How to Protect Your Knees During Exercise
Your knees are the largest joints in your body, and for good reason. Every time you walk, run, turn, stop, and stand, your knees are hard at work, providing critical support and mobility. But size doesn’t mean that these joints are immune to injury. In fact, knee injuries are very common — and also highly preventable.
Our goal at Leading Edge Medical is to ensure that our patients in Gilbert, Arizona, are able to enjoy healthy, active lives, free from pain and injury. When it comes to knees, there are several ways you can protect these joints when you’re exercising, allowing you to stay in the game.
Beasts of burden
One of the major roles of your knees is support, which they provide anytime you’re on your feet. Simply standing puts pressure on your knees, never mind exercising, which adds considerable loading forces depending upon the activity. For this reason, one of the best things you can do for your knees is lighten the load.
If you’re carrying extra pounds, the sooner you can eliminate them the better. We applaud the efforts you’re already making by exercising, which goes a long way toward weight loss. If you add in a better diet, you’ll shed the extra burden more quickly. Another way to shed fat is to explore our Invisi-Red™ weight-loss technology to boost your metabolism.
A little help from their friends
Your knees are complex joints where three bones come together to provide you with stability and mobility. Surrounding these bones is a host of supporting players with key roles in the strength of your knees. If you spend a little time building up the muscles around your knees, you spread out the workload considerably, taking the pressure off your bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
Your quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip abductors are the main areas to target. By strengthening these muscle groups, they can safeguard the more vulnerable areas of your knees by absorbing pressure and standing up better against the rigors of your exercise. Make sure you develop these muscles equally so one muscle group doesn’t throw another out of balance. If you work all three areas, you are rewarded with stronger legs overall.
Gear up right
When it comes to exercise and your knees, make sure you’ve got the right tools for the job. If you’re a runner, spend some time picking out shoes that give you the necessary support and grip. In fact, this same rule of thumb applies across the board for most athletic pursuits.
Just as there’s a shoe for every foot, there’s practically a shoe for every sport. So make sure you’ve got the right gear for your feet (and make sure the gear fits well!), which helps save your knees.
While some knee injuries are a result of an acute accident or trauma, just as many come on as a result of repetitive use or degenerative issues. As the damage and deterioration slowly accumulate, your body usually lets you know.
So don’t ignore sore knees or knees that feel weak. Listen to what they’re saying, and come in and see us at the first signs of a problem, which can save you from a more disabling injury down the road.
Reduce the pressure
If you’re grappling with an old injury or degenerative disease in your joints, consider exercising in ways that don’t put added pressure on your knees. For example, instead of running, hop on a bicycle. Water sports, such as swimming and rowing, deliver excellent health benefits without taxing your beleaguered knees.
Your knees will serve you well if you take care of them properly, protecting them where you can, and getting treatment when they’re hurt. If your knees are in chronic pain, we can help with a number of different therapies that are designed to relieve your pain and get you back up and moving again as soon as possible.
From chiropractic adjustments to electrical nerve stimulation, we have a number of tools that are highly effective in treating knee problems. And if you’d like to learn more about protecting your knees while you exercise, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.