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Exercise Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Love Your Knees: Steps to Avoid Pain and Injury as You Age

By Staff Editor
Apr 13, 2017 - 8:32:24 AM

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( - Whilst knee injuries are relatively common among those who enjoy exercising or sports, they can have pretty severe symptoms if not identified and treated quickly. And, as we get older, knee joints can weaken and conditions such as arthritis can arise. This will further weaken the knees and make it much more likely for injury to occur even when doing mundane tasks like household chores.

But, if you do your research and start taking care of your knees before age takes over in a negative way, there are many self-help methods you can use to give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding knee pain and injury as you get older. So, if you’re looking to take better care of your knees or have an existing knee condition and would like more information on the specific knee injuries that can occur, read on to discover all you need to know about looking after your knees!

Types of knee injury

The knee is an extremely complex joint, meaning many different types of injury can happen. Whilst many knee injuries have similar symptoms, treating these injuries can depend on multiple different circumstances including your lifestyle and the condition of the joint itself.

As there are a variety of knee injuries that can occur, we’d be here for hours if we were to list every single one. But here are a few of the most common knee injuries that have the potential to become very serious if not treated properly. In short, these are the ones to take most notice of:

Anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) – Happens when you land heavily on your leg and swiftly twist your knee in the opposite direction without giving the joint chance to adjust to its new position. Most common in those who play sports like football, tennis, and basketball, ACL injuries are more apparent in women than men.

Posterior cruciate ligament injury (PCL) – Known as the least common knee injury, PCL injuries occur if something hits your knee whilst it’s in a bent position. As PCL injuries often don’t cause severe pain or symptoms straight away, it can take a while for the issue to be properly noticed.

Medial collateral ligament injury (MCL) – The most common knee injury which can occur in virtually any sport in people of all ages. Happens when your leg is outstretched and something hits the outer part of the knee.

Lateral collateral ligament injury (LCL) – Occurs when something directly hits the inner part of the knee. Because of this, LCL injuries are less common than MCL injuries as the inner part of your knee is almost always protected by the other leg.

Whilst the onset of some knee injuries can be completely inevitable (those that happen during sport etc.), if you focus on taking good care of your knees it’s likely the injury will be less severe and won’t cause as much pain as a neglected knee would.

Here are a few risk factors to be aware of, and top tips you can use to avoid pain.

Wear a knee brace

Specific to those who may already have an injury or are recovering from a knee problem, consistently wearing a knee brace when using your knees is a great way to give your knee that much-needed support.

Designed to stabilize your knee and help the overall injury recover, knee braces are a good investment to make if your knees are suffering. Take a look at where you’ll find a range of knee braces to choose from.

Don’t overuse your knee

Even if you do have a knee brace, it’s still important not to overuse your knee as you could hinder the knees chance of recovery. Rest is a key part of treating virtually any injury, and if it means you can’t play as much sport as you used to for a while, so be it.

Lose weight

Whilst there are multiple risk factors for a knee injury, being overweight is probably the biggest. The more weight you carry, the more pressure is put on your knee joints to support you which will cause more pain in the long-run.

If you’re normal weight, great! But if you’re carrying a little extra and are perhaps in the overweight spectrum, there’s no harm in losing a few pounds to give your knees a bit more TLC.

Knee injuries are very common and it’s likely almost everyone in the sporting world has had one at some point. But just because they’re common, this doesn’t mean we have to put up with the pain they can cause, and by taking some simple preventative steps you’re much more likely to stop knee pain in its tracks!

Amelie Bailey is a sports therapist who writes about sports injuries, and how to avoid them, for a range of fitness, sports and health blogs


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