Knee injuries are a very common occurrence in adults. They can come from serious trauma, a condition such as arthritis, or repeated movement ina way that harms the joint.
Some injuries are easily avoided while others become more serious over time.
You can of course take steps to reduce your risk of a significant knee injury, for example through stretching, exercise, or the type of sporting activities you undertake.
Related: Best Knee Sleeves For Running
Here we will discuss many aspects of joint injuries and how they can be avoided.
- How knee injuries are caused
- Ways to avoid knee injuries
- Exercises to prevent knee injuries
- Which knee injuries are the most difficult to avoid
- Preventing knee pain in golf
Causes of knee pain
Knee pain can be caused by one off acute injuries, or by repetitive motions that put unnecessary stress on the knee over time. This is especially true as we age.
There are things that we can do in order to avoid such joint problems, which include avoiding the runner’s stretch.
This is when you grab your foot, bringing heel to butt. It’s one of the things that tend to increase knee pain. By bending the knee all the way, the kneecap gets jammed into the bones below it.
Preventing knee injury starts with becoming familiar with your body and learning how to exercise properly. Knowing what feels good and what causes pain.
If the knees are prone to chronic pain or arthritis then impact-oriented exercise should not be undertaken. This can include football, basketball, tennis, and any other sports that involve jumping or quick changes in direction.
Avoiding Knee Injuries
There are many ways which can minimise your risk of joint pain and inflammation. Knee pain and injury can be avoided by taking steps such as the following.
1. Maintaining your weight
Because extra weight can increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis, maintain a weight that’s appropriate for your size and age to decrease stress on your knees and to avoid increased chances for knee injuries.
2. Wear shoes that fit well
The correct shoes will help you to maintain proper leg alignment and balance, ultimately preventing knee injuries. They will also feel a lot better in the long run and provide support for your knees and ankles.
Before starting any exercise, warm-up and then do stretches. If you stretch muscles in the front and back of your thighs, it decreases tension on your tendons, ultimately relieving pressure on the knees.
4. Do low-impact exercise
At the gym, opt for a rowing machine or a cross-country skiing machine. Both offer a strong workout with low impact on your knees.
5. Swim or walk
When exercising outside of the gym, opt for swimming or walking.
6. Weight train
Strengthen your leg muscles to better support your knees and avoid injuries by working out with weights.
But be sure to consult with an expert first on the right way to lift weights to prevent knee pain.
7. Don’t decrease your activity
A decrease in activity will lead to weakness, increasing your chances of injuries. Build up gradually to avoid knee pain.
8. Consider physical therapy
If you already have a knee injury, visit a physical therapist who can help to set up an appropriate exercise regime.
Some people with joint issues wrap their knees during physical activity. This is done because it feels good and, as long as the wrap is not too tight, it can help to support the joint.
Frequently asked questions
How can I strengthen my knee to prevent injury?
There are many different causes, which include overuse, underuse, various mobility restrictions, and muscular imbalances. These are some of the most common reasons for knee pain.
All knee pain can cause significant struggles during our day to day life. This is why we have compiled some stretches and exercises that may ease lingering knee injuries, pain, and swelling.
Exercise #1- Wall Quad Stretch
The wall-based quad stretch is a move that can be done just about anywhere. As long as you have a wall, you can do this exercise.
The beauty in this stretch is that it hits the front of the foot, ankles, shins, quads, and knees.
Get up against the wall (facing away from the wall) in the bottom of a lunge position. Flip your back foot up against the wall with your toes on the actual surface of the wall.
Your back knee is the axis point and really determines how much of a stretch you will get during this exercise. The closer the back knee is to the wall the more of a stretch there will be through the foot, ankle, and quads.
If you are looking to make this a little more advanced, and want to stretch the hip flexors out, focus on pushing the hips forward.
Exercise #2- Hamstring Flossing
The muscles in the hamstring group (semitendinous, bicep femoris, and semimembranosus) all cross the knee joint.
Issues in any of these muscles can cause knee pain in the posterior (rear) portion of the knee and leg.
Hold a tennis or lacrosse ball and a sturdy box or ledge of about mid-thigh height. Sit on the box and place the ball underneath the leg, firmly on the hamstrings.
Extend and bend the knee while applying pressure to the muscle. Let the ball go up and down the back of the leg while you continue flexing and straightening the leg.
One minute on each leg should have your hamstrings and knees feeling great.
Exercise #3- Banded Terminal Knee Extension (TKE)
A classic rehab exercise, the terminal knee extension serves as a great low impact quad activator. It can get blood flowing to the knee and quad to prepare your lower body for training.
Take an exercise band and loop it around a sturdy base. Step into the band with one leg and place it just above the top of the knee.
Walk out and get some tension in the band. From there bend and extend the knee, really focusing on straightening the knee completely and contracting the quad as hard as you can.
Perform for 25 reps on each side and get ready to feel the blood rush to that area.
What knee injuries are most difficult to prevent?
Knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, and ligament tears are the hardest to prevent. This is because most of these occur from one-off acute trauma incidents.
This, opposed to conditions such as osteoarthritis, are the hardest to prepare for. Arthritis, meniscus tears, and tendonitis are injuries that occur from repeated motion over time and you can take precautions to avoid them.
How do you prevent knee injuries in golf?
Golfing is one sport that can result in knee injuries and pain. but the good news is that there are ways that you can both play golf and prevent injury while out on the course.
Make sure that you warm up your joints before starting the course. Stay hydrated throughout the game. Finally, practice good body mechanics. This is important while bending, squatting, and swinging.