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Maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on the knee. Obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. Wear shoes that both fit properly and are in good condition. This will help maintain balance and leg alignment when walking or running. Knee problems can be caused by flat feet or overpronated feet (feet that roll inward). People can often reduce some of these problems by wearing special shoe inserts (orthotics). Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of exercise. Increase the force or duration of activity gradually. How Can People Prevent Knee Problems? Strengthen the leg muscles by doing specific exercises (for example, by walking up stairs or hills, or by riding a stationary bicycle). A supervised workout with weights is another way to strengthen the leg muscles that support the knee. Before exercising or participating in sports, warm up by walking or riding a stationary bicycle, then do stretches. Stretching the muscles in the front of the thigh (quadriceps) and back of the thigh (hamstrings) reduces tension on the tendons and relieves pressure on the knee during activity. How Can People Prevent Knee Problems? Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. www.niams.nih.gov