sb10061547eh-001Knee injuries are very common. With an assortment of reasons, including abrupt injury from sports or a fall, or conditions that develop over time (like arthritis), discomfort in your knees means walking, exercise or just getting out of a chair can be difficult.  Though not every source of knee pain can be prevented, there are a few precautions you can take to help your knees stay sturdy and support you for many years to come.

Regulate your weight. Your knees are a weight-bearing joint. This means they work to support your body pressing down on them from above, and if you are heavy, that can put a big strain on your knees, adding to your chance of developing arthritis.

Warm up before you exercise.  Warming up the muscles of the legs helps avoid stress on the knees as the body begins to move. Warming up should include stretching of the muscles at the front and back of your thigh, and make sure to start your exercise routine slowly at first and increase your intensity over a few minutes. Working out pumps more lubrication into your joints and (double your relief) releases more water into your lubricating fluid so it spreads over the cartilage surfaces more easily. Regularly moving your joints through their full range first thing in the morning) covers the cartilage nooks and crannies with fluid.

Wear good shoes that fit well. Did you know that your feet play a role in the health of your knees? Properly fitted shoes help align the foot, ankle and knee for proper movement, and can help avoid injury.

Don’t stop moving.  Whenever possible, try to keep moving. Even if you aren’t able to run, take a walk around the block or just try moving your knees while at the office or while watching television. Lack of use can cause a big decline in the functionality of your knee, which may be tough to regain.