Have you ever experienced knee pain? The kind that slows you down, hurts every time you walk up and down the stairs or whenever you sit. Maybe it just generally leaves you feeling frustrated wondering when it’s finally going to go away.
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Painful knees are one of the most common things we see people living with
here at Actify PT. And a lot of people get frustrated because they don’t understand WHY it’s happening to them. Some people think it’s just a repetitive stress injury, just part of being an athlete, thinking knee pain is one of those things that just comes and goes, and it will magically disappear one day when they wake up (but it ends up staying longer and sometimes gets worse).
The sudden onset of knee pain can be confusing. Sometimes it happens because of a nasty fall or a movement you did that set it off. But more often than not we see people suffering with knee pain because of everyday habits we do without even realizing.
Here are 3 of the most common bad habits we see people doing:
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
It’s sad but true: you’re favorite pair of heels, or smart suit shoes, could be causing your knee pain (and making it worse). High heels change the way you walk, as do smart suit shoes that are too tight, placing additional stress on your knees.
To combat this, wear shoes with cushioning. Shoes with good cushioning can absorb the impact of your foot hitting the ground, preventing the shock from getting to your knees. Specialized inserts (like orthotics) are perfect for offering more comfort and protecting your knees. And you don’t have to give up high heels altogether! Just save them for special occasions instead.
Sitting with Your Legs Bent
There’s so much gossip that surrounds knee pain, but this is fact: you and I were not designed to sit. It goes against every basic fundamental rule of the way we originally evolved as humans. When you sit at a desk, or in a chair with your knees bent underneath, you’re stretching ligaments and muscles and placing your knee in an unnatural position – a position that knees really aren’t built to be in for too long. Limit the amount of time you sit with your knees bent, and keep them out straight for as long as possible – and keep them moving too.
Taking it Easy (A Little Too Easy)
A lot of people we see think rest is the solution to getting rid of knee pain. But when you’re told to rest, rest doesn’t mean lying on the sofa binge watching Netflix all day long. It means not doing too much. I’m not saying rest isn’t important – it is! The problem with too much rest is that it makes your joints tight and stiff. Try to do low-impact exercises that don’t put too much strain on your knees. You could go swimming, enjoy a light walk, yoga, go for a bike ride – all of these exercises are great for fitness or for your knees.
Are you doing any of these three things?
If your answer is yes, putting an end to these three habits today will help ease your knee pain, and stop it from getting any worse than it needs to be.
There’s obviously so much more you can do too – like exercises which have been tailored for you, and your knee pain, by a physical therapist, and get hands on, specialized treatment.
But these are the fundamentals. If you apply them daily, you’ll feel a huge difference.