Your knees are incredibly important to your health and wellbeing. You rely on them to function admirably every day.
Unfortunately, though, knees are prone to injury and breakdown. The knee joint is a complex structure and has to take immense punishment throughout life. What’s more, it’s not just athletes or people who do sports who can experience knee injuries. It’s everyone.
In this post, we take a look at some of the things you can do to avoid permanent knee damage.
Don’t Ignore Knee Pain
If you have knee pain, don’t ignore it. Almost always, it means something’s wrong.
Generally, if your knee pain is restricting your movement, you should visit a specialist physio. A slight ache that doesn’t interfere with running, jumping, or changing direction might go away by itself. But anything else requires the help of a specialist.
Knee pain can get worse with time so always treat it earlier rather than later.
Don’t Put On Too Much Weight
Being overweight is directly related to worsening knee pain. People who are heavier put more stress on their knee joints which can eventually wear out the knee cartilage over time.
Interestingly, only being slightly overweight is enough to cause problems. Putting on a mere 10 pounds could trigger damage to the knee socket.
Moreover, if you have arthritis, being overweight could make symptoms worse. Therefore, diet and exercise are both important tools you can use to avoid serious, permanent knee damage.
Just make sure that you do gentle exercises if you already have knee pain. Avoid the temptation to push yourself to the limit or do anything particularly acrobatic.
Build Muscle Around The Knees
The knees don’t exist in isolation. Instead, they rely on the muscles around them to support them and give them strength. Muscles in the upper legs, hips and pelvis are all involved in stabilising the knee and absorbing some of the pressure and stress put on it.
Some people may also benefit from strengthening other areas of the body, such as the obliques and hamstrings. These muscles improve flexibility and also give the knee joint extra strength so that it doesn’t fail under load.
Take It Slow
If you decide to embark on a new exercise regime, try not to overdo it. Instead, take it slow. Avoid the temptation to do a hard workout every day. Your body simply isn’t able to take it.
Also, don’t suddenly increase exercise intensity. Instead, gradually build things up. If you go too quickly, you might develop painful conditions, such as tendonitis from repetitive strain injury
Rewire Your Muscle Memory
Lastly, you may want to try rewiring your muscle memory to ensure that when you jump and land, you do so in a way that doesn’t put too much stress on your ACL joint.
Again, you can actually program your body to land in the correct way over time with the help of a physio. It requires adjusting your technique so that you automatically put as little strain on the knees as possible.