Tips to Help Prevent Knee Pain and Injuries
You knees take a lot of abuse during the course of the day. Walking, going up and down steps, exercise, and repetitive motions can all contribute to knee pain and injury. Understanding the anatomy of the knee and how to prevent injury are important steps to preventing knee pain. Here is some information about the knee, and some tips to help prevent knee pain and injuries.
Anatomy of the Knee
Your knees do more than just bend your legs. They bear the weight of the body and their structure is more than just a hinged joint. Knees twist and rotate while supporting the weight of your body. They are truly an engineering marvel with ligaments, tendons, bones, and cartilage joining to form the knee.
The knee is made up of four bones which are held together with ligaments. Tendons connect your muscles to the bones of your knee, and cartilage cushions the joint. Bursae, fluid filled sacs, also act as cushions in your knees and all of these structures work together to help your knees perform their job smoothly and painlessly.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a sudden injury, overuse, or arthritis. Symptoms of injury include swelling, stiffness, and pain. Many knee injuries are sports related. One of the most common sources of knee pain is a popular stretch performed by runners. When you grab your ankle and flex your leg behind you this puts pressure on your knee. Repeated use of this stretch can soften the patella (knee cap) and cause injury and pain.
Some jobs and recreational activities put you at greater risk for knee pain and injury. Twisting and turning can cause sprains and injuries to the tendons. Dislocation is a common complaint and may be caused by sudden twisting movements or injury. Improper lifting and bending are also common sources of knee injury and pain. Arthritis causes inflammation of the knee’s structures and can happen at any age.
Prevent Knee Pain and Injury
One of the best ways to prevent knee pain and injury is to maintain a normal body weight. When you carry around extra pounds it puts strain on your joints, especially your knees. Wear good quality shoes that give you plenty of support so you’ll have a solid base. Do warm up exercises which stretch the front and back of your thighs to take the strain off of your knees. Avoid high impact exercises or sports; these put a real strain on your knees. Stay active to keep your muscles and joints strong. If you do experience a knee injuries seek the medical attention of a doctor specializing in orthopedics and consider physical therapy.
Your knees help you to walk, bend, and do everyday activities. You don’t usually notice them until they start to hurt. The knees are the largest joint in your body, and they play an important part in your ability to maintain an active lifestyle. Use these tips to educate yourself and help prevent knee injuries and pain.
Kathryn McDowell is a health writer and focuses on educating her readers on the importance of an active lifestyle and staying healthy. She recommends a visit to a doctor specializing in orthopedics if you are experiencing any knee or joint pain.