No one wants to go down for an injury, especially if it is an easily preventable one. Maybe you’ve had a hip or knee injury before, and don’t want to re-experience it. Maybe you know your body is more prone to injury due to osteoarthritis or high-intensity sports like skiing or running, and you’d like to better take care of your body. The good news is that whatever your reasons may be, hip and knee injuries are easily avoidable if the right precautions are taken!
Here are 5 ways to help avoid a hip or knee injury in the future:
1. Always stretch before exercise
Whether you’re going for a short walk or for a long run, stretching will always be important. Stretching helps prevent injury by strengthening your muscles and getting your blood flowing so that sudden, rigorous movement isn’t a shock. This advice is good for any age group, but it gets even more important as you get older.
2. Eat right and take your vitamins
This may seem like the most obvious advice in the book, but giving your body proper nutrition does more than making you feel like your best self. While that’s important, it helps your joints, too! Eating foods rich in good nutrients like calcium or glucosamine help your joints retain their elasticity. This helps prevent injuries due to poorly lubricated joints.
3. Make sure your weight is right
Knowing and maintaining the right weight can play a big part in keeping your joints from injury. In fact, when you place force on your joints, it can be up to six times your actual weight! Any added strain will of course stress your joints and knees even further. If you are at a healthy weight, it is beneficial to maintain that balance. If you are overweight, consider changing your diet, exercise or lifestyle to reduce strain on your joints.
4. Do regular strengthening exercises
All that pressure on your joints can cause a lot of wear and tear as you get older, without you even knowing it. Doing simple exercises like leg lifts, step-ups and wall sits can help strengthen your hips and your muscles, which will help stabilize your joints. Swimming, bike riding and yoga can be a great way to ease into low-impact exercise without placing too much strain on your body. Remember that even small changes persistently applied will make a big difference over time.
5. Wear comfortable shoes
The easiest change to make in your life to help avoid a hip or knee injury is to wear comfortable shoes. Strong, comfortable shoes help reduce the impact of your daily routine on your joints, which in turn reduces the risk of hip or knee injuries down the road. It’s a win win, both for your feet and for your future health.
For osteoarthritis diagnosis and care in South Carolina, consider visiting the experts at Carolina Orthopedics.
Carolina Orthopedics provides high quality orthopedic services and care to the Aiken and CSRA communities. Carolina Orthopedics offers accessible, affordable orthopedic care to provide diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation services, including sports medicine, reconstructive surgery and total joint replacement. They accept all insurance programs.