The second most common injury I saw when working at physical therapy clinic, was knee replacements or injuries. The pain and discomfort those brought to patients, was enough to get me motivated to learn how to prevent a knee injury in the first place. How do you prevent knee injuries? Well, its your lucky day! I am going to cover this topic in detail for you, with the hope that you gain knowledge, and practical tips to prevent a knee injury from occurring.
What this post will cover:
- How do you prevent knee injuries?
- What exercises can I do to prevent knee pain?
- Is walking good for knee pain?
- Should I exercise if my knee hurts?
- Are stairs bad for knees?
- Are squats bad for knees?
How do you prevent knee injuries?
You may not believe me, but there are several ways to prevent a knee injury. That list includes exercises to strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, and glutes. All of these muscle groups help support the knee joint. Without strengthening these areas, you will end up with knee pain and possibly knee injuries. Its also important to exercise in different planes of motion. We commonly only walk forwards or backwards, forgetting we can move side-to-side, or around in rotations. All of these planes of motion are important in supporting the knee joint.
The other two ways you can prevent knee injuries is to reduce inflammation in your body and making sure you manage your weight. Excess weight on the joints can cause that pesky knee pain, which can lead to an injury or even surgery. Inflammation of the joints can be reduce by the foods that you eat. If you want to learn more about eating an anti-inflammatory diet, I recommend the DeFlame Diet book. Its a simple way to learn what foods to avoid that cause inflammation in our bodies.
What exercises can I do to prevent knee pain?
The list of muscles you need to work are the glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads and hips. All of these support your knees. If you have weak muscles in these areas, you can get an injury or pain. Below you will find some great exercises to make sure you work all of these muscle groups to prevent knee pain. I suggest doing 8-10 reps, 3 times. Repeating 2-3 days a week. As always, consult with your doctor or personal trainer before beginning an exercise regimen.
Is walking good for knee pain?
Yes! Walking is one of the best exercises, because most people are able to do it. No equipment necessary, you use your whole body, get your blood flowing, loosen your joints, and get your heart rate up. A lot of times, just using your knees will help prevent them from getting tight or stiff. Always keep moving, no matter your age! It can help with daily activities and make sure you have the energy to get up and down out of your chair, or move around your house. When is walking a bad idea? If you have been told previously by your doctor to not walk, or if it causes sharp pain, then I would avoid it.
Should I exercise if my knee hurts?
It depends. If you are experiencing sharp pains or unbearable pain, then I would avoid it. However, if you just feel stiff and maybe have some aches – the exercising might actually help loosen it up and reduce your pain. Things like riding a recumbent bike, walking, swimming are all forms of exercise that is easy on the knees. Try those out to get your blood flowing and if your knee pain gets worse, then you probably need to visit your Doctor. You will know if your knee pain is serious if it doesn’t get better, it gets worse or its so bad you need pain medicine.
Are stairs bad for knees?
Stairs can be dangerous, if you have a knee injury or maybe are older in age and do not have good balance. Otherwise, I would suggest using stairs as a form of exercise to help strengthen your legs. Its a great way to take 5-10 minutes a day and walk up and down some stairs (hold on if needed). If it does cause you sharp pain, then avoid it. Stairs happen to work your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves, which are the muscles I suggested you build up to prevent a knee injury from occurring. So, it just depends on if you feel comfortable going up and down stairs.
Are squats bad for knees?
Let me ask you this, do you sit down in a chair and then stand up? If so, then I think you can see where I am headed. You HAVE to be able to get up and down out of a chair and that exact movement, is a squat. So, squats are not bad for your knees, squats are GREAT for them. A lot of the time people just happen to have horrible form, or are lifting weight with that bad form, which can cause an injury. If you have good guidance, are lifting properly, or just do bodyweight squats then you will be fine! If I had to pick one exercise to have someone do the rest of their life, it would be squats. I want you to keep your independence like getting up and down from a toilet, a chair, or in and out of your car. Please start doing some squats! Use the link above on doing squats and start practicing today. You will be amazed how they help your knees, not hurt them.
Preventing knee injuries comes down to building up those muscles that help support the knee joint. It is also extremely helpful to get inflammation out of your diet and manage your weight. If you want to avoid surgery and keep your independence as you age, I suggest you start the exercises listed above and do them 2-3 times a week! Add in a nice walk or swim and you will be on your way to preventing a knee injury.
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