Be Kind to Your Knees

It is easy to take our knees for granted.  Whether we are walking, running, or jumping, we depend on the knee’s complex interplay of bone, cushioning cartilage, and ligaments to support our weight and keep us moving. Dr. Daren Wickum, one of our knee sub-specialists says, “A little preventative care can help keep our knees conditioned, and may forestall injuries and joint deterioration.”

Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping extra pounds off is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. Staying trim reduces the force you place on your knees. Medical research suggests that a fit weight may also reduce osteoarthritis.

Build muscle strength. Your quadriceps and hamstrings support your knees. When these muscles are weak, your chance of injury increases. Balance and stability exercises, such as straight leg raises and leg extensions, help the muscles in your knees work more effectively. Don’t forget flexibility exercises. Tight muscles contribute to knee injury. If you incorporate stretches to maintain flexibility, you’ll keep your knees in optimum condition.

Include variety in your exercise program. High-impact activities like basketball, tennis, and jogging can be rough on your knees. Consider varying your routine to include low-impact activities like swimming, water aerobics, and walking at least a few times a week.

With a few proactive steps, you can increase your probability of keeping your knees healthy for years to come.

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