What Causes Knee Injury?
The knee, the largest joint in the body, operates as a modified hinge joint, allowing for flexion, extension, and minor internal and external rotation. And the knee is very easy to get injured and develops osteoarthritis. Knee injuries can be caused by these common factors:
- Trauma: One of the most common causes of knee injuries is direct trauma or impact on the knee joint. This can occur during sports activities, falls, automobile accidents, or other incidents where force is applied to the knee, leading to injuries such as ligament tears, meniscus tears, or fractures.
- Overuse: Repetitive stress on the knee joint, often seen in athletes or individuals engaging in activities that involve repetitive movements such as running, jumping, or squatting, can lead to overuse injuries. Examples include patellar tendinitis (jumper's knee), iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, or stress fractures.
- Ligamentous laxity: Some individuals may naturally have looser ligaments in their knee joints, which can predispose them to ligament injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears or medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains, particularly during activities involving sudden changes in direction or pivoting.
- Age-related changes: As people age, the cartilage in the knee joint may wear down, increasing the risk of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis. This can make the knee joint more susceptible to injury and exacerbate existing injuries or conditions.
How to treat knee injuries?
If the knee gets injured, what to do to release the pain and get well? Treatment for knee injuries varies depending on the type and severity of the injury. Here are some general approaches to treating knee injuries:
- Surgical Intervention: In severe injuries, such as significant ligament tears or fractures, surgery may be required to mend the damaged structures and reinstate stability to the knee joint. After-surgery rehabilitation is crucial for recovering strength, mobility, and knee functionality.
- Rest: For some conditions, resting your knee can reduce the pain and prevent it from worsening. Allow the knee sufficient time to recover by refraining from sports activities that increase pain or aggravate the injury. Resting the knee can aid in decreasing inflammation and facilitating the healing process.
- Ice Application: Use ice packs on the affected knee for 15-20 minutes every few hours within the first 48 hours following the injury. Ice aids in alleviating pain and reducing swelling by narrowing blood vessels.
- Compression: Use a compression knee support brace to help control swelling and support the injured knee. Ensure that the compression knee support is not too tight to avoid restricting blood flow.
- Knee bracing or splinting: Depending on the type of injury, wearing a knee brace or splint may provide support and stability to the knee joint during activities.
What to do to protect knees during sport activities?
Protecting the knee during sports is very important for preventing injuries and maintaining long-term joint health.
- Warm-Up: This helps increase blood flow to the muscles and ligaments around the knee, making them more flexible and reducing the risk of injury.
- Maintaining Proper Posture: Adopting and preserving good posture, while also avoiding abrupt, jerky movements that may strain the knee joint.
- Well protection: Depending on the sport, it's advisable to contemplate employing knee support pads, knee braces, or knee sleeves to offer extra support and protection to the knee joint.
- Gradual Progression: Avoid sudden increases in training intensity or duration, as this can overload the knee joint and increase the risk of injury.
- Rest and Recovery: Ensure sufficient rest and recovery time between training sessions to allow your knees ample time to recuperate from the rigors of physical activity. Adequate rest aids in averting overuse injuries and facilitates tissue repair.
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