Preventing Knee Injury in Active Children

by Parents for Health Team on September 12, 2011


Knee injuries are relatively common among young athletes, but some simple "pre-hab" exercises can help your children to avoid injury

The kids are back at school and many of them are returning to their sports clubs to begin training again.

Taking part in sport is a great way for kids to be active. They also learn valuable life lessons – discipline, leadership skills, motivation, and team spirit.

If your kids play sports regularly, it’s inevitable that they’re going to get the odd niggle. In particular, knee injuries are relatively common amongst active young people – but there are some simple ways that we can help prevent knee problems in our children.

We asked our resident expert, Dr David Cook, Sport Scientist at the Academy of Sport, London South Bank University for some advice on how to prevent knee injuries in our young athletes. As well as being a top Biomechanist, Dr Cook is also a highly experienced Taekwondo coach.

According to Dr Cook, it’s worth anticipating knee problems before they arise:

“If we encourage our kids to do the right “pre-hab” exercises, we can help them avoid injury and the associated rehab! “Pre-hab” simply means the process of strengthening up particular systems in the body to prevent injuries occurring”

Dr Cook has a simple tip for knee prehab:

    • When you brush your teeth in the morning stand on your left foot and raise your right leg slightly
    • Try to remain standing on your left foot till you have finished brushing your teeth
    • In the evening repeat the exercise standing on your right foot

As you get better try the next challenge – whilst standing on one foot, slightly bend and extend your supporting leg slowly as you brush your teeth. This will build up the strength in your knee and as an added bonus will improve your balance.

If you encourage your children to do their pre-hab whilst brushing their teeth, they’ll be less likely to forget. If your child takes part in sport why not get them to try this simple exercise?

Photo by: TravOC licensed under Creative Commons

If you have found this article useful please let us know – We’re hoping to do a series of articles on the prevention of injury during sport so watch this space for more tips from Dr. Cook!

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