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Knee Injuries and Prevention




The knees are a common injury for people of every age, gender and race. Some knee injuries include strains, sprains and ligament tears. These injuries may require bracing and physiotherapy; others may require surgery in order to repair the damage.



  • A knee sprain occurs when ligaments of the knee stretch or tear. The ligaments of your knee connect your thigh bone to your lower leg bones. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon in your knee is torn or stretched. The tendons connect the muscles to the bone. The most common causes of injuries to the knees are

  • Sports – especially contact sports like hockey and football

  • Lack of flexibility

  • Overuse

  • General muscle weakness or muscle weakness on one side of the body

There are several things we can do to prevent injuries to these much-needed joints.

  • Build up to intense exercise gradually

  • Replace old shoes every year or more often if you are an avid runner

  • Stretch daily – establishing a daily gentle yoga program is fantastic for this

  • Strengthen all muscles of the legs evenly

  • Rest and ice your knees if they hurt

We can help prevent injuries to our knee joints by doing simple stretches and strengthening exercises.


SINGLE-LEG STRENGTHENING

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and your hands stretched out to either side for balance.

  2. Slowly lift one foot off the floor.

  3. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat 2x on either side.

HEEL RAISES

  1. Holding onto a handrail on the stairs, let your heels hang off the step.

  2. Lift both heels up so you are balanced on the balls of your feet.

  3. Hold for 10 – 15 seconds.

  4. Repeat 2x.

CALF STRETCH

  1. Stand 2 feet away from a wall or chair.

  2. Step one foot approximately 1 foot to 1 ½ feet behind the other foot.

  3. Lean your torso forward, maintaining a straight back.

  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

  5. Repeat on the other side.

QUADRICEP STRETCH

  1. Holding onto the back of a chair with one hand, bend the opposite knee, bringing your foot towards your buttocks. Keep your knees parallel with each other.

  2. If you can, grab the foot of the lifted leg with your hand.

  3. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.

  4. Repeat 2x on each leg

BANANA POSE

  1. Lie flat on your back with your limbs stretched out straight.

  2. Clasp your hands together and move your hands and arms to the left. Without moving your hips, bring your legs to the left side as well so your body is curved like a banana.

  3. Rest in this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

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