Knee injuries can be a serious problem for people involved in sports whether that involvement is for pleasure or their professional living. Furthermore, knees can be put at a great risk of injury in both individual and team sports though for different reasons. In team sports such as hockey players should consider protecting their knees from damage besides taking steps to prevent injury. The same holds true for anyone taking part in extreme sports.
Warm up and warm down
Whatever sports people are involved in they should always warm up and warm down properly. Joints, ligaments, and muscles are more prone to damage or injury without doing so. Cold bodies are more susceptible to muscle strains besides ligament damage. Before been warmed up it is best to avoid running at full speed or indeed turning too quickly.
Changing direction whilst moving at full speed is riskier without adequate warming up, with the potential to sprain/twist knees. Sprained knees can keep people out of their sport just as long as an impact injury or a bone fracture.
Warming down is sometimes left out once people have finished their or taking part in an event but it should always be done.
Get protection, get padded up
As joints knees are quite simply prone to getting damaged particularly when taking part in contact sports, or those with hard balls or similar objects it is wise to protect them. For instance, if knees are hit by a hockey ball or an ice hockey puck then there could be badly damaged, resulting in potentially serious injuries.
In sports that use equipment that causes these type of injuries, those who take part have usually developed protective gear or pads. Such pads are designed to protect the body parts, which they cover. In cricket and hockey, the knee pads tend to be part of the leg guards that go from the ankle to the knee or just above it.
In the past, such padding could be bulky and cumbersome yet modern materials are lighter and just as strong, which many players find better.
The overall concept of knee pads is basically the same, with the design and the materials used to make the pads varying according to the activity or sports people are taking part in. Sometimes the design and specifications of pads will change to provide greater protection or to reflect changes in how events and sports are run.
Light or strong knee pads
Previously people had to choose between strong and heavier padding or lighter pads that allowed faster movement without the maximum levels of protection. Lighter pads made from the latest materials mean that there are much lower risks of knee injury whilst the performance level will be higher and at a greater tempo.
Some sports set out the minimum amount of padding needed before contests can begin, and these may be revised if injuries are not been prevented in all events.
The new types of padding are especially suitable for extreme sports like skateboarding and snowboarding. The pads can take a massive amount of punishment besides absorbing a great deal of shock. The absorbing of shock and impact is necessary to protect fragile knees. In extreme sports, the padding has to protect people from the impact of falling over or hitting things at high speed as opposed to the impact of a ball or puck.
Wear bandages or supports
Besides wearing knee pads people benefit from putting on bandages and knee supports when preventing injuries. Such bandages and supports can be particularly useful for those people who have had knee injuries in the past. Previous injuries can leave a greater risk of the same or similar injury in the future though wearing supports will counter that problem.
Knee supports should be considered essential for events like bodybuilding and also weight lifting as the knees have to bear considerable amounts of weight. Without support, knees would be more likely to give way, which could cause further injuries if the weights were dropped.
Finally, people should wear shoes that suit the sport they are involved in. Injuries can result from people slipping or not been able to turn properly. Artificial pitches such as astroturf may need different footwear to allow people to turn without getting stuck.