45 to 50-degree angle, not 90.

Squatting safely

Robin adds that squats are great for building muscle, but performing them wrong can lead to injuries.

“The trick is to make sure when you are lowering yourself into a squat, you can look down and see your toes,” he told the Star.

“Just like sitting on a toilet seat or chair, don’t let your knees go out to the side or too forward.”

Edited by D Tarus