Daily Habits To Avoid Joint and Ligament Injuries

The muscles, joints, and ligaments of the body are often subject to a great deal of wear and tear due to everyday use. When extensive exercise or heavy labor is added to this everyday use, the result is often even more damage. According to Outside Online, the most commonly reported injuries involve the ligaments and joints; however, with careful use, strength training, and proper stretching, these types of injuries can typically be avoided.

Typical Injuries

A ligament is the connective tissue that connects two bones together at a joint in the body, while a joint is simply the fitting together of two bones or parts of the skeletal framework. As such, these related bodily structures are particularly susceptible to common everyday injuries.

One of the most frequent joint and ligament injuries is a sprain, which is a fairly minor injury that results from the distending or tearing of the ligament itself. This type of injury is typically caused by a fall, unexpected rotation, or powerful blow to the joint.

Another injury that is fairly common is a strain. Unlike a sprain, a strain is not caused by a fall or impact but rather by the over extension or contraction of the muscle or tendon. More information on common joint and ligament injuries can be found via the Health Encyclopedia located at the University of Rochester Medical Center Online.

Habits to Help Avoid Injury

While these types of injuries are indeed common, a number of steps can be taken to help avoid them. Incorporating a few important habits into your daily routine is an effective way to protect your ligaments, joints, and even muscles.

1. Exercise regularly. Frequent exercise helps tone and strengthen the muscles that support your body and aid in movement. In addition, frequent exercise conditions the connective tissues in the body to maintain their elasticity and pliability.

2. Stretch daily. In addition to working out, taking a few minutes to stretch out daily is crucial to maintaining proper joint and ligament health. Light stretches that loosen the joints and ligaments help maintain the body’s flexibility and reduce your risk of injury.

3. Build your support muscles. Strengthening the muscles located directly around the major joints helps prevent injury from weak muscles or ligaments. Effective exercises to strengthen important joints like the knees and shoulders include lunges, squats, knee and calf raises, pushups, and lateral lifts.

4. Support your joints and muscles. Wearing the appropriate shoes throughout the day, and especially when working out, is important for supporting and maintaining overall muscle and skeletal health.

Knowing and listening to your body is crucial for preventing injury. These daily habits are an effective way to monitor your body and stay aware of your current limits.
Sources:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2842
http://www.uch.edu/conditions/bones-joints-muscle/injury-prevention/
http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/injury-prevention/The-14-Most-Common-Fitness-Injuries.html