Arthritis can have a devastating effect on your body, especially the knees. Swelling, pain and stiffness in the knees can affect your mobility as well as quality of life. This disease is found to affect people of all ethnicities, age and gender. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects joints because of their overuse. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks and weakens the joints. Even though arthritis cannot be completely cured but its symptoms like pain and swelling can be reduced through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.
You can get relief from pain and swelling in your knees by making some changes to your diet and combining it with some effective exercises.
Food to Relieve Arthritis Symptoms
- Fatty Fish – The presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in some fatty fishes like salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel have anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies. Fishes are also rich in vitamin D and its deficiency can result in arthritis. Thus, if you’ve been suffering from pain and swelling in your knees due to arthritis then you must include the above mentioned fatty fishes in your diet.
- Garlic –The small white pods are a gift of nature for the human race! Yes, garlic loaded with cancer fighting agents and its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing pain and swelling. Garlic also strengthens the immune system that helps in combating rheumatoid arthritis. Your overall health can be immensely benefited if you include this wonder food in your diet.
- Ginger – Arthritis symptoms can be eased by including ginger in any form in your diet. It helps in preventing the production of various inflammatory substances. You can consume ginger in powdered, dried and fresh form to reduce inflammation and pain in your knees.
- Broccoli – This green cruciferous vegetable has become a common feature in modern homes because of its several health benefits. Arthritis patients can benefit by including this super food in their diet because broccoli intake results in a decreased level of inflammatory markers. Sulforaphane, one of the components found in broccoli can prevent the production of specific cells found to cause rheumatoid arthritis.
- Berries – These are considered to be rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that prove immensely beneficial for our health. Consuming berries can arrest inflammatory process associated with arthritis. Thus, you can include anything from blueberries to strawberries to get relief from pain and swelling in t he knees.
Exercises to Strengthen your Knees
In order to reduce pain and swelling in your knees, you can always pop pills but they come with loads of side effects. Alternatively, you can practice certain exercises to improve mobility, reduce stiffness, increase flexibility and reduce pain. However, prior to starting your exercise regimen, you must consult your doctor. Additionally, you must keep these two things in mind:
- Get started slowly
- Practice the movements in your daily life
Begin with the following exercises:
- Raising the leg– You need to lie flat on the bed or floor with both the arms on your side. Slowly lift one leg after stiffening it a bit and hold the position for 30 seconds before bringing it down slowly. Repeat this and then switch to the other leg.
- Hamstring stretch – Lie on the bed or floor with both the arms on your side. Now bend one leg and slowly bring it towards your chest. You need to hold the leg with your hands and not the knee. Let the muscles feel the stretch by keeping it for 30 seconds. Now bring it back to the original position and repeat the exercise for the other leg.
- Half Squat– Stand on your feet while keeping both the legs at shoulder distance. Now, bend your knees and get to a half-sitting position (you can hold on to a chair for better balance). You should not lean forward but keep your chest lifted and your back straight. This improves the strength of your knees like no other exercise.
- Leg stretch– Stretch your legs after sitting on the floor and use your hands on both the sides to stabilize your position. Now bend one of your knees until you feel the stretch. Hold this position for the next 10 seconds and then bring it back to the old position. Repeat this for the other leg. You must remember that you need to only stretch for just a few seconds and not extend the stretch until your knee hurts.