The largest joints in the human body are the knees. The knees provide the legs with stability, flexibility and support that it needs for turning around easily, walking, crouching, standing, jumping and running. This is why it is extremely important to keep your largest joints healthy and strong.

With age, knees become weaker, so knee issues are usually a problem of older people. However, people of any age can experience knee problems. Weakness in the knees can seriously influence the mobility of a person. It can also interfere with normal everyday activities, such as lifting boxes and walking downhill.

Weakness in the knees can be caused by different reasons. Some of the reasons are: osteoarthritis in the knees, nutritional deficiencies, smoking, strain or injury of the knee, drinking, excessive intake of sodium or leading a sedentary life. If your knees are weak or you are experiencing pain in the knees, you can strengthen the knees by making some dietary and lifestyle changes.

In this article, we will present you with the best ways to strengthen your knees and keep them perfectly healthy.

• Exercises that strengthen the knees

There are a lot of different exercises that can help you strengthen the bones in your knees, strengthen the muscles around your knees and keep the joints aligned and positioned properly. These useful, simple and effective exercises are straight leg raises, lunges, squats with a Swiss ball, step ups, single leg squats and hamstring stretches with contraction of the thighs.

Consult an expert so that you can perform these exercises properly. Try to exercise at least for 30 minutes a day, 4 times per week. However, if the pain in the knees increases or your knees become stiff after exercising, stop with the exercises and visit your doctor. He will advise you with what exercises are suitable for your condition.

• Massages

Massage therapies are another way that can help you with your knee pain. It will also improve the strength of your knees. The joints and the muscles will become stronger with regular massage therapies, since the massages will improve the circulation of blood and provide the knees with essential nutrients.

Prepare a mixture of coconut oil or olive oil and mustard. Massage the knees with firm movements, but be gentle. The massage should last for at least 10 minutes and you should perform both clockwise and counter clockwise movement. If you need it, repeat the massage two times a day. However, if you suffer from chronic pain in the knees, you must consult a massage therapist.

• Epsom salts

It is a well-known fact that people who experience pain in the knees due to osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis or have weakened knees, have low magnesium levels. Epsom salts are loaded with magnesium. Therefore, they can decrease the unpleasant pain in your knees. Epsom salts are able to lower the inflammation of the knee joint quickly and effectively. Moreover, magnesium is also needed for proper absorption of calcium and proper function of the muscles.

To treat your knees with Epsom salt, dissolve 2 tablespoons of the salt in 1 cup of warm water. Use a washcloth to apply the mixture on the knees. Leave it to rest on the knees for at least 15 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat the treatment at least once a week. You can also prepare an Epsom salt bath to treat your knee problems. Fill the tub, add 1 cup of Epsom salt and soak the body in the bath for 20 minutes. This treatment should also be done at least once a week.

• Swimming

The low impact aerobic exercise swimming can be extremely beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis or pain in the knees. Swimming is good for improving the overall fitness of the body. Moreover, it strengthens the bones in the knees, reduces stiffness in the knees and strengthens the muscles of the knee joints.

To treat your knee condition with swimming, swim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The butterfly stroke, the front crawl and the backstroke are good for the joints. However, the breaststroke puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints, so avoid this swimming stroke.

• Calcium

The bones in our bodies need calcium to stay perfectly healthy. Therefore, calcium deficiency can lead to thinning and weakening of the bones, which eventually ends in osteoporosis. The human body is not able to produce this mineral in a natural way. This is why calcium deficiency can be prevented through calcium supplements and dietary sources of this mineral.

Calcium is contained in milk, orange juice, dark leafy green vegetables, blackstrap molasses, almonds, sardines, cheese, etc. When you take calcium supplements, take the ones that contain vitamin D, because this vitamin aids the absorption of this mineral in the body. A medical expert can advise you about the right dosage of the supplements.

• Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for bone and joint health. Without this vitamin, calcium cannot be absorbed properly and the risks of fractures are raised.

Vitamin D is produced when the body is exposed to the sun, so expose the knees in the sun for 15 minutes a day, early in the morning. Vitamin D is also found in dairy products, cod liver oil, egg yolks, etc.

• Fish oil

Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. Both of these acids make the knee joints stronger and improve the bone density. Fish oil also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can reduce the stiffness of the knee and ease joint pain.

According to a scientific study carried out in 2006, people who take 1,200 milligrams of EPA from fish oil daily, improve the health condition of their joints. You should consume cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna two times a week. It is also useful to take 6 grams of fish oil twice a day. The fish oil that you will consume must contain at least 30% of one of the above mentioned acids. A doctor can recommend you a fish oil supplement and point out the right doses for you.

• Vitamin C

One of the most important components of knee cartilage, collagen, cannot be formed without the presence of vitamin C. The vitamin is essential for the proper development of the bones, the synthesis of collagen and the quality of the bone matrix. Vitamin C also decreases the chances of bone fractures and improves the bone density.

Vitamin C can be found in the following food products: Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower, lemon, spinach, oranges, kiwi, papaya, berries, strawberries and papaya. Your doctor can also recommend capsules or chewable tablets as a vitamin C supplement that you need.

• Maintaining a healthy body weight

People who are overweight apply much more pressure on the knees. This pressure increases the work that the knee joints perform, which results in weakness of the knees. Furthermore, the risks of needing a artificial knee or hip replacement are increased among obese people.

• Foods that possess anti-inflammatory properties

Pain and weakness in the knees can also occur due to an inflammation. Therefore, you have to consume anti-inflammatory foods. Great foods with anti-inflammatory properties are walnuts, flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, salmon, spinach, olive oil, blueberries, turmeric, avocados, ginger and tart cherries.

You should also avoid inflammatory foods like foods loaded with saturated fats, white rice, sugary foods, sodas and white flour products.

Extra tips

• Your knees can become stronger with waking and cycling.
• High heeled shoes can make your knee problems worse.
• Calcium can be lost if you consume large amounts of table salt.
• Drinking and smoking worsen any knee condition.
• Avoid activities that increase the pain in your knees.
• Soften the cartilages by consuming more fluids.
• Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for a long time.
• Certain yoga poses can ease your problem.
• Sports that include sudden twisting, starting and stopping and jumping should be avoided.