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How to prevent knee injuries

Firefighting is a job that requires you to be able to step up and down, squat and kneel frequently, which can pose potential problems for your knees. There are three keys you can focus on to prevent physical injuries:

  1. Stability: The ability to brace your core and stiffen your spine rapidly to maintain balance and protect your joints.
  2. Mobility: The ability for muscles to move freely unencumbered by scar tissue or trigger points.
  3. Flexibility: The ability for your musculoskeletal system to move through a normal range of motion.

A trigger point is described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. A tennis ball is an awesome tool to break up trigger points in the muscles. Simply place the tennis ball on the trigger point and hold pressure for 30 seconds.

Also, make sure you stretch your hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings sporadically throughout the day. Hold a stretch for 60 seconds, and stretching should be uncomfortable but not painful.

Read more about preventing knee pains from FR1 columnist Bryan Fass.

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