The meniscus—or menisci, in the plural form—is a piece of cartilage that helps to provide stability to your knee joints and absorbs pressure and compression when you’re active. There are two menisci in each knee, and they can easily become stressed and eventually tear. Meniscus tears are painful and can interfere significantly with your mobility. If you think you have experienced a tear, see an orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment before the condition becomes worse. You can reduce the risk of problems with your menisci with these strategies.
Exercise Your Leg Muscles
Strong leg muscles support your knee joints and help to reduce the amount of pressure on your menisci. Make leg-strengthening exercises part of your usual fitness routine. Squats are extremely helpful in building the muscles that stabilize the knee joints. Exercises that work the hip abductors can also be useful, such as lunges performed with exercise bands for resistance.
Practice the Proper Form
If you play sports, using the proper form is essential for reducing the risk of injuries. Practice frequently to ensure the right form is like second nature to you, and be sure to wear the right shoes for your chosen sport in practice and in games. Always warm up before you’re active, so that your muscles are loose. Consider wearing a knee brace to keep your knee stable, particularly if knee injuries are common in your sport. Make cross training and rest part of staying in shape for your sport, so that you work different muscles and give your knees a break.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Your knees are under a tremendous amount of pressure every day. Being overweight increases that pressure and your risk of knee injuries. By maintaining a healthy weight, you will cut your chances of experiencing a meniscal tear as well as other causes of knee pain.
If you think you have experienced a meniscal tear, contact MK Orthopaedics to get care today. An orthopaedic doctor can help you recover from your knee pain in Joliet so you can resume your normal activities. To make an appointment, please call (815) 741-6900.