By Dustin Boudreau, Health and Wellness Columnist
Continuing with last months article where we talked about the importance of our feet, and how it can impact other areas of our body – we are moving up the body to the knees. To protect our knee health, and prolong its use without pain, we need to understand how the knee functions, its structure, and integrity. This article will talk about the knee anatomy, its function, how it is connected to everything else, and the next article will discuss common practices that cause injury, faster wear, and what we can do to promote knee health.
The knee joint is a “hinge” type joint, which means it usually moves in two ways – whereas our hip, shoulders, spine, etc. move in various directions. Put your two first together – knuckles to knuckle like you are giving yourself a fist bump. That is how your knee looks under the skin and connective tissues. Like our feet and ankles, the knees hold the weight of our body.
You may have heard terms such as “knee knocked” and “bow legged” and been told to unlock your knees. These are terms used to describe structural imbalances of the knee. The knee is one of the main joints that is predisposition to increase wear and tear by daily use -but will increase with such things as running, heavy lifting, jumping, and various other sports. There are several possible injuries that can happen to the knees, aside from the normal to increase wear and tear we do to them. Because the knee is essentially two bones stacked on each other, several ligaments cross the joint to keep the bones from sliding off each other. Further, there are two discs made of dense tissue that function as shock absorbers between the bones, and an encompassing capsule that keep the joint lubricated.
As you can see, the knee joint is very complexed, with many connective tissues and structures to keep you standing up right. We not only use the knees when walking, running, or jumping, but every time we sit down and stand up – and even when standing still, the knees are working. You can imagine how over years the knees can begin to break down.
Next month the article will focus on common things we do daily that impact the joints integrity, and how we can prevent future injuries as well as slow down the wear and tear.