The 11 Billion Dollar Joint: Your Knees and How to Take Care of Them
Knee and hip replacement surgeries are as in-demand as ever; roughly 11 billion dollars has been reportedly spent on these surgeries in the U.S. Over 9 billion annually has been spent on knee replacements alone in the past few years.
Having surgery is a big deal and often you don’t get your body back to working order exactly as you’d like it to be.
So how do you keep your knees in tip top shape so they keep moving and stay healthy for years to come?
The overall key is to take preventative action to keep your knees from heading down a path of injury and pain so you can stay active and don’t have to waste time in the hospital talking about knee replacement surgery in the future.
Having seen many clients over the years, I know that when knee pain is handled and addressed properly, not only will the patient feel much better but their bodies will be much stronger because of it. This is why I want to share a couple of tips on how you can keep your knees in excellent shape.
Tip #1 The “right” stretch – Stretch your quadriceps and your hamstring muscles regularly. Stretch your quadriceps by touching your toes and your hamstrings by bending your knee and holding your foot to your bottom.
Tip #2 Be careful when your knees are overused or injured – When you’ve used your knee too much or it feels sore after an injury or activity, put an ice pack on your knee joint. When you haven’t been able to stretch properly or you’ve been sitting all day, put heat on your thigh muscles (front and back) then do the stretch in Tip #1.
Tip #3 Get a good foundation – Get some good, supportive, and comfortable shoes that you will wear most of the time when you’re on your feet.
Tip #4 Exercise – There are specific exercises that can help strengthen the complex joints of the knee. These include squats, lunges, lunges in a circle or in a star formation (a quicker lunge that can strengthen your deep knee muscles and ligaments), and running while pivoting around cones or other objects. These should be done proportional to your overall fitness level; we can help you know which exercises are best for your specific knees. Make sure to stretch afterward.
Tip #5 Avoid sitting too long – Inactivity can tighten your hamstrings and put stress on your knee joints. This lack of joint movement can cause it to wear down, especially if your leg stays in a bent position for long periods of time. A chiropractic adjustment to the knee and other specific areas of the body can help with this.
Tip #6 Ask us about supplements or other specific treatments for your unique knees and body. Sometimes this can help your body become fortified from the inside-out.
Tip #7 Knee and whole body chiropractic adjustments – these are light and specific thrusts to your bones to help them move better individually and with your body as a whole. It is important for your body to move well if you want it to be pain-free throughout the day.
Your knees can be vulnerable areas that are affected from the ground-up, by walking, running, jumping, wearing the wrong shoes, or just by the pressure and torque they naturally take while you’re moving. They are also stressed from above-down as your hips, tight muscles, or back posture affect where the stress is placed on them.
Whether you live a very active lifestyle or are sedentary by sitting for hours at a time, put these tips into action and take care of your knees so you can stay pain-free for years to come.
Call us at (610) 216-0790 for an easy and thorough exam of your knees where we will decide if you can benefit from some light knee and body adjustments or other specific pain prevention strategies.