It is important to understand how to avoid knee surgery. When you need a knee replacement, it is often due to traumatic injury to the knee, advanced rheumatoid arthritis or for the purpose of relieving disabling pain from osteoarthritis. Additionally, you may need surgery to repair a tear in the meniscus, which is often causes pain. However, there are ways to avoid knee surgery and prevent the need for such procedures, such as knee replacement exercises and changes in diet and lifestyle. Below are five easy things you can do to help prevent future surgery:
Weight loss can be exceptionally helpful in reducing pain and eliminating the need for surgery. You should not despair if losing weight seems like an unrealistic goal. In reality, you do not have to lose exorbitant amounts of weight to help your knees. This is because the joints of the human body are designed to sustain a specific amount of weight: each pound of body weight puts approximately four pounds of pressure on each knee joint as you walk. Therefore, losing just five pounds takes approximately 20 pounds of pressure from your knees.
If you are planning to lose weight to help take strain from your knee joints, consider starting an exercise program. This will not only speed the loss of pounds, but also strengthen your quadriceps–thigh muscles. An Australian study recently concluded that those with thicker quadriceps required less joint replacement surgeries when compared with those whose quadriceps were not well developed. Swimming, cycling and walking are good knee replacement exercises. Contrary to what certain individuals fear, walking does not wear out knee cartilage any sooner than would naturally occur, but rather stimulates the knee joints and increases their synovial fluid–the natural fluid that keeps human joints mobile.
Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet is another terrific way to help prevent the eventual need for knee surgery. Foods such as sweet potatoes, kale, peppermint, garlic, blueberries and fish all contain anti-inflammatory properties. These can reduce swelling in the joints and alleviate pain.
Herbs to Avoid Knee Surgery
Certain herbs, such as Burdock root and boswellia, the latter of which is more commonly known as Frankincense, can substantially reduce inflammation and pain. Both herbs contain anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and were determined safe and effective for individuals of all ages in a 2013 study. Additionally, turmeric, the primary ingredient in curry that gives it its taste and color, is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory substance. Studies completed in India have shown that the incidence of joint replacement surgery is much lower in that country than in the U.S. Interestingly, India natives use curry as frequently as Americans use salt.
If you have knee pain and are wondering when you need a knee replacement, ask your doctor about massage as an alternate therapy to avoid immediate surgery. In recent studies, massage has been determined to be very effective in managing osteoarthritis and similar disorders that often require joint replacement, particularly when it is performed on the soft area behind the kneecap. Stimulating this area leads to increased circulation and a boost in the production of synovial joint fluid.
Although it is not always possible to avoid surgery, following the tips to avoid knee replacement surgery outlined may prevent the need for joint replacement. Finally, always check with your doctor before adding exercise or supplements to your current health routine.