Knee injuries can occur when you experience a direct blow to your knee or due to overuse injuries from frequent twisting, jumping, and hard falls.
Some of the common knee injuries include a tear in knee ligaments, dislocated kneecap, knee fracture, tendonitis, bursitis, and tendon tear. Each of these injuries involves a different part of your knee.
It has been shown that the most common causes of knee injuries include sports and recreation, home structures, and home furnishings. The high incidence rate of knee injuries in men specifically has been attributed to playing sports such as football and basketball. Older adults who are 65 years and older also sustain the highest percentage of knee injuries due to fall injuries from steps, landings, and stairs
If you are a fitness buff, having a knee injury can take you several squares back on your workout journey. Don’t miss these expert fitness tips you can follow after a knee injury.
Ask your doctor and physical therapist first.
Don’t start any workout routine until you have consulted your doctor and physical therapist.
Depending on the severity of your knee injury, it may take several weeks or months before it fully heals. Your doctor can give you the clearance on what fitness activities you can perform, your limitations, and the intensity of workout you are allowed to do.
Don’t force yourself. Lower your workout intensity.
If you have just recovered from a knee injury, don’t force yourself to do the same intense workouts at once. Start slow. Lower your workout intensity or you might damage the tissues in your knees that are only starting to heal.
If you used to do a hundred squats, tone it down and maybe do 25. Or better yet, only do leg raises since squatting can put added strain and pressure on your recovering knee. Just remember, no matter what exercise you want to do, ask your doctor first.
Eat the right foods.
What you eat plays a role in your road to recovery. When you are recovering from a knee injury, it’s best to eat foods that are rich in calories, omega-3 fats, and protein.
You may think that eating high-calorie foods can get you fat since it contains carbohydrates. However, when you are recovering from an injury, your body consumes more energy than usual to aid the healing tissue. To keep your body fueled, you can include quinoa, peanut butter, avocados, nuts, mangoes, granola, whole grain bread, and bananas in your diet.
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 include salmon, mackerel, anchovies, oyster, flax seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. As for protein-rich foods, eggs, cheese, beans, lean beef, and pork tenderloin are a great choice.
Wear knee sleeves while working out.
Since you just had a knee injury, wearing knee sleeves is essential. Knee sleeves act like a compression bandage for your knees. They provide support and stabilization to your knees and help to alleviate pain and swelling.
Don’t forget your water and electrolytes.
Your muscles are composed of 70% water. When working out, you lose a lot of water from sweating and breathing. If you are dehydrated, your muscles and connective tissues lose elasticity, making them more prone to injuries and delaying the healing of your knee injury.
Electrolytes are also lost together with water. Having muscle cramps is the last thing you’d want to experience while recovering from a knee injury.
Commit to a realistic workout schedule.
Don’t try to be so hard on yourself and make up for the lost time. While you want to get back in shape fast, exercising from morning until evening won’t do you any help. It will only cause you further harm. Instead, try committing yourself to a realistic workout schedule. A 30-minute or a 1-hour exercise will do.
Up your workout intensity.
You may increase your workout intensity by 10 to 15 percent each week. However, you should still listen to your body’s cues. Overexertion should be avoided. Always remember that when you are in doubt, ask your workout specialist or physical therapist whether a particular workout routine is appropriate or not.
Getting back in shape after a knee injury might take some time. Anyone who previously suffered a knee injury needs special care. Following these tips can help you get back on track.