Your knees are one of the most hardworking parts of your body. Unfortunately, most people only start taking care of their knees once they start experiencing pain, causing them to struggle when doing simple activities such as walking, getting in and out of the car, kneeling, and going up and down the stairs. These people will tell you that having knee pain is no fun at all.
If you would like to avoid facing a similar problem and want to enjoy all your usual activities, here are five knee facts you need to know:
Fact 1: Your knees are your body's largest joints
The knee is the biggest joint and also the most complicated. Your knee joins the thigh bone (called the femur) and the shin bone (called the tibia). This joint is big enough that it can be divided into two parts: the tibiofemoral joint and the patellofemoral joint. The knee does not only carry your body weight, but it also absorbs all the impacts from activities such as walking, running, and jumping.
Fact 2: Everyone is susceptible to knee pain in their lifetime
The most common musculoskeletal symptom that most people experience is anterior knee pain or pain in front of the knee, and this symptom is why many people visit their physio clinic. The main factor for experiencing knee pain is age, but men, women, and even children of any age can experience knee pain at any point in their lives.
This pain can manifest in various ways. It can be a simple ache to symptoms of grinding, clicking, or feeling a little unstable. Over time, this pain will introduce gradual wear and tear on your knee that may lead to osteoarthritis or a condition that will make you experience pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your knee.
Fact 3: Your knee carries three times your body weight when going downstairs
Ascending stairs can be more challenging to do, but did you know that something as basic as stepping down the stairs puts more strain on your knees? Knee pain is often experienced when your knee faces abnormal forces passing through the patellofemoral joint or the underside of your kneecap.
Here is a comparison of how much weight your knees carry when doing simple everyday activities:
- Walking: 261 per cent of your body weight
- Climbing upstairs: 316 per cent of your body weight
- Going down the stairs: 346 per cent of your body weight
Fact 4: Losing 1kg of body weight will reduce 4kg weight off your knee joint
When it comes to osteoarthritis's progression and development, the most important modifiable risk factor is one's weight. Doctors worldwide will recommend losing weight to reduce the risk of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. A weight ratio of 1:4 (weight loss to load reduction in the knee) means that for every one kilogram of weight loss, there is a four-kilogram load reduction in the knee joint.
Fact 5: Exercise is the most effective solution to manage knee osteoarthritis
Exercise can reduce pain and stiffness and improve knee mobility, leaving a patient with a better quality of life. Doing physical activities is the most recommended treatment that physiotherapists will recommend for individuals with knee osteoarthritis.
Besides those benefits, exercising also promotes synovial fluid circulation around the joints, which acts as a lubricant. Performing exercises also increases blood circulation, opening the synovial membrane around the joint to oxygen and nutrients.
Knee pain can heavily affect your mobility and confidence when it comes to performing daily activities. That is why when you start feeling any sort of pain in your knees, whether it is from arthritis, a sports injury, or a nagging ache that comes and goes, immediately visit a physiotherapist for a precise diagnosis and a management plan.
Letting knee pain linger will only make it worse. If you want to return to doing all the things you love to do, visit Brisbane's physio. At Anytime Physio, we have a team of highly trained physiotherapists that can create rehabilitation plans specially designed for your needs. We also offer Sports Physiotherapy, Remedial Massage and Pilates classes to make your recovery fun and worthwhile.