Healthy Days and Nourishing Ways

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Kneed Help?
Most likely you know at least one person who has a knee problem. Knee problems are becoming as common as the common cold and just like colds are affecting all ages. But the similarities between the two end there because, unlike the symptoms of common colds, symptoms of knee problems don’t usually go away in 7 to 10 days. Knee problems will likely have a great impact on a person’s health, causing problems that could last a lifetime. Some knee problems can be helped by surgery; for others, there is no appropriate surgery or there is a lack of money and/or insurance to pay for the surgery or other treatment. What can we do? Let’s take a look at some things that can help us when we kneed it!
  • For arthritis in the knees, a warm environment is preferred. Dress warmly, taking air conditioning in the summer into consideration when indoors. Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers as much as possible. Take warm baths or showers and keep a heating pad on hand, applying heat for 15 to 20 minutes and then taking a break for at least 30 minutes.
  • For tendonitis in the knees, a cool environment is preferred. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and/or shorts whenever possible. Wear comfortable shoes, sneakers, sandals that provide good support, or go bare foot whenever possible. Rinse your knees with cold water in the shower and always have ice available. Apply ice for about 15 to 20 minutes using a barrier. Take a break for at least 30 minutes before applying the ice again.
  • If exercise is possible then this should become part of your regular routine. Find exercises that both strengthen the knees and are comfortable for you to do. Lifting the legs, swinging the legs, and doing backward knee bends may be helpful. Do lifts and bends slowly and only if they cause no pain. Gradually increase the number of lifts and bends you do daily if able to do them comfortably. Consider taking some yoga classes.
  • Walk. We tend to sit more when we have knee problems. This can lead to our muscles atrophying and our gaining weight, neither of which are good for knee problems. If you are able to walk, start off slowly and then increase it gradually if comfortable. You may find that certain surfaces are more conducive to walking than others. For example, it may be uncomfortable to walk on concrete, but to walk on a boardwalk feels good. If that surface is also uncomfortable, try walking on grass, sand, or in the water.
  • Elevate the knees for short periods of time, especially if the knees are inflamed or you are applying heat or ice.
  • Avoid ingesting high amounts of salt since this may increase inflammation. Alcohol consumption may also aggravate the knees and cause inflammation.
Making some changes in our daily routine may seem inconvenient at first, but in the long run may help reduce pain and discomfort. The better we feel the more we want to do. The more we do, the better we feel about ourselves. Feel good. Eat well. Live healthy. Following some simple principles will bring us more healthy days and nourishing ways!