It should come as no surprise that knees are highly susceptible to injury. After all, they are responsible for many important movements. The knee, which is the largest joint in your body, is held together by a complex network of nerves, soft tissues, and joints that need to work together smoothly and efficiently. If you are hoping to avoid knee-related pain or injuries like tendon and meniscal tears that may affect any of these parts as much as possible, here’s what you can do.
The muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your knees can become stiff, especially if you spend several hours a day seated at work. So, make more of an effort to stretch and move your knees whenever possible. Even changing positions and taking a moment to get up and walk around after long periods of sitting can keep your knees limber.
Err on the Side of Caution with Sports
You don’t have to ditch your favorite sports just to avoid ACL injuries and other common types of sports-related knee problems. Instead, use properly fitting knee pads for things like skating and contact sports. If you have existing knee aches and pains, consider using a soft knee brace when you get your game on.
Be Sensible with Your Shoes
The shoes you wear play a surprisingly big role in what’s going on with your knee joint and the muscles and bones around it. Maintain proper leg alignment by opting for shoes that are comfortable and supportive enough to help you stay balanced. Also, be sure to wear shoes that match your activity since running, jogging, and basketball shoes are designed differently than the sneakers you might wear for casual walking.
Go Low-Impact with Exercise
You’ll lower your risk of experiencing a knee-related injury if you make an effort to get regular exercise involving your knees and legs. But you don’t want to do anything that’s going to be too stressful, particularly if you’ve had past issues with knee pain. At the gym, a rowing machine, for example, can work the right muscles without being too hard on your knees.
Need another reason to stick to your resolution to shed some pounds? How about the fact that losing even 4-5 pounds can ease pressure on your knees and reduce your risk of injury? Lastly, make a vow to stretch your knees before doing anything involving your knees with light warm-ups like casual walking for 10-15 minutes to loosen up surrounding soft tissues.