Knee injuries can be painful and frustrating. They can occur in kids, teens, adolescents, and adults.
While some knee injuries are not severe enough to keep you in bed, or force you to use crotches, most of them can still be prevented.
In this article, you will discover the most common knee injuries and tips to prevent them.
Common Knee Injuries
The most common injuries to the knee include:
1. Knee Fracture
A fracture occurs when you break one of the bones in your knee. The kneecap is the most frequently broken bone. If you fall directly on your kneecap, you could fracture it.
2. Strain or Sprain
Sprains or strains affect the knee ligaments. Ligaments are tissues that hold the bones of the knee in place.
A strain occurs if your ligament stretches and tears into two or more sections. A sprain, on the other hand, occurs when a knee ligament stretches beyond its usual range of motion.
Sprains and strains are common sports injuries that occur due to a sudden change in direction. They occur frequently in sports like basketball and soccer.
3. Meniscus Tear
The meniscus is the tissue (or cartilage) that forms a padding between the upper bone and lower bone that form the knee joint. In many cases, a meniscus tear occurs because the knee makes a rapid change of direction in an unnatural manner. It may be due to aging or rapid movement during games like soccer.
Now that you know three common knee injuries, let’s see what you can do to prevent them.
How to Prevent Knee Injuries
1. Watch Your Weight
Putting on excess weight will increase the stress on your knee joints. The pressure on your joints raises the risk of having the common knee injuries.
If you notice that your weight is rising constantly, consult your healthcare giver and make the lifestyle changes that will help you shed excess pounds.
2. Use Shoes Wisely
If you engage in running and other fitness activities, use the right type of shoes. Wearing shoes with adequate inner padding and durable soles will increase the stability of your knees while running.
While you make effort to wear the correct type of shoe, there are certain shoes you need to avoid:
* High heels that put stress on your knees
* Worn out running shoes
* Shoes without effective inner padding
* Shoes that have poor grip on slippery surfaces
3. Try Low-impact Fitness Activities
If you are over 45, you may need to modify your fitness activities to protect your knees. Engaging in long distance jogging at that age can increase the stress on your knee.
Try low-impact activities instead. Walk instead of jogging. You can also swim instead of doing intense gym activities. Remember that swimming is a low-impact activity with multiple cardiovascular benefits.
Some activities such as calisthenics and climbing are predominantly upper body, and so it’s possible to reduce knee stress with these activities while still staying fit.
4. Warm Up By Stretching
Before you start any workout, warm up your muscles. You should endeavor to stretch different muscle groups in your legs, especially your calf muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Stretching has multiple benefits. It causes increased blood circulation to your limbs and knees. It also loosens up your muscles.
5. Start Strength Training
Adding strength or weight training to your exercise routine will strengthen your knee and leg muscles. With strong muscles, you will reduce the risk of knee injuries.
A very good way to start training your knee muscles is to do squats. Starting with ten squats per day, you can start strengthening your thigh and calf muscles.
6. Put on a Knee Brace
Knee braces are protective gear that prevent injuries. When you get involved in biking, roller-blading, or sports like basketball, wear a knee guard.
Wearing knee braces the right way will shield your knees from fractures, bruises and sprains. Strapping your knees will eventually save you from wounds that can take months to heal.
7. Maintain Good Posture
Bending or slouching at your waist can cause chronic pain and knee injuries. When you sit down or walk around, your shoulders should hang straight above your core.
If you slouching forward, you will place more pressure on your legs and knees. One of the reasons for this poor posture is a weak core. Working an experienced physician will enable you to build a strong core and maintain the right posture.
Preventing common knee injuries will allow you to enjoy your favorite sport, remain productive, and avoid painful recovery. Use the tips provided above to keep your knees healthy and strong.