Despite being the largest joints in your body, your knees are among the most vulnerable areas. It can be common, especially in women, for active individuals to sustain knee injuries because they are overworking the area. We often take our knees for granted because they are such a natural part of our everyday lives, but it is important to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your knees to prevent any injuries in the future.
Below are some helpful tips in knee care that will allow you to maintain a healthy life overall.
- Wear comfortable shoes that support your arches. If you can’t, or don’t like to wear shoes with arch support already in place, you can purchase inserts that will fit into almost any kind of shoe. This will help to distribute your weight evenly across the soles of your feet, and prevent any strain in your kneecaps. You should also make sure you replace your shoes as they wear with age. Runners typically replace their shoes every 200-300 miles. If you are not tracking your mileage, then note when the sole of the shoe shows wear. That is when you’ll know it is time to replace them.
- Exercise. For best results you should exercise 4-5 times a week for 30-40 minutes each session. Scientific studies have shown that keeping the muscles around the knee joint strong will reduce the force and wear on the knee joint. It is important that you are not putting excess strain on your knees as you work out. A few good examples of knee-friendly workouts include swimming, speed walking, and leisurely biking.
- Cross train. Even if you have found a few simple workouts that minimize stress on your knees, you shouldn’t exclusively do those exercises. You should focus on building and strengthening a variety of muscles. By utilizing different muscle groups, you will help to strengthen the knee and also reduce incidents of overuse injuries.
- Keep your weight in a normal range. When you walk on level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1.5 times your body-weight. For example: a 200 pound person is really placing 300 pounds of force across their knees. The force on your knees is 2-3 times your body-weight going up and downstairs. The force goes up even more to 4-5 times your body-weight when you squat. One pound of weight loss unloads at least 4 pounds of joint stress on the knee.
- Avoid activities that cause knee pain. Activities as simple as running up and down stairs, or standing for long periods of time can cause serious knee pain. Even if you are young and generally in good shape, it is always good practice to minimize any potential risk of injury or pain.
Whether you are just interested in getting more information on practices to help maintain healthy knees, or if you have sustained a knee injury and are looking for medical attention, contact Orthopedic Specialists today at (502) 212-2663 to set up an appointment!