1. Choose your shoes wiselyYour knee joint is a highly sophisticated piece of mechanical engineering, and like many other machines it works best when operating on a stable, level surface. Poorly fitting, unsupportive and high-heeled shoes may interfere with the knee’s biomechanics and increase the load it needs to bear, both of which may ultimately contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. Replace shoes that are becoming worn or losing their support, and if your feet are prone to rolling inwards or outwards, ask your physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor whether orthotic inserts in your shoes might help take the pressure off your knees. Appropriate footwear is especially important when exercising, especially if you participate in sports like jogging, soccer, netball or tennis, which involve lots of pivoting, swerving or landing heavily on your feet, all of which add to the stress on the knees.
2. Take turmeric to relieve knee painTurmeric has an extensive history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, where it has long been prized for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties and taken to relieve mild joint and rheumatic pain. Thanks to its content of anti-inflammatory compounds called curcumin, Turmeric may be particularly beneficial for helping to relieve the pain, inflammation, swelling and joint stiffness that occur in mild osteoarthritis of the knee, and may also help support the mobility and functioning of the affected joint.
3. Give ginger a goLike the curcumin found in Turmeric, Ginger and its active constituents have potent anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s not surprising that it also has a long tradition of use for inflammatory and rheumatic conditions in Ayurvedic medicine. When taken with Turmeric and other anti-inflammatory herbs like Boswellia, Ginger may help to alleviate mild osteoarthritis symptoms and enhance joint mobility - over time, this may lead to improvements in important aspects of knee function, such as walking distance. For optimal results, look for a ginger supplement providing the equivalent of 7.5g ginger per daily dose, ideally standardised for its levels of gingerols, compounds in Ginger that are known to contribute to the herb’s therapeutic effects.
4. Eat more fishThe omega-3 fats found in fish and some nuts and seeds have anti-inflammatory properties in the human body. In contrast, other, less healthy types of fats (like those typically found in processed meats, deep-fried foods and packaged goods) tend to promote inflammation. To shift the balance in your favour, cut back on takeaways, junk foods and fatty cuts of meat and instead eat at least two fish-containing meals per week, favouring oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Increase your omega-3 consumption even further by taking a fish oil supplement, which may help relieve the inflammation, swelling and joint pain associated with mild osteoarthritis and help maintain healthy joint function (TIP: If you’re put off by the fishy taste or smell, choose an odourless supplement that’s enteric-coated to minimise reflux and burping).
5. Maintain your leg strength and flexibilityYour knee joints are strongly influenced by the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround them. Having strong thighs, glutes and calves and good flexibility in your legs goes a long way towards supporting the biomechanics of your knee and enabling it to function at its best. Regular exercise is vital to maintaining the health of the knees and surrounding tissues, and may help to reduce joint pain and improve joint function. Your exercise routine should incorporate activities that help build your leg strength, improve your balance, and maintain your flexibility (all of which may also help to maintain your mobility and decrease your risk of falls as you get older). However, ask your healthcare professional for specific guidance on activities that are suitable for your personal circumstances before you start.
Mr Vitamins recommendsFusion Health, premium quality Australian-made supplements that combine the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and the science of modern Western herbalism, including:
- Fusion Turmeric: High potency anti-inflammatory formula with standardised levels of curcumin and piperine to aid absorption
- Fusion Curcumin Advanced: Combines high potency curcumin with Ginger and Boswellia for additional anti-inflammatory benefits
- Fusion OceanPure Fish Oil: Highly concentrated, odourless, low-reflux formula