If you’re an athlete—either someone who competes or just a weekend warrior—chances are pretty good that you have experienced some kind of knee issue. In fact, knee injuries are one of the most common reasons people seek out treatment such as physical therapy. Not only do knee injuries hurt, but they can prevent you from participating in the sports you love—and they can make life difficult in general. Before your healthy knees become unhealthy knees, read on to find out what a Cheyenne, WY physical therapist has to say about how you can protect your knees from injury.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Even just the stress of walking can harm your knees if you are carrying around extra pounds. Then if you had sports into the mix, you are really adding to the burden your knees must handle. Keep your weight at an appropriate level for your height to keep your knees from being unduly stressed.
Find Low-Impact Activities
If you are carrying around a few extra pounds that you want to lose, or if your knees have a tendency to be tender, sticking to low-impact activities can really help the impact on your knees while still keeping you active. If you are looking for cardio options, there are plenty of machines at the gym, such as the elliptical, that can give your heart a good workout and keep your knees protected.
Warm Up Before and Stretch After Each Work Out
Both of these are easy to skip when you are eager to get started competing or working out, but both are important to your routine. Warming up will loosen up muscles and tendons, making you less prone to injury. Stretching after your workout will help with mobility, and also help to protect you from injury.
Wear Good Quality Shoes
If you are on your feet a lot—whether for sports or for everyday life—wear the right shoes for the job. If you stand a lot for your job, the proper footwear can protect your knees as well as your back. They can also keep you more comfortable all day. If you are into a sport such as running, go to a professional running store so they can recommend the proper shoe. This article has good information on appropriate shoes for both walking and running: 10 Best Walking and Running Shoes for Bad Knees and OA Knee Pain.
Strength training—as long as you are using proper form—can strengthen the muscles and tendons in your legs, making less prone to injury. Have a coach or personal trainer give you training on proper form as this is essential to prevent injuries.
Seek Physical Therapy When Needed
Sometimes injuries and strains happen, and when they do, don’t hesitate to seek out the help of a physical therapist to help you get past the pain. You can find out more about seeing a physical therapist and learning what to expect by reading here.
At North Platte Physical Therapy, we want our patients to have healthy knees and live a pain-free life. If you have suffered an injury, we invite you to contact North Platte Physical Therapy to learn more about how we can help you recover. Our staff is well known throughout Wyoming because of our strong commitment to our patients. We can fulfill comprehensive physical therapy services, and we look forward to creating a custom a treatment plan based on your needs. Contact us today!