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Know your knees…

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We underestimate the importance of the knee joint. It’s important that we take care of it.

 

The knee joint is the primary weight-bearing joint of the body.

The knee joint is the complex joint responsible for the functionality of the body.

The locking and unlocking mechanism of the knee joint allows one to comfortably sit on the floor or perform low stance movements.

The pulley mechanism makes the knee joint muscles function efficiently.

These are major group of muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, bones, cartilages, bursas… and the complex functioning makes the knee joint a very efficient functional unit.

We may even wonder why we should understand the complexity of the knee joint.

But this understanding will be useful to have a healthy knee joint.

Everything in the universe is interconnected.

God has created a wonderful functional machine – which never rests – called the body.  Our body is essential to fulfill the goals in our life.

We move towards our destination through this vehicle called the body.  In our body, joints represent movements.

When we feel our joints are stuck, we also feel we are stuck in life.

The opposite is also true.  Very often, what is there in the external environment will reflect in the internal environment too.

It is just a mental game.

Life is all about movement.  Movement is a basic life process makes man lively.   It makes man energetic and enthusiastic.

It also increases the flow of the life force.

Movement makes man healthy.  In that way, the knee joint plays a significant role in movement.

The major ligaments, tendons and muscles of the knee joint are also responsible for a very important mechanism called proprioception.

Proprioception is perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.

This mechanism is very essential to feel or identify the position of joints, alignment of the joints, to maintain balance and to prevent injuries.

The joint must be mobile as well as stable for the better functioning of the body.  The health of the joint mainly depends upon strength and stability.

The strength is imitative from the major muscles above and below the knee joint.  The stability is derived from the ligaments in and around the joint.

Since 40% of the entire body weight is transferred through the knee joint, the load that the knee joint has to bear varies according to various activities.

While walking, the load that goes to the knee joint becomes 1.5 times that of body weight; while jogging it becomes 3 times.

Climbing stairs it becomes 3 to 5 times, Running it becomes – 5 to 7 times and while jumping it becomes – 7 to 10 times that of our body weight.

For a healthy joint, one must focus on three aspects without fail.  Take professional help to get guidance on these three aspects.

Body weight:  Obesity or being overweight is always a challenge to health.  Excessive body weight will have a major impact on the knee.

The surface, the articular cartilage, the menisci of knee joint will undergo wear and tear and changes much earlier when body weight is beyond normal.

With wear and tear changes, pain and stiffness will be a major challenge, which will hinder the body’s mobility.

Wear and tear changes gradually cause compensation in the weight transference process, which may even lead to deformity.

It further complicates the problems of overweight.  So being cautious about body weight is very essential for the health of the  joint.

Stretching and Strengthening:

Tightness or dysfunction (where one side is tight and the opposite side is weak) of muscles below and above the knee joint can cause pain in the joint.

As arthritis or bursitis or tendinitis as well as, at times, instability of the knee (the knee may give way even when there is no laxity of ligaments).

Stretching of the major group of muscles above and below on a daily basis will keep the joint supple and healthy.

This is very important for people who standing or sitting jobs for long hours.

They must stretch the muscles above and below the joint on a daily basis (if possible, twice a day) to have healthy joints.

Footwear:

Postural deviations like flat feet or high arch will have a major impact on the knee joint by increasing the pressure on the articular surfaces.

May cause tendinitis, bursitis, early wear and tear of menisci and articular cartilage of the knee.

These conditions may hinder one’s freedom in one’s day to day routine. Choose a right footwear according to feet deviations is a must to keep the  joint healthy.

Let’s not overlook the health of the knee joint.

Yes!  Know your knees and say ‘No’ to pain.

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