24 April 2017

How to Prevent Knee Injuries

By Gina Perlz

Your knees are more delicate than you think. Vulnerable to wear and tear, the knees can be prone to pain and injury if we don't take measures to protect them before exercising. With that said, here are some useful tips for protecting your knees and preventing knee injuries.

Be extra careful with stairs 
Bounding up and down stairs puts a huge amount of strain on your kneecaps, and should be avoided unless you're in fantastic shape. Instead, you should gently walk up and down stairs, holding on to the railing for support.

Invest in a knee support brace

If you really want to protect your knees when you exercise, investing in a knee support brace is an excellent idea. These braces will surround and support your kneecaps by applying pressure at the right places around the knee. These can both protect knees and prevent injuries, and they can also act as vital support after a knee has been injured. Choose something in a breathable, washable fabric for the best results.

Maintain a healthy weight
Putting on excess weight is not only unhealthy for your heart and other major organs, it also puts unnecessary pressure on your knees. Even putting on a few extra pounds can pile on the pressure on your knees when it comes to doing routine activities like walking or climbing stairs. The good news is, this can be reversed by simply losing the weight.

Be careful where you walk 
If you have injured knees or you have a condition like osteoarthritis, it's best to avoid walking on uneven surfaces like grass or cobblestones. Instead, choose a smooth footpath that's tarmac or concrete. This will lessen your chances of tripping and injuring yourself.

Watch your squats and lunges

When doing these exercises, be very careful not to bend your knee more than the usual 90-degree angle. This means making sure your knee stays directly over your foot when doing lunges.

Strengthen your inner thighs

The muscles at your inner thighs are extremely important for absorbing the impact when you walk, preventing that impact from reaching your knees. Any exercises that strengthen these muscles will also help your knees.

Take care when cycling

If you like to ride a bike, be careful about the placement of your saddle. A saddle that is too low will force you to bend your knees more when peddling, placing undue pressure on them in the process. Instead, make sure your saddle is high enough so that your leg is straight when the pedal is at its lowest point.

Wear the right shoes

Your knees need plenty of cushioning from the impact caused by them slamming down on the pavement when you walk. This can only be provided by a pair of good quality shoes that has adequate support for the arches of your feet. Make sure you replace old running shoes regularly, and choose styles that have a thicker sole for more cushioning.

You can read more about knee injuries on Celestinico.

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