Knee Problems and Injuries - Prevention
The following tips may prevent knee
General prevention tips
- Wear your seat belt in a motor
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Avoid activities that stress your knees, such as
deep knee bends or downhill running.
- Wear shoes with good arch
- 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.
running shoes every 300 to 500 miles (480 to 800 kilometers).
Experts recommend getting new athletic shoes every 3 months or after 500 miles
Tips specific to female athletes
recommend training programs that help women learn to run, jump, and pivot with
knees bent to avoid knee injuries. In sports such as soccer, basketball, and
volleyball, women who bend their knees and play low to the ground have fewer
knee injuries than women who run and pivot with stiff legs.
Knee brace use
Some people use knee braces to prevent
knee injuries or after a knee injury. There are many types of knee braces, from
soft fabric sleeves to rigid, metal hinged braces, that support and protect the
knee. If your doctor has recommended the use of a knee brace, follow his or her
instructions. If you are using a knee brace to help prevent problems, follow
the manufacturer's instructions for use.
Keep bones strong
- Eat a nutritious diet with enough
vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
Calcium is found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; dark
green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli; and other foods. For more
information, see the topic
Exercise and stay active.
It is best to do weight-bearing exercise for at least 2� hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week.
Exercises that are not weight-bearing, such as
swimming, are good for your general health. But they do not work your muscles and bones against gravity and so they do not stimulate new bone growth. Starting these exercises at any age will help prevent bone loss. But if you stop exercising, your bones will begin to thin. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you.
Begin slowly, especially if you have been inactive. For more information, see
- Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman. People who drink more than this may be at higher risk
for weakening bones (osteoporosis).
Alcohol use also increases your risk of falling and breaking a
- Stop or do not begin smoking. Smoking puts you at a much
higher risk for developing osteoporosis. It also interferes with blood supply
and healing. For more information, see the topic
Bruises are often the first sign of
abuse. Seek help if:
- You suspect abuse. Call your local child or
adult protective agency, police, or a doctor, nurse, or
- You or someone you know is a
victim of violence.
- You have trouble
controlling your anger with a child or other person in your care.
Resources are available for help.