Top 3 Most Knee Damaging Activities

Living an active lifestyle is great and the health benefits associated are undisputable. Exercising regularly is important to strengthen our muscles and better support our joints. Weak joints will increase the chances of misalignment for the bones, ligaments and tendons. However, it may also cause problems for your knee. Our knee has to bear the brunt of our body weight and activities such as running and jumping will cause a lot of compressive stresses on the knee and wearing out the cartilage. Although our knee is designed to take all these things thrown at it, it will give way eventually. There are some activities that are especially damaging towards the knee and let’s explore them further.

Activities are classified into 2 different groups, namely low-impact and high-impact. Low impact exercises as the name suggests does not cause much problems for the knee. They include yoga, swimming, cycling and walking. These activities ensure that the knee is properly supported even though it’s being used extensively. Another group is the high-impact group which includes jumping, running and weightlifting.


Jumping is a high-impact activity that places tremendous stresses on the knee whenever you land. Your body weight is amplified through jumping and landing awkwardly places even more stresses, leading to a weight of roughly twice your original weight. Activities that require jumping as core such as basketball should be avoided by people with bad knees.


Running is another high impact activity that is bad for knees. However, running methods and surfaces can be changed to allow a lesser impact on the knees. For example, striking the floor with your mid-foot is less damaging compared to a heel strike. Also, there is a push towards barefoot running which supposedly reduces injuries. The running surface can be changed to a softer one such as natural grass or stadium tracks. The soft surface can help to cushion and absorb some of the impact.


Weightlifting requires flexing of the knee joint and your knees not only have to bear your body weight, it now has to take both your body weight and the free weight into consideration. This places an absurd amount of stress on your knee and this is further intensified when you attempt to bend and stand up.  Not only does your knee get damaged, the surrounding tissues such as the tendons and ligaments can easily tear.

Knowing what are the activities that causes huge stresses on your knee is important so that you can make an informed decision on what to do and what not to do. You need a functional knee every day and you do not wish to be inconvenienced by a knee injury that you can easily avoid.


Common running injuries

Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that has good effects on the body. It helps to improve stamina and burn off calories to keep the body in a lean manner. It also increases the good cholesterol level in the body and boost our immune system. However, running is a high impact sport and it is not meant for everyone. Because of their high impact nature, they can cause injuries to the ankles, knees, hip and even the spine. To take advantage of running and not like running take advantage of you, you need to be aware of the common injuries due to running and how are they caused so that you can take the necessary precautions and not fall victim to them.

Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome or otherwise commonly known as runner’s knee is caused by the irritation of the knee cartilage at the kneecap. It contributes roughly 45% to the overall injuries caused by running. As the duration and intensity of your running increases, the pain will intensify. It is usually caused by using running shoes that are of inferior quality or not meant for running so that the supports are insufficient. The running surface also matters and an uneven one will increase the risk. Insufficient recovery period in between runs also contributes to runner’s knee.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a result of inflammation of the tissue located at the bottom of the foot which connects our heel bone to our toes. Runners who have tight achilles tendons are at a higher risk of suffering from this injury. Wearing running shoes with poor support, long distance runners and flat feet runners also have an increased risk. Runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis will have weak and swollen feet and will have difficulty walking around.

Shin splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome or commonly known as shin splints results in sharp pain in the shin area due to inflammation of the tibia. It is normally caused by strenuous activities such as tennis and running. The pain will occur on and off for activities such as tennis and they can also stay throughout the activity such as a long distance run and will eventually result in the runner stopping the run due to the excruciating pain. Running on uneven roads and improper footwear with insufficient support will increase the risk of shin splints.

Above are 3 common running injuries. If you have noticed, all are caused by running on uneven surfaces with improper footwear that provides inadequate support for the foot. If you are having existing problems, the best bet would be to run on a treadmill which provides a constant flat surface. If you wish to run in a natural environment, invest some money in a good pair of running shoes and your feet will thank you for that. After all, spending a hundred dollars on a pair of good running shoes is cheaper than having to spent thousands on your medical bills in the future.