Do you feel discomfort in your knee? The knee is one of the joints with the most osteoarthritis compared to other joints in the body. Knee wear and tear occurs because this joint is a load-bearing part of the body, i.e. it is responsible for supporting our weight and the weight of the things we move from one side to the other.
It is an injury that develops gradually, as does the pain it causes. This is why it is essential to take action if the first symptoms of knee wear and tear occur.
In this article, we explain what these symptoms are, the causes of knee wear and how you can prevent it from escalating.
What is knee wear and tear?
Did you know that the knee is the largest joint in the human body? It is also one of the joints that can cause the most problems because it is prone to wear and tear due to overexertion, bad sports habits, accidents, etc.
Knee osteoarthritis – or knee wear and tear – is a degenerative disease that usually occurs at older ages. It can also affect young people who have suffered injuries to the knee joint or have strained it through bad habits during physical exertion—for example, poor technique or performing the movement in the wrong way. In addition, certain types of physical exercise or sports can damage this joint and end up causing wear and tear on the knee, such as running or contact sports.
Knee wear and tear occurs because the cartilage gradually wears away and no longer protects the bones. As the joint moves, the bones rub against each other, and the patient feels pain.
Causes of knee wear and tear
As noted above, age is often a determining factor in knee wear and tear. In addition, weight also plays an important role. Since the knee is a load-bearing joint, the heavier the weight, the more wear and tear.
A curious fact is that knee osteoarthritis is more common in women than men, although the reason for this difference between the sexes is unknown. A group of experts from the University of Georgia in the United States discovered that this difference lies in the knee’s synovial fluid.
Injuries that can cause knee wear are those that occur in the ligament as well as in the meniscus and cartilage. Other reasons for its occurrence in young people are overweight and heredity.
What are the symptoms?
Thus, the pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee develops gradually and slowly. However, specific pain episodes can be triggered by spontaneous decompensation of the joint.
Signs that may be perceived by a patient with this type of problem are as follows:
- Knee pain
- Inflammation of the joint area
- Failure of the leg to put total weight on the leg
- Stiffness in the joint
- Clicking sensation when bending the knee
- Weather changes can aggravate these symptoms
How can you protect your joints and prevent knee wear and tear?
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts a lot of stress on the knees, which can eventually accelerate the process of knee wear and tear.
- Do gentle exercise that helps maintain joint function. Vary your workouts to stay strong and combine more demanding activities – such as running – with low-impact ones, such as swimming.
- Strengthen your knees with strength exercises such as squats. This strengthens the muscles that support your knees – quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors – which protects the cartilage and reduces stress on the joint.
- Improve your postural hygiene with Pilates, yoga, and tai chi… also when sitting, for example, crossing your legs will wear out your knees in the long run. Poor posture shifts the body’s centre of gravity, which puts additional pressure on the knees and hips.
- Take care of the shoes you wear. Choosing shoes that support the foot well and are comfortable is essential. To avoid knee wear, your footwear should prevent your feet from turning inwards or outwards with movement.
- Assess your knee pain and take charge of it. If your knees hurt, stop and think about the cause to avoid situations that do not favour you. Don’t rule out seeing a medical specialist who can recommend habits that will help you improve and slow down the progression of the wear and tear on your knee.
- Correctly understanding knee biomechanics is essential for preventing and treating knee wear and tear and other pathologies. That is why you must visit a physiotherapy professional who can guide you on performing knee movements correctly to prevent joint wear and tear.
- Supplement your diet with collagen and silica. Silica is a trace element that promotes collagen formation, so that a good supplement may combine collagen and silica. As collagen gradually declines after age 35, it is a good idea to incorporate it into your diet naturally to help your joints.
- A good example is Living Silica Collagen Booster, a supplement with organic silica that naturally stimulates collagen and strengthens bones and joints. You can opt for Living Silica Collagen Booster capsules if you prefer tablets.
- Another option is collagen powder, such as Living Silica Collagen Peptides. This powder you can mix with water or add to smoothies – it tastes like vanilla – and contains hydrolysed collagen, silica, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, Biotin and Acacia. As well as naturally promoting collagen production, it is high in fibre and keeps skin elastic and hydrated.
- We also recommend Orgono Articomplex, specially designed for athletes to care for their joints.
How does collagen improve knee wear and tear?
Various studies – such as this one on how collagen helps in the treatment of osteoporosis prevention or hydrolysed collagen in the treatment of the same disease – relate to the efficacy of collagen in reducing the pain caused by knee wear and tear. If we improve collagen production, we will naturally strengthen the cartilage present in the joints.
Collagen can be obtained from food; you must pay attention to the foods you choose. Collagen can be obtained from both animal foods and plant sources. In this case, we can select walnuts, which are rich in omega 6; or vegetables and fruits such as peppers, tomatoes, cherries and raspberries, which are rich in lycopene, which contributes to the secretion of collagen and is an excellent antioxidant. Strawberries also have the power to protect collagen already present in the body.
Animal foods include chicken, turkey, salmon, trout and eggs. Eating meat is preferable to choosing chicken, turkey or rabbit and avoiding the saturated fats in red meat. You get enough amino acids to care for cartilage and joints. Oily fish, such as trout, salmon, and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 acids, which prevent cell oxidation and act as an anti-inflammatory.
You can also take supplements that contain collagen or help to produce it naturally, such as the Living Silica Collagen Booster liquid, capsule or powder versions mentioned above. If you prefer not to take any supplements but want to benefit from silica, you can use creams or gels to pamper your joints with a gentle massage.
We recommend Silicium G5 Gel, which contains vitamin E and organic silica, and provides joint comfort. You can apply it 3 to 4 times a day, for example, on the knee, with a slight massage or by using a thin layer so that it acts and penetrates the skin. For better absorption, you can wrap the area with cling film.
As you can see, healthy lifestyle habits and proper supplementation can improve the symptoms of knee wear and tear. In addition, if you put these tips into practice at the onset of the first symptoms, you can prevent the problem from progressing.