Did you know that the knee is the body’s most commonly injured joint? Knee injuries are disruptive, affecting your ability to go to work or to maintain your active lifestyle. People of all activity levels can benefit from knowing the following tips to help prevent troublesome knee injuries.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts stress on your joints, making you more susceptible to injuries or chronic knee pain and even leading to conditions like osteoarthritis.
If you’re carrying extra pounds, you can avoid knee injuries by shedding some of it. If you have a healthy BMI, maintain your weight to continue preventing knee issues.
Wear the Right Shoes
This tip sounds simple because it is. High heels can lead to added stress on your quads and knees. Flats or pumps are better for your knee muscles.
You can help your legs maintain the right alignment and balance by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
When you exercise, it’s particularly important that you wear comfortable shoes. If you run or play sports, try to get a professional fitting from someone at a sporting goods store to match your foot and activity to a good shoe.
Rethink How You Exercise
Low-impact activities like swimming and walking are less likely to cause knee injuries than working out at the gym or playing contact sports. At the very least, consider supplementing high-impact activities with swimming, which provides a great cardiovascular workout.
Add Weight Training
Weight training exercises help you strengthen your leg and knee muscles, which helps reduce your chances of injury. The team at Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates can work with you to develop a strengthening and stabilizing routine.
Before you do any physical activity, whether it’s serious athletic training or merely recreation, you should stretch. Focus on your hamstrings, calf muscles, and quadriceps to help loosen up your legs so that you don’t put pressure on your knees and kneecaps when you exercise.
Use Proper Technique
Particularly when you’re stretching or lifting weights to strengthen your leg muscles, it’s critical that you use proper technique.
Our healthcare professionals can help critique your form and make sure you’re not placing undue stress on your knees by moving them improperly or locking them during specific exercises.
Wear Knee Guards
One of the simplest ways you can avoid knee injuries is to wear protection, like knee guards, during activities like or rollerblading and biking, where falls happen frequently.
You can prevent bad bruises, or even fractures, by just strapping up and protecting yourself. If you’re worried about how they look, you can get a stylish pair and think of them as accessories. If you have kids, you should encourage them to wear knee guards so they can start building good habits.
It’s important to know your limits when you train. Even if you use picture-perfect techniques that limit the amount of stress you put on your knees, overdoing it can lead to injury regardless. When you overtrain, your muscles become increasingly vulnerable to injury.
Pay Attention to Your Posture
Slouching and bending at the waist can lead to knee injuries or chronic pain. Ideally, you should walk and sit with your head squarely above your shoulders and your shoulders directly above your core. Slouching forward puts pressure on your knees and is usually the result of a weak core.Don’t mess around when it comes to the health of your knees. If you want to better understand how to prevent knee injury or chronic pain, make an appointment at Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates today. Our health care team, led by Dr. Abeles, specializes in sports medicine, spinal surgery, and general orthopedics, and preventive care is always a top priority.