As the largest joint in your body, the knee is a common source of pain and injury. Protect your knees now, and they’ll keep you stepping strong for years to come. Here are some tips to help prevent knee problems and keep your knees in tip-top shape.
Prevention Tips for Knee Problems
Stretch before and after physical exercise, sports or recreational activities to warm up your muscles. To keep your knees healthy, target your calves, hips, quads and hamstrings.
2. Be cautious with stairs
Bounding up and downstairs puts serious stress on your kneecaps. Even if you’re running late, walk up and downstairs and hold onto the railing for added support.
3. Use proper form
When doing squats and lunges, don’t bend your leg beyond a 90-degree angle, and make sure your knee stays directly over your foot. If you play sports, consider taking lessons to learn the proper technique to help avoid injury.
4. Work your inner thighs
Strong hip adductor muscles (a.k.a. inner thigh muscles) absorb stress while you walk, which in turn helps prevent knee problems. A simple way to start: try squeezing your knees together when you’re sitting down.
5. Make safety a priority
Make it a habit to follow simple safety procedures at home and at work. Don’t carry objects that are too heavy, don’t stand on chairs or other unsteady objects, and use equipment appropriate to your size, strength and ability.
6. Lose weight
The number one secret for happy knees? Stay at a healthy weight. Every extra pound you pack on puts about 4 extra pounds of pressure on your knees when you walk or take the stairs.
7. Wear proper shoes
As footwear affects the positioning of your leg, the wrong shoes could potentially provoke knee pain. So save the stilettos for special occasions and consider getting professionally fitted at a running or sporting goods store to lower your chances of knee injury.
8. Stand up straight
Believe it or not, poor posture can lead to knee pain. The key to good posture? Core muscles in your abdomen and lower back, which can be strengthened by exercises such as planks, back extensions, yoga and Pilates.