Recently I spoke with Carly Flynn on her Radio Show #Saturday fresh about back and knee health which is something we have most likely either have had ourselves or know someone who has suffered from. For those who have had back or knee issues its disabling, incredibly frustrating and is a real handbrake on our day to day function. For those who have seen your friends and family suffering from knee pain you know how limiting it can be and how happy your mate is without pain and loss of function!
In particular, I had a few calls phone in about knee pain asking why it is that knee pain is so much more prominent today? Firstly, I think we need to look at our size of our bodies. The big elephant in the room, our weight. The knee joint takes a significant amount of load and the more load you put through it the more stress it is under with every step you take.
Studies have shown when we walk we put between 2-4 times our body weight in load through our knees. When we run we put 6-8 times our weight through our knee. When you do the numbers it’s no wonder our poor knee joints are getting grumbly.
My good friend Brydie Harris who is a physiotherapist specialising in Knee Care says that research has shown that a 10% reduction in weight will result in a 25% decrease in knee pain. I find this very promising for those who suffer from knee pain that if you clean up some areas of your life you can have a huge change in your pain! If you want to change your weight or start being more active click this link to some great goal setting advice.
Healing knees on the bike
Before your knees get a bit creaky it’s time you paid attention to them. One of the best ways you can do that is Cycling. Whether it’s on a stationary bike or a push-bike cycling is great because it non weight bearing and your knee joints will appreciate the cyclic action. I like to think with cycling you’re putting oil into your joint. It’s both prevention and restoration of the joint.
Strength training for knees
Secondly, strength training has been shown to decrease both knee pain with an individualized prescribed program. Exercises such as a squat holding great technique is a great start. Starting out with your body weight is enough for some but you can add weight to encourage strength gains if you’re ready. Lunge exercises making sure your knee is tracking straight forward are also great to develop muscle strength leading to stability around the joint. Again like the squat you can add weight as required once you have mastered your technique.
Weightless in the water
In addition, getting in the water either swimming or aqua jogging can be helpful to remain active if your knees are grumbly. Avoid doing breaststroke kick for those who have knee issues simply because of the rotation at the knee joint involved in that stroke. Both aqua jogging and swimming are great ways to keep active without a weight bearing load. You can do some great work in the pool just make sure to get your heart rate up and get working to make some gains.
Knee health does not just happen. At both ends of the spectrum we are either more active as a population or not active at all. Both categories affect the loading at the knee joint which can have a huge impact on your daily function. Get moving to keep moving!