5 Bad Habits That Could Be Worsening Your Knee Pain

You ask a lot of your knee joints, and they typically deliver without complaint — bending, extending, jumping, and bearing one-and-a-half times your body weight with every step. But if you move wrong, carry too much weight, or injure them, they rebel.

Here at Elite Physical Medicine, our team of specialists sees all kinds of knee problems, from acute injuries like sprains and strains to chronic conditions like arthritis and bursitis. We also see that many people exacerbate their knee problems without even realizing it. 

Here are some everyday habits, movements, and tendencies that may be making your knee pain even worse.

1. You’re not moving enough

Joints thrive on movement. As long as you avoid unnatural torque and stress, your knees do better the more you move, and it reduces pain. In fact, your whole body craves movement. 

A sedentary lifestyle causes your muscles to shorten and your joints to stiffen. We recommend setting an alarm to remind yourself to get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes to keep your knees lubricated and working smoothly.

2. You’re packing on the pounds

We already mentioned your knees feel the pressure of one-and-a-half times your body weight, which is an amazing feat. But that’s only the formula for your ideal body weight.

If you’re overweight, the math gets more serious: for every extra pound of weight you carry, your knees assume the burden of four times that number. So if you’re 50 pounds beyond what’s healthy, your poor knees are holding up 200 pounds, which means something’s got to give. It’s usually your cartilage that wears out first, so if you have arthritis, you’re likely making it much worse.

3. You’re wearing the wrong shoes

It’s obvious that shoes affect your feet and toes, but many people don’t realize they also impact your knees. Because your feet are the foundation for the rest of your body, anything but a solid base throws everything else off-kilter. And since your shoes are an extension of your feet, they influence your whole musculoskeletal structure.

For instance, high-heeled shoes force your body weight forward, and your knees experience extra stress as they work hard to keep you in balance. Flip flops give you no arch support, so your ankles pronate, and your knees follow suit. Choose the right shoes and you can prevent knee pain, or at least make sure you’re not worsening the pain you have. 

4. You cross your legs

We know, Miss Manners taught you to cross your legs. And while she may know the etiquette, she’s no medical expert. Crossing your legs puts a great deal of stress on your knee joints, and if you have knee problems, it’s better to keep both feet on the floor.

If it’s more comfortable to change your position now and then, we recommend using a small footstool or box instead of crossing your legs.

5. You’re exercising wrong

We mentioned that movement is good for your knees, and that’s true, as long as you’re doing it right. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so make sure you listen to your body and rest when you’re fatigued.

Likewise, repetitive motion can take a toll even on healthy knee joints, so switch up your routine. If you’re a runner, mix in a little swimming or cycling to give your knees a different task. This not only saves your joints, but it also helps strengthen other supporting muscles and ligaments around your joints.

What to do for knee pain

Just as motion maintains your knee, it can also regain your knee health. Depending on your specific knee condition, physical therapy gets your knees moving again so they can heal. Supervised activities keep your knees safe from further damage while increasing vital blood flow and promoting new cell growth so your tissues can regenerate. 

Our experienced chiropractors can help restore mobility to stiff and painful knees, helping you regain range of motion and reduce discomfort.

If it’s too painful to participate in physical therapy, we also offer several treatments that stop your pain and allow you to move forward with other therapies. For example, you may be a good candidate for a corticosteroid injection or a nerve block. 

Our pain management professionals also specialize in regenerative medicine, which can dramatically reduce your pain and speed up the healing process. When your condition calls for platelet-rich plasma (PRP), your damaged or diseased knee joint tissue can rebuild from within and regain function and integrity. 

To find out what’s causing your knee pain and how to treat it, contact us at either our Mason, Ohio, or Lawrenceburg, Indiana, office or book an appointment online today. 

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