Knee pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor. The good news? You can protect your knees from injury if you’re already experiencing knee pain or want to avoid it altogether.
Knee injuries are common, particularly among athletes and individuals who engage in physically demanding activities. However, even if you use neighborhood trails rather than sports arenas for your exercise routine, knees are also vulnerable to injury or the wear and tear effects of osteoarthritis.
Our team at Spine Center Atlanta is well-known for providing outstanding orthopedic services, including treating knee joint damage. We’re also committed to preventing the pain and decreased mobility that comes with knee problems.
To that end, we’re happy to provide information about keeping your knees healthy throughout your life.
Why is the knee joint so vulnerable to injury?
The complex structure and function of the knee joint, combined with the high levels of stress and impact it endures, make it a vulnerable area of the body for injury.
Your knees are complex hinge joints that include the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), patella (kneecap), cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. These components work together to provide stability and flexibility to the joint whenever you stand, sit, squat, walk, run, or jump.
Running, jumping, and twisting place significant stress on the knee joint, causing damage to cartilage and ligaments over time. Also, because the knee joint primarily moves in one direction, bending and twisting can force it into an injury-producing position that may result in ligament or tendon tears. In addition, its location between two long bones (femur and tibia) makes the knee joint vulnerable to fractures or dislocations during an accident or fall.
Tips for protecting your knee joints
There are several ways to protect your knees from injury or joint damage, including:
Regular exercise helps strengthen the supportive muscles around your knees and improve joint flexibility and range of motion, reducing your risk of a knee injury.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight puts additional strain on your knees, so maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of knee injury and joint damage.
3. Wear appropriate footwear
Wearing supportive shoes with good cushioning can help reduce the impact on your knees during physical activities.
4. Practice proper technique
If you participate in activities that involve jumping or running, it’s essential to use appropriate techniques to reduce the stress on your knees.
5. Warm up and cool down Before and after physical activity, it’s important to warm up and cool down to help prepare your muscles and joints for exercise and prevent injury.
6. Avoid high-impact activities Activities involving a lot of jumping or running can stress your knees significantly. Hence, avoiding these activities is important if you have a history of knee problems or experiencing pain or discomfort in your knees.
If you’re tied to sports or exercise activities that include running and jumping, give your knees a break by switching to low-impact activities like walking, cycling, or swimming two to three times a week.
7. Use proper equipment
If you participate in sports or other activities that require equipment, make sure you use the proper equipment and that it fits well to help prevent injury.
8. Listen to your body
If you’re experiencing knee pain or discomfort while exercising, stop. Pain is an indicator that something has gone wrong. So, take a break to prevent further damage and schedule an orthopedic evaluation at Spine Center Atlanta sooner rather than later.
Our team can also provide guidance regarding knee-friendly exercise routines, appropriate shoewear, and other tips for keeping your knees healthy and strong.
Schedule your visit today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.