Healthy Knees

How to Age Proof Your Knees Naturally & Feel Happy

More than 150 mn Indians suffer from knee problems and 40 mn would require knee replacement surgery.

“Knee arthritis is expected to emerge as the fourth common cause of physical disability in Indian in the next decade. It will be difficult for the country to tackle this huge healthcare burden due to the healthcare infrastructure and orthopedic specialists.” Dr. Vikram Shah, Shalby Hospital.

“The mistakes of the world are warning message for you.”  Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Knee problems have become an epidemic. The direct impact is on the quality of life. The person becomes immobile or needs support for walking.

The major cause of knee problem is Osteoarthritis. This is also called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis. This is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in your joints wears down over time.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joints deteriorates over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation.

Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, what remains is bone rubbing on bone causing the ends of your bones to become damaged and the joints to become painful.

A common hallmark of joint pain is chronic inflammation in the joint and the surrounding tissue.

Causes:

It isn’t clear what causes osteoarthritis in most cases. Researchers suspect that it’s a combination of factors, including being overweight, the aging process, sedentary lifestyle, joint injury or stress, heredity, and muscle weakness. This is more common in women after menopause.

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Natural Way to Healthy Knees:

Your knees are supported by surrounding muscles. Boosting muscle strength stabilizes the knee joint and helps the muscles absorb stress you place on the knee. It becomes very important to strengthen your muscles.

Exercise is the most important aspect to deal with weak knees.

Exercise

The exercise involves a series of sustained muscle contractions, of either long or short duration, depending on the nature of the physical activity. Effects of exercise on muscles can be considered short-term or immediate, both during and shortly after exercise; as well as long-term, lasting effects.

Muscle hypertrophy, or the increase in muscle mass due to exercise, particularly weight training, is a noticeable long-term effect of exercise.

Yoga

Indian system of Yoga is useful in all health-related issues. Done regularly and under proper guidance, it can prevent knee-related issues.

Diet

Green tea

A 2008 study in Maryland showed that green tea induced changes in arthritis-related immune responses. (1)

Turmeric

Turmeric and ginger are spices noted for their anti-inflammatory benefit. Often used in Indian cuisine, turmeric also is used in traditional Asian medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2006 Arizona study showed promising research linking turmeric to the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Green vegetables, fruits like Pineapple, papaya, mango, and guava are good for anti-inflammation.

Dairy products are a rich source of calcium. You need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Diet with Omega 3 Fatty Acids is also good for joint health.

Avoid Sugar

Sugars and refined grains, including white rice, pasta, and white bread, are the worst food culprits when it comes to reducing or relieving joint inflammation.

Avoid citric food and processed food.

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Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda texts (2); Vyana Vata governs the circulation and nerve impulses. When this Vata is aggravated, the joint problem can occur. The person’s circulation, metabolism, and ability to absorb food are weakened. The bone tissue does not receive enough nourishment and eventually starts to degenerate.

The imbalance in Vyana Vata and the weakened circulation, metabolism, and absorption create a drying effect on Shleshaka Kapha, the subdosha of Kapha that governs lubrication of the joints.

When this happens, the joints are not lubricated properly and this creates the discomfort, cracking sound, and diminished flexibility.

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Another type of joint problem is a problem of ama (digestive toxins) in the joints. This is characterized by a heavy, stiff feeling.

Sometimes a bout of cold, humid weather can trigger these symptoms. That is the initial stage. If nothing is done to dissolve the ama and it sits in the joints for a long time, eventually the ama converts to amavisha, an even more toxic form of ama that is more irritating and reactive in nature.

Amavisha causes the joint to become inflamed, swollen, and painful. In this kind of environment, ama also mixes with the natural lubricating fluids in the joint governed by Shleshaka Kapha, forming an extremely sticky, toxic substance known as shleshma. Shleshma restricts mobility and disturbs circulation in the joint.

If the ama, amavisha, and shleshma stay in the joints unattended to for a long time, eventually the structure of the joints and the bone itself becomes damaged. Once these morphological changes happen to the joint and bone, it becomes extremely difficult to correct.

What you need is a healthy lifestyle, Vata pacifying food, and practice of Yoga. Here is a video (Hindi) by Baba Ramdev explaining Vata pacifying diet.

Some diseases are incurable but can be managed only. osteoarthritis is one such condition. What best you can do is to prevent it by your proactive action.

Yes, the healthy joints are possible even as you age. What you need is a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and a suitable diet.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin

You may also like to  read: Healthy aging or painful aging, choice is yours

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