Your knees are the incredible joints that enable you to run, jump, walk, and bend. The good health of our knee joints plays a crucial role in helping us stay active and perform everyday activities.
While exercise, healthy weight, and proper posture are essential, the foundation of knee joint health lies in the foods and nutrition we consume.
Let’s explore some foods and nutrients beneficial for the health of your joints, especially your knees, and how you can maintain your joint health through physical therapy.
Oily, fatty fish such as trout and salmon are rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fats that reduce the level of two inflammation-causing proteins called C reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6.
Eating oily fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids also reduces the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, fish oil supplements can also protect knee joints from cartilage breakdown or at least reduce the severity of cartilage breakdown.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and kale, are nutritional powerhouses as they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. One study has found that an antioxidant compound found in cruciferous vegetables, called sulforaphane, can block the effect of enzymes that cause joint pain and inflammation. This compound is also beneficial for athletes and active individuals who put a lot of pressure on their joints.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices, such as turmeric and ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for joint health. Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, can work as well as ibuprofen in easing knee pain.
A study has also found that turmeric can also prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. You can incorporate ginger and turmeric into your cooking or consume them in tea or a supplement.
Vitamin D is also crucial for good joint health. Without it, our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is crucial for the health of our bones. Therefore, incorporate vitamin D-rich food such as fatty fish and fortified dairy or plant-based milk in your diet for good bone and joint health. Sensible sun exposure can also provide vitamin D to your bones and joints.
Collagen is a type of protein that is responsible for healthy joints and bones. As a person ages, the existing collagen between their bones starts to break down, and it gets harder for the body to produce more collagen to meet the increasing demand. For healthy knee joints, eat foods that support collagen production, such as bone broth and collagen supplements, and foods rich in protein, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and lean meats.
How Physical Therapy Helps with Joint Health
Physical therapy plays a great role in improving and maintaining the optimal health of your knee joints. A physical therapist creates a physical therapy plan consisting of therapeutic exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee joints and improve the joint’s flexibility and range of motion.
They may also educate you on correcting your posture and alignment to prevent further joint strain. A physical therapist can also collaborate with your nutritionist and dietitian to improve your joint health.
Relieving Knee Pain in Jacksonville, FL
At H2 Health, our highly trained and experienced physical therapist will perform a comprehensive assessment, including injury screening and functional capacity evaluation, to determine the underlying cause of your joint pain and develop a personalized treatment plan. Our therapists recommend therapeutic modalities like heat therapy, cold therapy, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), and other therapies to ease knee pain.
We also collaborate with your other doctors, such as nutritionists, dietitians, and orthopedic doctors, to meet your needs.