Your Healthy Knee Joint
While most people think that the hip is the largest joint in the body, the knee, is actually the largest joint. A healthy knee is key to most everyday activities.
The three major bones that make up the knee are called the thighbone (femur), the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Each of these bones are covered with cartilage, a white protective covering that allows the bones to smoothly glide and move together. This movement is called articulation. In addition to cartilage, there is a substance that acts as shock absorbers for the knee called menisci. This allows your healthy knee to effortlessly walk, run and climb in comfort.
Your Healthy Knee – A Closer Look
Let’s take a closer look at how your knee functions and more of the components and structures that make up the knee.
The femur and tibia must be held together for the knee to “articulate”. This is accomplished through the use of flexible, elastic structures called ligaments that not only hold the knee together but provide stability.
The knee also needs to be able to bear your weight, run and accomplish activities that require strength. The tissues within the knee that provides strength are the muscles. These muscles are called the quadriceps (quads) and the hamstrings.
Finally, the knee requires lubrication to ensure that the bones are able to effortlessly glide and articulate against each other without friction. The synovial membrane produces a this fluid. The fluid is called synovial fluid.
Keeping your knee in great shape comes from a combination of healthy lifestyle, a diet low in fat and high in good quality protein, fruit and vegetables and exercise designed to strengthen and maintain the optimal performance of the knee.
The knee is a miraculous joint: muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and fluids all acting together to provide effortless movement and activity!
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