It’s quite common to sustain a knee injury if you’re a runner or recreational sportsperson. Injuring your knee can also be very frustrating, especially if it stops you from being able to go out and do what you enjoy.
Whether you’re an avid runner, a keen rugby player or you love nothing more than hitting the slopes during ski season, take a look over these tips from Bupa on how you can understand and fend off potential knee injuries.
Types of knee injuries
There are different types of knee injuries that are more common amongst fitness fanatics. Sometimes the cause can be pushing your body too hard, other times from using poor equipment. To try and prevent your risk of injury, it’s important to know what to look for and how to keep your muscles strong.
The areas of your knee most susceptible to injury include:
- The medial and lateral collateral ligaments
These are both found on either side of your knee joint and are used to limit the amount your knee can move from side to side. If your leg gets forced outwards, these ligaments can tear.
- The meniscus
A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, and can occur in sports if you twist your upper leg whilst your foot is flat on the floor.
- Cartilage damage
Playing sports can sometimes cause a piece of the knee cartilage to break off which can affect the movement in the joint.
‘Runner’s Knee’ is also often referred to as a common knee injury. This is a general term which is used to describe several different knee conditions, including:
- a fall or direct blow to the knee
- repeated strain
- muscle imbalance
- your kneecap being in the wrong position
If you suspect that you’ve damaged your knee through being active in any of the above ways, visit your GP for advice. They might refer you to see a physiotherapist, try self-help measures or further treatment, depending on the injury.
If you have to wait to see a doctor, why not try the PRICE method?
Over half of British adults say they’ve suffered from muscle, bone or joint pain at some point in their lives. Knee pain is particularly common but a shocking one in four people say they would wait at least a month before visiting their GP.
Don’t grin and bear it – if you’re worried, visit your doctor – the longer you leave it, the longer you’ll not be able to do what you enjoy.
If you’re active and you want to keep your knees strong, try these knee strengthening exercises.