Preventing Knee Injuries

When your knees hurt you should always avoid aggravating them further by suspending your workouts or play. Only return to your activity when the pain is gone.

Here are some things you should do to prevent hip injuries:

 

Stay in Shape

  • Good general conditioning is important to controlling and preventing patellofemoral pain.
  • If you're too heavy, you may need to lose some weight to avoid overstressing your knees.

 

Stretch

Before doing any exercise, do a 5-minute warm up first, followed by stretching exercises.

  • Stretching in the face down position will keep the supporting structures around the front of the knee flexible and less likely to become irritated with exercise. Laying in this position, grab the ankle of the affected leg with one hand and gently stretch the font of the knee. Do this before and after exercising.
  • Increase training gradually and avoid sudden changes in the intensity of your activity.
  • Use proper running gear.
  • Use running shoes that offer good shock absorption and quality instruction. Be sure they fit correctly and are in good condition. If you have flat feet you want to use shoe inserts.
  • Use proper running techniques.
  • Substitute smooth, low-impact activities - moderate physical activity reduces joint pain and improves flexibility and function.
  • Stop doing high-impact activities that twist and turn the joints.
  • Start doing smooth, low-impact activities that are easier on the joints

 

Sports that aggravate patellar tendonitis:

  • Basketball
  • Distance running
  • Football
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting (squats)

 

Sports that are the easiest on your knees:

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Swimming 
  • Walking 

 

The following exercises are OK to do if they cause no pain:

  • Straight-leg lifting exercises
  • Stationary cycle
  • Leg press (do not go past 90 degrees)
  • Hamstring curl machine

 

Physical Therapy

Your doctor may recommend a balanced fitness program that includes physical and occupational therapy to improve joint flexibility, increase your range of motion, strengthen muscle, bone and cartilage tissues and reduce pain. It may also help to apply ice to the affected joint for short periods of time, several times a day.