Knee Pain Overview
Knee Pain Prevention
Knee pain has a host of causes. Many types of pain are difficult to prevent, but you can do some general things to reduce the likelihood of sustaining a knee injury.
- Staying slim reduces the forces placed on the knee during both athletics and everyday walking and may, according to some medical research, reduce osteoarthritis.
- Keeping your weight down may also reduce the number of ligament and tendon injuries for similar reasons.
Keep Limber, Keep Fit
- Many knee problems are caused by tight or imbalanced musculature. Stretching and strengthening, therefore, also help to prevent knee pain.
- Stretching keeps your knee from being too tight and aids in preventing both patellofemoral syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome.
- Strengthening exercises particularly of the quadriceps (straight leg raises and leg extensions are two excellent exercises, but please see a book on exercise and training for more) can help prevent knee injury.
- If you have chronic knee pain, consider swimming or water exercises.
- In water, the force of buoyancy supports some of our weight so our knees do not have to.
- If you don't have access to a pool or do not enjoy water activities, at least try to limit hard pounding and twisting activities such as basketball, tennis, or jogging.
- You may find that your aching knees will act up if you play basketball or tennis every day but will not if you limit your pounding sports to twice a week.
- Whatever you do, respect and listen to your body. If it hurts, change what you are doing.
- If you are fatigued, consider stopping -- many injuries occur when people are tired.
Protect the Knee
- Wearing proper protection for the activity at hand can help avoid knee injuries.
- When playing volleyball or when laying carpet, protecting your knees may include kneepads.
- When driving, knee protection may include wearing a seatbelt to avoid the knee-versus-dashboard injuries as well as injuries to other parts of your body.