Posted on: 12 March 2015Share
The most common complaint from athletes is a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The ACL is one of the four major ligaments that holds the knee joint in place, and is located in the front or anterior of the knee. Injury to this area is most common in contact sports such as soccer, football or basketball. It can occur from direct impact, landing wrong from a jumping position, or a quick change in direction. While accidents happen, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent sports-related injury to your joints.
The human body is an intricate machine that is actually quite resilient. However, proper rest and diet is essential for your body's defenses to remain effective. When muscles are fatigued or malnourished, then injury is more likely to occur. A well-balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods will help your body ward off injury. A healthy diet will also help with proper weight management. Being overweight can add an enormous amount of stress on the joints, especially the knees.
The supplement, Glucosamine, is also believed to aid in joint health. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body that is a building block of cartilage. It can be taken as a supplement, and is believed to aid in both the protection and healing of damaged cartilage.
It is important to incorporate foods that are beneficial to joint health into your diet. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties aid in protecting your joints. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and nuts are a great option. A diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D will increase bone strength and further protect your joints.
Proper hydration is also extremely important to joint health; without it, joints are much more prone to injury. Fluid acts as a cushion to help protect your joints. Without proper water intake, your joints are more susceptible to injury. The Institute of Medicine suggests that women consume 72 ounces of water and men consume 100 ounces of water daily.
Adequate Stretching and Exercise
The most important way to protect yourself from injury is to make sure that you stretch your leg muscles properly prior to activity. You also can help prevent injury to your knee by strengthening the surrounding muscles.
It is important that you work on strengthening your quadriceps and hamstrings equally by performing exercises that challenge both the front and back leg muscles. If one set of leg muscles is stronger, then you may be setting yourself up for injury.
The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine suggests that an exercise program focusing on plyometrics, balance, and strength training can help prevent knee injuries. Plyometric exercises help athletes increase their speed and power, while teaching proper jumping and landing techniques. This can be very helpful in preventing injury due to improper landing.
Whether you are a professional athlete or just enjoy sports as a recreation, the last thing you want is to receive an injury that keeps you from living out your dream. If you take care of your body through proper nutrition and exercise, then you can protect your joints from unnecessary injury. To learn more, contact a company like Personal Foot Care, LLC with any questions you have.