Updated: Oct 18
Preventing Knee Injuries in Sports
Knee injuries like ACL tears, meniscus tears, and patellar tendonitis are common among athletes. Sports that involve sudden stops and turns, jumping, and contact put the most strain on knees. While it’s difficult to avoid knee injuries completely, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:
Properly Warm Up
Always warm up before practices and games with light cardio and dynamic stretches. This increases blood flow and range of motion, activating muscles and reducing likelihood of strain.
Strengthen Leg Muscles
Strong quadriceps, hamstrings, hips and glutes provide support and stability to knees. Do targeted exercises 2-3 times per week to keep leg muscles conditioned. Squats, lunges and leg presses are great options.
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Wear sport-specific shoes with proper traction and shock absorption. Replace shoes every 300-500 miles. For cleated sports, ensure cleats are the right length for your feet.
Use Proper Form
Safe biomechanics like soft landings, aligned knees over feet, and avoiding locking knees can protect from injury. Have a coach analyze form.
Sports like cycling, swimming and using the elliptical can build strength while giving knees a break from high-impact activities.
Strapping or Bracing
If you have a previous knee injury, strapping or wearing a brace during activity can provide extra support and stability.
While playing through some knee soreness is often unavoidable, address any persistent pain promptly. Stop activity and rest injured knees to allow proper healing. With prevention and care, knees can withstand the demands of sports. Prioritize knee health for a long, active career.