aching knees

How To Improve Your Aching Knees

Aching knees and joints is a really common reason for people to visit their GP.

Although you’d commonly get offered painkillers and physio there is a lot more you can do yourself. And I know – this was the start of my own ‘get healthy journey’!

Nutrition

This plays a big role as the typical modern Western diet leads to inflammation in your body.

If this inflammation shows up in your joints they’re going to hurt, and maybe progress to arthritis.

Foods that promote inflammation include sugar and refined carbs and oils. This often goes hand in hand with not nearly enough real food that contains the smaller nutrients that give the body what it needs to repair the normal wear and tear that happens as you move around.

Eat real food. Cut down on ‘food’ that isn’t proper food because it’s been messed around with and refined.

 

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What’s your daily maintenance to keep your body ticking over nicely?

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Sleep

As you go about your day your joints suffer a certain amount of microscopic wear and tear. This is normal and it’s also normal to be getting a healthy amount of sleep to allow your body to repair.

Most repair and maintenance is done while you’re asleep.

Are you getting your 8 hours regularly? If not this daily microscopic damage keeps building until it’s something much bigger – like arthritis.

Sleep is nearly always overlooked as contributing to problems with the body. More info on sleep here.

Exercise

When you’ve got aching knees there can be some fear about exercising. You might be worried about causing more damage, and apart from that it hurts!

This is where seeing a physio might be helpful because strengthening the muscles that support your knee can really help.

It’s actually a bit of a myth that impact on joints is a bad thing. When a joint is impacted, e.g. walking or running, the blood is squeezed out of it. But immediately afterwards new oxygenated blood with fresh nutrients are drawn in. Your joints need this.

Footwear

I listened to one of the founders of Vivobarefoot talking about people in the West having feet shaped like shoes rather than feet.

In a nutshell – if your feet are prevented from functioning as feet because they are encased in shoes that don’t allow your feet to be feet, there are going to be bad effects. This will not only cause foot problems over time, but may also have a knock on effect higher up your body.

I didn’t need any more convincing a bought a pair immediately. A persistent minor niggle in my back disappeared within a week and my knees felt even better than before.

Body Weight

Your aching knees are made to carry your healthy weight.

If you’re asking them to do more than they’re designed to do day after day, year after year – they’re going to wear out.

Aching Knees

All of these things are linked and influence each other, and you may need to look at all of them to improve the health of your joints.

This is a common scenario:

  • Not sleeping well (little overnight repair work going on)
  • Lack of sleep → increased appetite, especially for sugar and refined carbs AND less activity/exercise
  • Unhealthy diet → inflammation in your joints
  • Aching knees → disturbed sleep

It can be a cycle that gets worse and worse over time, ending up in a knee replacement.

Where can you break your cycle of unhealthy behaviour?

Have a great week

Dr Julie

PS Please add your comments below. I’m really interested if you’ve changed your footwear and had good effects.

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