Your knees are among the most complex and important joints in your body. They support 80% of your weight when you stand and absorb an impact force that’s one-and-a-half times your weight when you walk. If you run, they absorb even more. And, if you’re overweight or obese, your knees do even more work each and every day.
Regardless of why your knee is hurting, you only know the pain that slows you down and makes routine tasks more difficult – and sometimes impossible. Knee pain can also take you out of activities you love.
The right therapy, offered by Elevate Medical in Littleton, Colorado, can help. But, your lifestyle habits also help heal, and sometimes worsen, your knee pain. Become aware of the habits that make knee pain worse and how you can reverse these harmful patterns to experience relief.
1. You sit much of the day
Inactivity can be your worst enemy when it comes to chronic knee pain. Sitting too much promotes joint inflammation, decreases joint lubrication, and causes the muscles and connective tissues that surround, support, and stabilize the joint to weaken.
Movement doesn’t have to be complicated. Walk two to three times per day for just 10 minutes at a time. Choose a low-impact activity, such as cycling or yoga if you prefer.
2. You’re carrying extra pounds
If you’re overweight or obese, you substantially increase the amount of pressure on your knees, which exacerbates knee pain. Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and gives your knee healthy lubrication, eases chronic inflammation, alleviates pain, increases joint range of motion, increases mobility, and prevents unintended weight gain.
3. Your workout doesn’t have a balanced approach
A balanced fitness plan supports healthy, pain-free knees. Kudos to you for exercising, but if you always run or hit a cycling class, you’re missing other dimensions of fitness. Vary your routine by running on different terrain, hitting a yoga class a few times per week, and by adding strength training. Use a different mode of cardio sometimes, too. Low-impact options such as swimming or walking can help alleviate pressure on your knee while keeping you fit.
4. Your form is off
Proper form and technique during movement are also crucial to protecting your knees. Having proper form means you understand what good posture and alignment feel like. Moreover, demonstrating proper technique means you know how to perform an exercise safely and correctly.
If you’re a runner, seek guidance on how to land each step. Cyclists benefit from learning where to position your feet over the pedals and how to engage the quads and hamstrings during each stroke.
5. You’re wearing inappropriate shoes
Your shoes have a major impact on knee health. Tight, unsupportive, uncomfortable, or worn-out shoes can contribute to knee pain.
Why? Your feet, ankles, knees, and hips form a powerful kinetic chain that shapes and directs the way your body moves. Wearing shoes that don’t offer optimal support can give rise to the kind of poor biomechanics that cause knee problems. You need the right shoes whether you’re running, hiking, or just on your feet each and every day.
Ditch the flip-flops, clogs, and high heels, and opt for comfortable, supportive shoes as
often as possible. If you’re active, make sure your shoes fit your chosen sport. Some athletic shoes are designed for stability, while others provide more neutral support. Ask an expert to help you find the shoe that best fits your foot and your preferred activity.
To learn more about the ways you can keep your knees healthy, strong, and pain-free today and every day for years to come, call Elevate Medical, or use the convenient online tool to book your appointment.