Your knees make most of your daily activities possible. If you’re an able-bodied person, you use them to get out of bed, walk to the sink to brush your teeth, and they carry you throughout the day as you get ready for work, take the kids to school, and perform other activities. But, as with most body parts, most people don’t really stop to think about them — until pain or discomfort signal that there’s something wrong. Learning facts about them may help you better understand how they work and how to appreciate them more.
10 Facts About Your Knees
1. It’s one of the most stressed joints in your body
For every pound you weigh, your knees receive four times the amount of stress. This is why if you’re overweight or obese, losing weight is essential to protecting knee health — especially if you suffer from osteoarthritis and knee dislocations.
2. Knees absorb a lot of shock on a daily basis
Many activities that you do without a second thought — such as walking, going up and down the stairs, jumping, and running — may be great forms of exercise. However, if you don’t ease into it gradually, your knees become more prone to injuries.
3. Everyone has unique kneecaps
It’s general knowledge that everyone’s fingerprints and retinas are unique. Turns out that kneecaps can also be used as biometrics. Granted, the identification process would require an MRI machine.
4. Knees are the most complicated joint in the body
While to the naked eye, the knees may just look like a ball-shaped patella cradled between two larger bones, the joint is composed of the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and the top section of the tibia (the shin bone). All of it is held in place by tendons and ligaments — and in between all of it, there’s cartilage. Even within the ligaments, you have the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL).
5. Having diabetes could make them more prone to injury
A person with Type II diabetes is twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis, which causes the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints. And, since many Type II diabetics are overweight, the joints in the lower body — especially the knees — bear the brunt of the stress, making them more prone to injury
6. Knees rely on 10 muscles to function
Knees rely on quadriceps, which contain four muscles — rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis. Hamstrings also refer to another group of muscles — semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. Hip abductors, glute muscles, and calf muscles also work together to stabilize the knee joint. Strengthening these muscles can help alleviate the daily weight-bearing stresses experienced by the knees.
7. Exercise keeps them healthy
Going on long walks, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or riding a bicycle are all great forms to promote knee health. This is because extended periods of inactivity cause soft tissue to become tight and weak — which could lead to a condition called chondromalacia of the patella, which is irritation of the cartilage lining the kneecaps.
8. Wearing the wrong shoes can damage them
Wearing shoes that are worn-out or that fail to offer adequate support can increase pressure on the knees. Knowing which shoes would work best for you depends on your specific circumstances — do you have arthritis? Have you had a knee replacement surgery? Does your job require you to be on your feet all day? Are you a long-distance runner? If any of these circumstances apply to you, talk to your doctor about which types of shoes would suit you best.
9. Warming up and stretching can prevent knee injuries
Warming up before any type of physical activity — even brisk walking — gives your knees the opportunity to adapt to the repetitive movement, which is crucial in injury prevention. As a bonus, it also helps you improve your athletic performance.
10. Babies are born without kneecaps
When babies are born, their knee joints are made out of cartilage. They don’t turn into bones until between the ages of two and six. Having most of their body made out of cartilage makes the birthing process easier.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you suffer from knee pain and it’s making your life uncomfortable, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love. With six convenient locations, we provide quality orthopedic care and interventional pain management services to patients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Palm Coast, New Smyrna Beach, and beyond.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to set an appointment.