Knee injuries can happen to anyone at any time. It is considered one of the most common injuries in the US today. From the elderly to the young many suffer from a variety of knee problems. Roughly 6,600,000 knee injuries occur each year in a variety of age groups. There are times when an injury is not correctly diagnosed and increases the risk of further injury. It’s incredibly important to find a doctor that can correctly diagnose you for your wellbeing. We know how aggravating knee pain and injuries can be. Whether your knee pain is the result of arthritis or temporary injury, there are steps you can take to avoid and protect against it.
It’s important to understand the structure of your knees. This can help in recovery and avoiding injury. Altogether, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles support and stabilize your knee joint. Any weakness in them increases the likelihood of an injury to the joint. Strengthening your knee as a whole will decrease the chance of severe injury.
How to Prevent Knee Injuries and Pain
- Maintain a healthy weight- Extra weight adds pressure and stress on all of your joints, your knees are no exception. Additionally, excess stress on joints can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
- Wear supported shoes- Supportive shoes can alleviate the pressure on your knees. If you walk or run change your workout shoes every 3 months to ensure there is enough cushion to protect your knees, feet, ankles, hips, and back.
- Keep all leg muscles strong. Including the hip, glute, and core muscles- Strengthening your muscles helps protect your joints. Strong core muscles are the foundation of good posture which is necessary to equally distribute pressure on joints and protects your knees from sustaining too much pressure.
- Stretch! – Stretch the muscles that support your knees. Overall flexibility is key in maintaining healthy joints as you age.
- Avoid kneeling on hard surfaces without a cushion- Kneeling on hard surfaces can damage and compress the natural cushion of your knee causing increased knee sensitivity and pain.
Injury Prevention for Athletes
- Stretch- It’s crucial to improve your joints mobility and range of motion. Stretching every part of the hip, leg and ankles can determine whether or not you receive and injury.
- Warm up- Keep your body warm and ready for exercise. Make sure your blood is flowing and if “you’re sweaty, you’re ready”.
- Cool down- After intense exercise, immediately resting or sitting can cause your joints to stiffen resulting in pain. Briskly walk or do an activity that keeps your breathing under control and your circulation flowing.
- Be flexible- Hips and ankles! They are crucial in determining knee injuries. Maintain and improve your flexibility.
- Do NOT “overtrain”! – Miss steps can easily increase your risk of injury. Fatigue breaks your form and your level of cautiousness. Pay attention to your body. If your feel pain when you run, a lighter activity such as swimming may be a better choice.
If You Currently Have Knee Pain
Call your doctor immediately! They can help determine what is causing the pain and, in many cases, recommend nonsurgical options such as icing, elevating, compressing, resting the knee, and surgery. In some cases, your doctor might recommend physical therapy to help increase your flexibility and strengthen the muscles that help support your knee. Although severe knee problems can benefit from surgery, nonsurgical options are common if possible, to relieve your pain.
Age proof your knees! Make an appointment today at (208) 664-2175