Although it's not always possible to prevent knee pain, the following suggestions may help forestall injuries and joint deterioration:
March 29, 2013
- Keep extra pounds off. Maintain a healthy weight; it's one of the best things you can do for your knees. Every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
- Be in shape to play your sport. To prepare your muscles for the demands of sports participation, take time for conditioning. Work with a coach or trainer to ensure that your technique and movement are the best they can be.
- Get strong, stay limber. Because weak muscles are a leading cause of knee injuries, you'll benefit from building up your quadriceps and hamstrings, which support your knees. Balance and stability training helps the muscles around your knees work together more effectively. And because tight muscles also can contribute to injury, stretching is important. Try to include flexibility exercises in your workouts.
- Be smart about exercise. If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, you may need to change the way you exercise. Consider switching to swimming, water aerobics or other low-impact activities — at least for a few days a week. Sometimes simply limiting high-impact activities will provide relief.
- Knee problems. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Knee_Problems/default.asp. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
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- Anderson RJ, et al. Evaluation of the active adult patient with knee pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
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- Common knee injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00325. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
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- Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD). American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/pseudogout.asp. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
- Kalunian KC. Nonpharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
- Kalunian KC. Pharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
- Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/gait. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
- Acupuncture for pain. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
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