Your knees, which are your biggest joints, take a lot of wear and tear daily. You depend on these joints, from walking to running and standing still. A knee injury, even if mild, can vastly affect how you stand, walk, and perform regular activities. That’s why it is important to keep these complex joints healthy.
Here is a comprehensive orthopedic guide to keeping your knees strong, healthy, and flexible:
1. Strengthen Your Knees
Strengthening your knee muscles will help keep them healthy and better able to bear the strain of everyday activities. To build up knee strength, you can try exercises like:
- Lunges – strengthening the large muscles around your knees
- Calf raises – helps strengthen the tendons and ligaments of your knee joint
- Leg presses – strengthens the inner thigh and quadriceps muscles, which support knee stability
2. Keep Your Weight Under Control
Excess weight has been linked to many issues associated with knee pain. When you are overweight, your knees bear the brunt of this added strain. That can cause cartilage damage over time.
To reduce knee pain, maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
This does not mean you have to reduce your calorie intake drastically. Just ensure to consume healthy foods and avoid excess sugar and saturated fats.
3. Stay Active
Being active helps maintain muscle tone and joint flexibility, which is important for healthy knees. Not only that, but it also helps reduce stress and boosts your mood.
Exercise can be anything from walking and cycling to yoga and weight lifting. Observe the right form for each activity to avoid putting too much strain on your joints.
4. Wear the Right Gear
Wearing the correct shoes for your activity can help protect your knees from potential injuries and strain.
For example, if you are a runner, choose shoes designed specifically for running that offer shock absorption.
You should also wear a brace or wrap on your knee when participating in physical activities to help provide support.
5. Observe Proper Posture
The way you stand and move affects the health of your knees. Use your core muscles and keep your spine straight to allow the knee joint to move correctly and without strain.
You should also observe proper form and posture when exercising. That means:
- Keep your back straight
- Do not lean forward or arch your spine
- Engage the core muscles
Also, take regular breaks and stretch your muscles periodically when you sit or stand for long periods.
6. Don’t Ignore Pain or Injuries
It’s important to pay attention to any discomfort you feel in your knees. It is best to consult a knee surgeon if the pain persists.
Your doctor can properly diagnose and treat any issues related to the knee joint.
Also, get the right treatment if you sustain any injury. Watch out for common knee conditions such as:
- ACL injury – a torn ligament in the knee
- Meniscus tear – an injury to the cartilage that cushions the joint
- Jumper’s knee – inflammation of the tissue that attaches your kneecap to your shinbone
- Sprain – an injury to the ligaments that connect your bones
- Dislocation – when the bones of the knee joint slip out of place
A knee surgeon can help diagnose your condition and provide the best treatment plan.
7. Know When to Seek Help
Consult an orthopedic specialist if you suspect something might be wrong with your knee. A knee surgeon can diagnose any underlying issues. Consider visiting one if:
- You feel pain or discomfort in your knee that doesn’t go away
- Your knee locks up, making it difficult to move
- You have swelling around the joint
- There is a clicking sound when you move your knee
Depending on your injury or disease, your knee surgeons can recommend treatments like:
- Medication – to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling
- Physical therapy – to strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint
- Surgery – if needed, for severe injuries or conditions
Top Knee Surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
In search of the top knee surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale? Look no further than Paul Meli Orthopedic Surgery’s very own namesake, Dr. Paul Meli. Dr. Meli is our fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon who consistently delivers many innovative arthritis treatments to his patients, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and joint replacement surgery.
Call our Fort Lauderdale orthopedic clinic today at (954) 324-7711, or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you achieve the best musculoskeletal health possible!