How Military Training Leads to Knee Injuries: What Veterans Need to Know

How Military Training Leads to Knee Injuries: What Veterans Need to Know

Posted On: May 21, 2024


Being fit is an advantage in the military. However, it increases the risk of knee injuries from training. This blog post discusses why this occurs. Reasons include repetitive stress, poor form, and pre-existing conditions. It also tells veterans how to prevent their knee injuries and how to perform at their best.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Why Does Military Training Lead to Knee Injuries?
    • Repetitive Stress
    • Improper Form
    • Pre-existing Conditions
    • Heavy Loads
    • Uneven Terrain
  • Pros and Cons of Military Training on Knees
  • Preventing Knee Injuries in Military Training
  • FAQs
  • Conclusion


People know that military training makes people stronger, more durable, and more resilient. But, the body will feel it most. The knees, in particular, may feel the pressure of the hard exercise. Many veterans miss training days and their combat fitness due to knee injuries. The injuries are among the most common musculoskeletal issues.

This blog explores the causes of knee injuries in military training. It offers suggestions on how veterans might protect their knees. To stay safe and ready for missions, veterans must know about dangers of knee replacement. They must take precautions.

Why Does Military Training Lead to Knee Injuries?

Knee injuries may occur during military training for many reasons:

1.    Repetitive Stress:

The knees take a beating when you run, ruck (walk with a heavy backpack), or jump. Tendonitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee) are examples of overuse ailments. They may develop from this continual strain.

2.    Improper Form:

Protecting the knees is essential when doing activities like squats, lunges, and jumping jacks. So, keep the right form. Injuries may occur when veterans do these exercises incorrectly. They put too much strain on their ligaments and joints.

3.    Pre-existing Conditions:

Veterans with knee issues, such as weak muscles, loose ligaments, or past injuries, are at a higher risk. They are at risk of suffering more harm when exercising.

4.    Heavy Loads:

The knees take a major beating when you're wearing heavy gear and a backpack. As a result, you may experience discomfort, instability, and even injury.

5.    Uneven Terrain:

Knee joint injuries are common in military training. It is due to uneven terrain, which increases the likelihood of twists and falls. It also makes landings harder.

Pros and Cons of Military Training on Knees




Strength and Stability

Strengthens leg muscles, improves joint stability

Repetitive stress can lead to overuse injuries


Improves cardiovascular health and stamina

Heavy loads can strain knees


Increases agility and coordination

Uneven terrain can cause falls and twists

Preventing Knee Injuries in Military Training

Here are some steps veterans can take to prevent knee injuries:

  • To make the muscles that support the knee joint stronger, you should work out frequently. These workouts should target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
  • Train with an emphasis on proper form. Pay close attention to how you squat, lunge, and jump as you do each exercise. If you need help, talk to your instructors or a physical therapist.
  • Before you exercise, be sure to do a full warm-up. It will increase blood flow and reduce muscle stiffness. After training, cool down to prevent overheating.
  • When your body tells you to take a break, do so. Don't force yourself to do things when it hurts. Experiencing pain indicates that there is an issue. Get medical help if the pain doesn't go away.
  • Wear the right footwear for your activity. It should have arch support and shock absorption. But don't compromise on style.
  • Training should progress in stages. The intensity and length of each stage should increase gradually. This way, the body can adjust.
  • Being overweight can strain the knees. So, it's important to stay at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight might reduce joint pain.
  • Stretching regularly may help you avoid strains and tears. It does this by increasing your flexibility and range of motion.


What are the signs of a knee injury?

Knee discomfort, swelling, stiffness, and instability are signs of an injury. Trouble bending or straightening counts too.

What should I do if I experience knee pain during training?

Stop immediately, ice, and elevate your leg.  Visit a doctor to diagnose and treat the injuries.

Can I still train with a knee injury?

It depends on the severity of the damage. Your doctor will tell you whether you can exercise. They will also suggest activities to prevent further damage.


Veterans must prepare for the physical demands. However, we must consider knee issues. Veterans may cut the risk of injury and perform at their best. They can do this with strength workouts. They can also do it with form coaching and listening to their bodies. Remember, healthy veterans are mission-ready.