Healthy knees are important to your well-being, but painful injuries like “runner’s knee,” ACL tears and tendonitis are all too common. In fact, women are more likely than men to suffer serious knee trouble. Read how the knee works, what can go wrong and how to prevent getting hurt. Plus, learn how to strengthen leg muscles and reduce pain with a knee workout…
Although they’re the largest joints in the body, your knees are also among the most vulnerable to injury. And women face a higher risk, especially if they’re active.
But if you take precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of painful or even debilitating damage.
“Knee injuries generally fall into two categories: macro traumas and overuse injuries,” says John Hurley, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Summit Medical Group in Morristown, N.J.
Macro trauma includes tearing of a tendon or cartilage, usually the result of turning and twisting during running or sports. A tear can also occur when you stop short with feet planted in one direction and the knee forced into a different direction.
An overuse injury, on the other hand, often occurs from asking too much of your knees without enough rest.
And while they’re not completely preventable, both kinds of injury can usually be avoided with proper care.
Anatomy of a Knee
To understand how these problems happen, it’s helpful to know what makes your knees work.