A common knee injury can put a wrench in your sports training, leisure, and everyday life. The best way to prevent a knee injury is to take care of your knees! Following is a list of ways to be proactive in your knee joint health in order to avoid injury.
The following tips may prevent knee problems.
General prevention tips
- Wear your seat belt in a motor vehicle.
- Don’t carry objects that are too heavy. Use a step stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
- Wear knee guards during sports or recreational activities, such as roller-skating or soccer.
- Stretch before and after physical exercise, sports, or recreational activities to warm up your muscles.
- Use the correct techniques or positions during activities so that you do not strain your muscles.
- Use equipment appropriate to your size, strength, and ability. Avoid repeated movements that can cause injury. In daily routines or hobbies, look at activities in which you make repeated knee movements.
- Consider taking lessons to learn the proper technique for sports. Have a trainer or person who is familiar with sports equipment check your equipment to see if it is well suited for your level of ability, body size, and body strength.
- If you feel that certain activities at your workplace are causing pain or soreness from overuse, call your human resources department for information on other ways of doing your job or to talk about using different equipment.
Tips specific to the knee
- Keep your knees and the muscles that support them strong and flexible. Warm up before activities. Try the following stretches:
- Hamstring stretch
- Knee-to-chest exercise
- Calf stretch
- Straight-leg raises
- Avoid activities that stress your knees, such as deep knee bends or downhill running.
- Wear shoes with good arch supports.
- Do not wear high-heeled shoes.
- When playing contact sports, wear the right shoes that are made for the surface you are playing or running on, such as a track or tennis court.
- Replace running shoes every 300 to 500 miles (480 to 800 kilometers). Experts recommend getting new athletic shoes every 3 months or after 500 miles of wear.