Prevent Knee Pain – 5 Practical Tips from a Former Knee Pain Sufferer
My top five tips for anyone suffering from, or trying to prevent knee pain:
- Stretch regularly. Stretching of the major muscles around the knee markedly reduces knee joint loading. The muscle groups that need to be stretched to prevent knee pain include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. All of these muscles ‘cross the knee joint line’. When they become adversely tight they will increase knee joint compressive forces. This then increases the ‘wear’ on the knee joint. It also represents a major injury risk factor for almost all knee injuries. Ensure any stretch is held for a minimum of 1minute to get an effective stretch.
- Watch your body weight. Surplus body weight means additional and adverse joint loading. Just as with failing to stretch the major muscle groups of the knee, being overweight will add the result in extra joint loading, accelerating joint wear and tear and increasing the risk of injury. Reducing your weight will reduce or prevent knee pain.
- Wear appropriate footwear. If your foot excessively pronates (rolls in) you will need to combat this with the correct footwear. Failure to do so puts the medial (inside) compartment of your knee at risk of greater wear and tear and injury.
- Develop strong leg muscles. Having strong leg muscles de-loads the knee joint and will prevent knee pain. The quadricepses, in particular, play the chief role in supporting the knee. Weakness in the quadriceps and gluteals (bottom muscles) will cause problems for the knee.
- Get your knee niggles checked out. Small niggles left unaddressed have a nasty habit of becoming major problems with the passage of time and the completion of more trails. Getting a knee niggle looked at early by a physio will lessen the likelihood of a serious injury developing. The longer a niggle is left normally the longer it takes to rehabilitate an injury that develops.
Brad Beer (APAM)
POGO Physio Guru
Former Knee Pain Sufferer