Your knees take a beating. Whether you are an athlete, work out regularly or just blow out a few extra candles on your birthday cake, knee injuries are common and a frequent cause for a visit to North Boulder Physical Therapy. What are some basic knee injury prevention methods you can use?
Regardless of your age, there are some key points you should know. It’s important to incorporate flexibility and stretching into your exercise program. Strength training is also a great way to prevent injury. Based on your level of fitness, previous injuries, current injuries and health issues, an exercise program to meet your individual needs should be put into place.
Make sure you have the proper equipment and you learn the proper technique to avoid further injury. If you’re not sure what exercises to do, consult a fitness expert or sports medicine physician for basic knee injury prevention techniques.
Whenever you are trying to prevent a knee injury, strengthening of the muscles surrounding the knee is important. The most important muscles for the prevention of knee injuries are the hip and thigh muscle as well as the quads, knee joint, and hamstring.
Weight machines and resistance exercise are a great way to strengthen these areas. Each exercise should focus on the individual muscle groups and contain at least eight to ten repetitions. It is important not to start out with too many repetitions and sets. Start out with one set and increase to three sets with 20-40 seconds of rest between sets. Focus on the proper technique not how many reps you have done and how much weight you have used.
Body weight exercises like wall squats, squats and lunges are also a great option for basic knee injury prevention. This type of exercise requires very little space or equipment and targets multiple muscle groups. Proper form is even more important with these exercises and can be a challenge, so it is always wise to use caution.
Stretching is extremely important to prevent injury. If you already have an injury, stretching is an absolute must. Since flexibility declines with age, it is best to keep stretching throughout your daily life since flexibility can be difficult to regain.
Stretching will not improve performance, but it will work to prevent injury and, as a general rule, is an absolute must if you have sustained an injury. There are basic guidelines you should follow when you are doing your warm-up. It’s important to stretch each muscle group two to three times and warm up till you break a sweat. Stretching should also be an important part of the cool down. Also, pay attention to your equipment. Running shoes should be changed every 300 miles to avoid shock absorption problems that cause high impact to the knees.
It’s important to pay attention to your body to avoid and prevent injury. North Boulder Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation provides physical therapy for sports injuries as well as many other ailments. Contracted by the University of Colorado, the knowledge and professionalism of our staff make us the number one physical therapy facilities in the area.