Knee problems

PHOTO: Knee problems

Does your knee hurt when you bend, flex or walk, or when you climb the stairs or kneel whilst gardening?

If not you personally, maybe your mum, dad or even someone you know is suffering from the excruciating claws of osteoarthritis (OA). You've probably read countless articles focusing on the disease itself and the drugs used to treat it.

There are more than 100 types of known arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis afflicting ageing adults worldwide. Hence, we will be focusing specifically on osteoarthritis. It affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.

This article will centre on what NOT to do when you have osteoarthritis of the knee; many sufferers are unaware that they are aggravating their knee joints by doing the opposite. What will also be covered will be the safer, milder alternative medication options to consider, compared to conventional pain killers.

What not to do when suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee:

1. Wearing wrong footwear

- Avoid heels that are too high or too hard.

- Don't wear sandals. Choose shoes that lace up and provide your feet with firm support.

Tip: Choose shoes with low heels with firm support.

2. Walking uphill or downhill

- Avoid walking up or down steep inclines or hills. Both put considerable strain on the knee.

Tip: Walk on flat terrain instead, whenever possible.

3. Walking on uneven or soft terrain

- Avoid uneven or very soft terrain.

Tip: Walk on sidewalks rather than on grass. Choose well-worn paths.

4. Carrying heavy objects

- Try not to carry heavy objects as much as possible. Every extra pound you carry increases the stress on your joints because your knees are your biggest weight-bearing joints.

Tip: Try to find someone in your neighbourhood to help when needed.

5. Standing for long periods at a time

- Do not be on your feet for many hours at a time without a break. This puts your knees under considerable strain, even if you do not feel it directly at that moment.

Tip: Try to follow this rule: "Never be on your feet longer than one hour at a time". Give yourself a break after every hour, even if only for five or 10 minutes. This gives you renewed strength and protects your knees.

6. Avoid low seats

- Avoid sitting on low chairs.

Tip: To really take the load off your knees, choose chairs with a higher seat, preferably one with armrests.

7. Kneeling

- Kneeling, whether at home, at work, or in places of worship, concentrates pressure directly on your knees and should be avoided whenever possible.

Tip: Many activities that require kneeling can usually be accomplished using a low stool or chair instead.

In summary, one basic rule for osteoarthritis is: "Movement yes, strain no".

Alternatives to painkillers

Now let's talk about safer, milder yet as effective alternatives to conventional pain killers.

Most people with osteoarthritis do not nourish their cartilage. Supplying essential nutrients for the body helps to build strong, flexible cartilage. Having a strong flexible cartilage is the first step for healthy joints. Hence, with the right nutritional support, osteoarthritis sufferers can rebuilt and regrow their worn out cartilage.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two clinically proven nutritional compounds used for relief of osteoarthritis and knee pain.

Thousands of osteoarthritic sufferers worldwide are taking this combination daily to support their knee health.

Glucosamine exists naturally in our cartilage and functions to repair and stimulate new cartilage regrowth. However, as our body ages, less amounts of glucosamine is produced. Chondroitin is another natural compound that is found in joint cartilage which gives rigidity to the cartilage and also acts as a "shock absorber".

The synergistic effects of these two ingredients can help relieve joint pains and improve flexibility. Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin helps:

- Relieve joint pain

- Rebuilds joint cartilage

- Improves joint flexibility

Remember to avoid doing the things that would put a strain on your knee joint. Regular exercise, coupled with a healthy diet, in addition to taking an effective formula of glucosamine plus chondroitin is a sure way to keep osteoarthritis at bay.

This article is courtesy of Live-well Nutraceuticals, for more information, please consult your pharmacist. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader's own medical care.