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Bone, Muscle, and Joint Problems

Knee Problems

Prevention - Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

The knee is a vulnerable joint. It is basically just 2 long leg bones held together with ligaments and muscles. Problems develop when you put too much stress on the joint. The following are the 3 most common knee problems:


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  • The best way to prevent knee problems is to strengthen and stretch the leg muscles, especially those in the front and back of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings). See Stretching exercises. Shaded areas show where stretches are felt..

  • Avoid deep knee bends.

  • Avoid running downhill unless you are fully conditioned.

    Knee problems can develop when the structures that support the joint are injured or become inflamed.

  • Avoid wearing shoes with cleats when playing contact sports.

  • Wear shoes with good arch supports. Replace running shoes every 480 to 800 km (300 to 500 mi).

  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes.

  • Also see Bursitis and Tendinitis on See Bursitis and Tendinitis.

Home Treatment

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When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If the knee "gives out."

  • If you felt or heard a "pop" in your knee.

  • If the knee begins to swell within 60 minutes of an injury.

  • If you have signs of damage to the nerves or blood vessels, such as numbness, tingling, a "pins-and-needles" sensation below the injury, or pale or bluish skin.

  • If the knee looks deformed.

  • If the knee won't bear weight.

  • If you are unable to straighten or bend the knee, or if the joint "locks."

  • If the knee is red, hot, swollen, or painful to touch.

  • If pain is severe enough that you are limping, or if it does not improve within 2 days.


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