ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain. Specifically, about one-third of all Americans will experience knee pain at some point in their lives.

With every step, your knee feels a force of five to eight times your body weight. It’s the most taxed joint in the human body so it’s no wonder knee pain is common.

An ACL injury happens when you tear the anterior cruciate ligament which is required for pivoting and twisting movements.

Louis DeFrate, PhD, biomedical engineer at Duke University, said “there are over 400,000 ACL tears in the U.S. each year.”

More than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, which can affect the knee. The good news is you may be able to thwart an injury or lessen the pain.

“Perhaps working certain muscle groups to prevent the injury from happening,” DeFrate said.

Stationary biking is a good way to strengthen the muscles around your hips and knees. Try cycling for 20 to 30 minutes per session. Also aim to improve your flexibility. A foam-roller can help you stretch and release your muscles.

Protect your knees by wearing knee pads when necessary and maintain a healthy weight. Each pound of weight loss can reduce the load on the knee joint by four pounds. So losing just 10 pounds can mean 40 fewer pounds that your knees have to support.

Did you know babies don’t have kneecaps? They’re actually born with pieces of cartilage that will eventually become the bony kneecap. But it doesn’t turn from cartilage to bone until kids reach about two to six years of age.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Writer and Robert Walko, Editor.