From the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning, your knees are working hard to help you move around in the world and get through your day. Whether you lead an active lifestyle or not, healthy knees are incredibly important, and you want to do what you can to keep them strong and healthy so that they can keep serving you well long into the future.
At Victory Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, Dr. Marc Pietropaoli and the team are no strangers to knee injuries, and we are big believers in the power of prevention.
If you want to support these large joints, we’ve pulled together a few great, knee-friendly tips.
Strength is key
Your knees are where three bones come together — your femur, your tibia, and your kneecap — to form the two largest joints in your body. Connecting these bones are a host of soft tissues, including tendons, ligaments, menisci, and cartilage.
One of the best ways to support these meeting points of hard and soft tissues is to beef up the surrounding muscles, including your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. The muscle groups surrounding your knees are large and strong and can help stabilize and protect your knees against injury and wear-and-tear.
Several different exercises, such as lunges, are great for knees, and this link is a good place to start for more ideas.
If you like to get active, we suggest you warm your knees up a little beforehand. As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of tissues inside your knee that can all benefit from a little bit of stretching before you put them through their paces.
The link we supplied above has some great stretching exercises, but you can also warm them up with some high marching steps and squats.
Listen to your knees
Your body is very good about letting you know when something’s wrong, and this is definitely true of your knees. If they feel achy after exercising or you notice inflammation, swelling, and/or discomfort in your knees at any time, give them a rest and come see us so that we can identify what’s going on.
For example, knees are often the first joints to feel the effects of wear-and-tear diseases like osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than 32.5 million people in the United States. If we find the first signs of OA, early intervention treatments like platelet-rich plasma injections can help to slow the progression of the disease and prolong the health of your knees.
If you’ve already had a knee injury and undergone a surgery like an ACL reconstruction, you could benefit from a little outside support for that knee. We might outfit you with a knee brace or recommend custom orthotics that can help support and balance your knees.
Switch up your activities
If you have a degenerative condition in your knees, such as OA, it might be a good idea to steer away from concussive activities, such as road running or playing tennis on hard courts. Instead, you can opt for ones that are easier on your knees, such as cycling, swimming, or kayaking.
For more information about safeguarding your all-important knees, please call our office in Skaneateles, New York, at 315-303-8352, or book an appointment with us online.