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Protecting your Knees from Major Injuries: 2 Major Types of Knee Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Protecting your Knees from Major Injuries: 2 Major Types of Knee Injuries and How to Prevent Them

by Chris Williams
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An active lifestyle is something that most people aim to have these days as compared to how it was before. People all over the world have seen its benefits and have become aware of the importance of being physically fit. Generalizations of being a dumb jock or a nerd are things that have been chucked out the window as everyone seeks to become healthier. Sedimentary lifestyles have become obsolete as active ones are more predominant because of the health benefits. Even people who are more engaged in technology have become more physically active because of the benefits and the knowledge of why it is important to stay physically fit.

Engaging in physical activities is highly beneficial. In today’s age, a balanced lifestyle engaging in both physical and nonphysical, team and individual activities have been seen to be very important. People of all shapes and sizes have been engaging in physical activities to stay fit and healthy on their off times veering away from their professions in an effort to improve their physical health.

Those who have been physically active and involved in sports have grown in popularity and have already had a head start. They have been able to make the most of what our days have to offer by maintaining their fitness and staying healthy. However weather you are new to the active lifestyle or have been at it for some time now, injuries are constantly looming those who engage physical activities and staying safe has never been so important for us to be able to reap the benefits of our active ways.

Knee injuries are the most difficult ailments to deal with. These injuries are commonly heard of and some of them threaten the career of athletes. Our knees are a vital joint as leg movement is used in almost all sports and daily activities. Our legs are critical to the movements required for sports and for movement on a daily basis. The knee assembles three bones that to one point: the patella which more commonly referred to as the kneecap, the femur found on the upper leg, and the tibia or the lower leg bone. These bones are assisted by cartilages that allows them to work without grinding against each other. This group of bones, muscles, and cartilages carries and distributes our weight in almost every action we take when standing upright even while not engaged in sporting activities. Injuries to the knee are fairly common making up more than half of all sports injuries and are the ones that are more difficult to overcome.

Typically there are two major types of knee injuries: acute injuries and overuse injuries.

Acute injuries the ones that are incurred unexpectedly and commonly happens when sudden strain is applied to the knees while engaged is sporting activities or, Anterior Cruciate and Medial Collateral ligament (more commonly referred to as ACL and MCL) injuries occur when these ligaments are stretched or torn and more commonly incurred while engaged is sporting activities. ACL injuries commonly happen when we shock the knee by quickly changing direction, going into a sudden stop, or landing badly from a jump. MCL injuries however, occur when the outside part of the knee joints are suddenly shocked or are suddenly takes impact.

Overuse injuries on the other hand are caused by continuous pressure on the knee, or repetitive actions. Some examples would include Runner’s Knee where in which muscles weaken under the kneecap leading to irregular patella movement. Bursitis an inflammation of the bursa, or jumper’s knee which is an inflammation of the tendon connecting your patella to your quadriceps.

Ligaments tears, are often accompanied by other tears. Overuse injuries commonly happen in sports such as running, swimming, cycling. ACL injuries on the other hand commonly occur in sports that require a lot of vertical movement or jumping such as, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and gymnastics. MCL injuries are usually seen in contact sports like wrestling or martial arts.

The common symptoms of knee injuries vary depending on what specific part of the knee assembly is damaged. Swelling, stiffness, limping, instability, and problems like knee locking or an inability to straighten the knee are some of these symptoms. ACL injuries are usually accompanied by a loud popping sound and immediate surge of pain, while MCL injuries are usually accompanied by pain when pressure is applied on the MCL also making you lose stability.

How Can I Prevent Knee Injuries?

There are ways to multiple things to keep in mind to prevent knee injuries

Always engage in a sport with complete and correct protective gear. Depending on the sport you are engaged in this may include knee pads and shin guards. Compression gears are also something to keep in mind as additional gear that helps prevent injuries.

Wear the right shoes. Yes, that’s right, shoes. Looking good is not as important as protecting your feet and legs. Always wear the correct fit and pick shoes that provide the correct support for the activity you are about to engage in. Never hesitate to ask about the features of a shoe you are purchasing and what areas it focuses its support at.

Stretch and warm up. Getting your muscles ready for the workout, loosen them up a bit. Help your muscles become more flexible by allocating ample time to stretch them out.

Bend your knees. When landing from a jump do not stiffen your knees, instead bend your knees when landing to allow them to absorb the shock instead of resist the impact.

Remember to consult a doctor or physician when you feel pain in your knees. Continuous use of the joint while it’s injured may result to greater damage. Prevent this by consulting with your doctor or physician and get the correct recommendation for treatment.

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