More Americans visit orthopedic surgeons for knee injuries than any other musculoskeletal complaints. In 2006, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that more than 12 million people visited their doctor to address knee pain issues. Your knees are fundamental to personal movement and agility, especially if you enjoy playing sports. If you plan on being mobile and pain-free, there are a few preventative measures you can take to protect your knees.
- Before engaging in high-impact exercise, always warm up with light, low-impact activity such as brisk biking or walking, then perform some light stretches of the quads and thigh. This will help mitigate knee pressure.
- Strength training on the leg muscles can help stabilize the knee. You can build the relevant muscles by walking up stairs or by working with weights.
- If you have experienced a previous knee injury, wear a knee brace or support to reinforce the ligaments.
- Do not suddenly or drastically increase or change the type of physical activity you do. Ease into change so that you do not over-strain or shock your body. Always speak with your physician before embarking on a significant change in physical activity.
- Knee injury is frequently the result of poorly situated feet. Always wear proper shoes for the activity you are performing and visit a podiatrist if you suspect you have flat or overpronated feet.
- If you ride a bike, make sure the seat is situated at the proper height so that it doesn’t create undo pressure on the knees.
- Weight is a major factor in many knee injuries. Maintain a healthy weigh to help avoid weigh-baring strain.
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