BY CHIOMA OBINNA
Whether you are a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior, or totally laid-back when it comes to exercise, knowing how to protect your knees from damage can mean the difference between a fulfilling lifestyle and longterm, strained mobility.
Cruising on the track in the heat of a competition, 27-year-old Nike was not at all prepared for the realisation that her knee could sideline her from the competition for months, possibly years. Suddenly, Nike heard a crack and it felt like her knee bent sideways. The pain was so bad she just fell and crawled out of the field. Few minutes later, Nike tried to come back to the track, but it was not possible.
Nike had experienced some warning signs during her previous exercise programme but she ignored them. She had tremendous pain in her leg anytime she tried to squat down. As a result of this she always keep her right leg straight. But never bothered to see a doctor for it. she just assumed, that she is a sport person therefore the signs are bound to happen. When Nike visited her doctor, it was confirmed that she has developed a serious knee injury.
Statistics have shown that the joints have been blamed for sending about 18 million people to the doctor every year.
However, it is not just athletes who suffer knee problems, experts say it can happen to anyone. This is because they are the main hinge between the ground and the rest of the body. According to experts, the knees serve as your ‘wheels’ that get you around and allow you to be active and life can really go downhill when you damage your knees. Bound by an intricate system of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle, the knee is highly prone to injury. It is a complex hinge where the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), fibula (next to tibia) and kneecap all come together.
In the views of the spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and author of FrameWork – Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones and Joints, Nicholas DiNubile. “It is hard to find the right balance between mobility and stability; the knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, osteoarthritis can take hold, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees.