How to Prevent and Treat Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are some of the most common injuries and in 2010, there were roughly 10.4 million patient visits to doctors’ offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. While these injuries can be some of the most catastrophic, and life altering, there are some ways to avoid injuries and to treat minor knee injuries so that they will heal properly and not become a larger problem.

Preventing Knee Injuries

How can you prevent knee injuries and enjoy a healthier life? Flexibility and strength training will both work to decrease the likelihood of knee injuries. Warming up until you break a sweat and then stretching is important and you should focus on the hips, thighs and gluteus muscles as well as the knee flexors and extensors. Maintaining flexibility in these areas is crucial to preventing injuries in the long run. Strengthening these same areas with a strength training routine using either weights or resistance bands will help you to avoid knee injuries.

Another good way to prevent knee injuries is to maintain a healthy weight. For every extra pound you are carrying, it is multiplied exponentially in weight stress that you put on your knees. By loosing just a few pounds, you can decrease the load that your knees need to handle pretty quickly. You should consult a doctor to find your ideal weight and for the best ways of safely and healthily achieving this weight.

Treating Minor Knee Injuries

If you have a minor knee injury, it can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation. If there is a specific activity that is causing knee pain, take a break from it and rest with a pillow under your knee. Immediately after the injury apply ice; 20 minute on then 20 minute off to help reduce swelling. This can be uncomfortable, but helps the injury to heal faster. Using a compression wrap such as an elastic bandage will help to decrease the welling as well, but this will not help to stabilize the knee, so it should not be relied upon for this when returning to light activity. Elevating the knee when laying down or icing will help to decrease swelling as well, so try to keep the injured knee above the heart. Finally, if it doe not cause pain, you can gentle massage the area around the injury to increase blood flow later in the healing process.

Preventing Running injuries is ImportantKnee injuries are common is runners, skiers, snowboarders and tennis players, so be sure to take extra good care of your knees if you are subjecting them to these types of activities. By being careful with your body and treating any minor injuries immediately, you will be able to keep doing the activities that you want to longer and with less pain in the long run.

For more information on knee injuries or any other types of injuries, check out WebMD. This is a great starting point for understanding injuries and how to treat them.

Leave a Comment