10 Quick Tips to Help Athletes Avoid Knee Injuries

Inflammation and tears to the knee are among the most common injuries athletes face, so why wait until you are bedridden before addressing all of the recommended precautions? Instead, take a look at the following 10 quick and simple tips you can start doing right now, which will not only casually sidestep the agony of joint disturbances, but should also keep you on your feet to face another day kicking.

  1. Never Skip Warm-Ups

Your body is not designed to hastily dive into heavy weight lifting or extensive running, which is why you need to limber up your knees thoroughly before you even begin. Stretch every day and perform two sets of leg extensions pre-workout, between sets, and after any knee demanding exercises to combat stiffness whilst caring for your cartilage.

2. Dietary Considerations

Vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium are fan favorite supplements for athletes, as they offer additional nutrients to keep your bones healthy. But don’t forget to keep eating your greens, as cabbage, spinach, and kale are loaded with vitamin K, another bone enhancing associate for your diet. Conversely, smoking swaps your hemoglobin’s oxygen for carbon monoxide, so avoid this nasty habit at all costs (and it does cost a lot!).

  1. Brace for Impact

Researching the correct footwear for your favorite workout is essential, but you may want to look at the advantages of wearing a brace to support your joints even further, as they hold your knees in alignment with the rest of your leg. There are many options available, which can make the decision process seem a daunting, but just speak to your doctor and click the following link for more information on how to choose the best knee brace for working out.

  1. Build Stronger Muscles

Muscles are your primary protection against joint trauma, as they absorb a lot of the force that would otherwise go straight to the knee. Dedicate some of your training program to the quadriceps (located at the front of the thigh) which can be easily achieved with a varied routine of squat and lunge exercises.

  1. Switch up Your Activities

If you’re known for your high-impact exercise choices (such as running or racket sports), you may want to switch things up a bit, especially if you feel some aching sensation coming on. Yoga, swimming, and cycling are great activities to keep your knee in motion without aggravating inflammation, and if you are a weight training junkie, you should also avoid any sudden increases to your standard lifting load.

  1. Ice Ice Baby

If knee pain is an old acquaintance of yours, always take the precautionary measure of compressing the sensitive area with an ice pack directly after a workout. It’s an ancient practice intended to reduce blood flow, and as a result, calm any inflammation from flaring around the joint. If there is no ice pack available, feel free to bring a bag of frozen peas with you and store them in your gym’s freezer.

7. Keep Moving, But Know When to Stop
As previously mentioned, non-impact exercises keep your joints limber and strengthen your cartilage. That said, rest is equally important, with lengthy breaks between workouts and (if your busy schedule allows for it) a full eight hours sleep every night, allocating the needed time for your knees to recuperate. If you feel any pain surfacing, elevate your feet above heart level to utilize gravity’s natural magic to drain fluids away from the tender area.

8. Over-the-Counter Medication

If an ache is making a comfortable resting period difficult, you should not only take some downtime from physical activities completely, but may also want to consider anti-inflammatory medication to guide your knee into a quiet place of relief. But please note that this is a short-term solution and you must always speak to your doctor if you have any pressing concerns.

9. Lose the Weight
If you feel like you could spare a few pounds (or more), this is a goal worth pursuing, as any extra weight you carry is placing unnecessary strain on your knees. Watching your diet and participating in low-impact workouts are both great ways to shed a little excess, and your joints will thank you by performing much better throughout the day.

10. Do Not Ignore the Pain

Finally, if the complaining throb of knee trouble does arrive, do not look the other way and hope it disappears on its own. The earlier you can catch the damage, the better your chances are at completely reversing the problem back to your default settings. As always, stop what you’re doing and go get that valuable professional opinion from a doctor who will prevent you from running directly towards a more permanent injury.

 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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