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Know More: Know Your Knees

Friday, April 29, 2016

While it’s impossible to completely avoid knee injuries, Khevna Pandit talks about a few safe ways in which you can avoid that dreadful joint injury

A knee injury can cost  you, especially if your career revolves around it. Even though our knees carry the weight of our entire body, there are times when we unknowingly end up stressing our knees more than necessary. Dr. Ameet Pispati, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Jaslok Hospital, says, “Knee injuries do not have to be severe in order to affect a sportsperson’s performance. The thing with knee injuries is that even if they are mild, they can affect a player’s actions. Unfortunately, if this is ignored or not treated properly, it can lead to further knee complications. It may put a stop to an athlete’s career.” Read on to see what you should keep in mind while exercising to avoid a painful outcome.

  • Stay in shape Perhaps the most important aspect of healthy knees is maintaining your bodyweight. Remember that the extra pounds that you put on may result in added pressure on your knees in the long run. Staying in shape also keeps your body healthy, not just your knees.
     
  • Don’t stress your knees This one’s a little more obvious, but it’s necessary. Performing too many rigorous exercises can also stress your kneecaps and cause pain. Go easy on those lunges and squats if they’re not really necessary. Remember not to bend your knees beyond a 90 º angle and make sure your knee stays directly over your foot when exercising.
     
  • Wear knee guards If you’re participating in recreational activities such as skating, skateboarding or even mountain biking (all high-impact activities), remember to wear knee guards. They may seem bulky and useless but trust us, the inconvenience is worth it.
     
  • Wear supportive shoes We all know that high-heels are a must, but avoid wearing them for longer periods as they can cause premature osteoarthritis of the knee. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, wearing heels that are 3.5 inches or higher could lead to prematurely aged knee joints and increase a woman’s risk of developing osteoarthritis. Pick shoes with good arch support that can make exercising easier and comfortable.
     
  • Always warm up Stretching exercises are always good for your knees, but be sure to warm up right before you get into any heavy exercising. It eases the tension on your tendons and ends up relieving the pressure on your knees.
     
  • Keep bones strong Apart from staying fit and active, incorporate a good amount of milk, cheese, yogurt and leafy vegetables in your diet to get the calcium that you need.

Dr. Ameet gives us a few tips to avoid sports related injuries:

  • Wear protective gear.
  • Use appropriate sports equipment.
  • Practice landing with bent knees.
  • Refrain from twisting your knee joints.
  • Always run on flat surfaces.
  • Build your stamina.
  • Warm up at the beginning and cool down at the end of rigorous physical workouts.

Additional tips to remember
Dr. Sachin Bhatt, an orthopaedic surgeon at SRV Hospital, tells us, “Warming up before any sporting activity is very important. You can walk, ride a stationary bicycle or do some low impact exercise, and then stretch both the front and back muscles of your thigh. This will strengthen your knee. During a sporting activity, you should crouch and bend your knees, which will reduce pressure on ligaments of the knee. It’s important to avoid sudden changes in intensity or speed; never pivot on your knee, as this can result in injury to your knee ligaments. Wearing proper shoes will go a long way in protecting your knee in any sport. After any sporting activity always stretch the thigh muscles.”

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