Every day we work on different machines. Some that have a user-friendly experience while some that are rather complicated and meant to be dealt with by the experts alone. Some come with a user manual and some we manoeuvre and figure out, just somehow. Among the latter category lie the human muscular skeletal system. As individuals we learn about it throughout our lives. But the good news is there are experts who can enable us to use it better, help us cure it when strained and maintain its health for a smooth functioning and a long life.
Here, the role of joints is integral for better movement. And of course, the most well-known of them are the knees. They bear the weight of the upper body, while also maintaining the flexibility so an individual can walk, run, sit and stand with ease. It cannot do it alone and so has the three muscles around it to give it the strength that holds a vital role in the entire process.
First are the calf muscles that are just beneath the knee. They are considered the second heart in the body. Surprised? Well when the heart pumps blood to every part of the body, the calf muscles play an integral role to pump the blood back for oxygenation against gravity, much like the heart. These muscles need to be given adequate attention through strengthening exercises, stiffness in these can lead to the neighbouring knee joint to stop working efficiently. Second are the hamstring muscles. Well known to fitness experts, these are three muscles at the back of the thigh that help bend the knee. These tend to shorten and tighten leading to a subsequent weakening of the spine. Third are the quadriceps. As the name suggests these are four muscles that straighten the knee and you can thus imagine the role it plays in the health of your knee!
They say the knee gives way in old age. Consider this, when does a machine actually stop working? When it’s not taken care of, when the battery has had trouble and has not been replaced or when it has been lying idle. Well, that’s the same for the knee joint – take care of not just the knee but the neighbouring muscles by adequate exercise, diet, rest and appropriate footwear.
Earlier, in the case of women and men the problems would vary. Wondering why? Purely based on the role they might have to play and thus their lifestyle. But today with the genders sharing responsibility, and thus roles being similar, the problems have also thus become similar for both.
Machines do not see gender, nor age and thus it’s purely how you treat it and attend to it. While the above may be considered as a user manual for most of us, it is imperative that you frequent the expert to get a perspective as to what part needs what kind of attention. Start today!
Director and Sr Consultant Physiotherapist.
Physio Active Pvt Ltd.