Have you ever experienced knee pain?
The kind that slows you down in life, bothers when you walk up and down the stairs, hurts every time you bend down, aches when you sit, and just generally leaves you feeling frustrated wondering when it’s finally going to wear off…
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Painful knees are one of the most common things we see people living with at Berman Physical Therapy. A lot of people get frustrated because they don’t understand WHY it’s happening to them.
Some people think knee pain is just a part of ‘getting old’, because a friend or close family member told them it happens to everyone.
Some people think knee pain is one of those things that comes and goes, hoping it’ll 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.
Maybe these habits are making your knee pain worse too?
Here’s 3 of the most common bad habits we see people doing…
1) Wearing the Wrong Shoes
I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, your favorite pair of heels, or dress shoes, could be causing your knee pain (and making it worse).
High heels change the way you walk, as do other types of dress 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 about high heels, you don’t have to give them up altogether, save them for special occasions instead.
2) Sitting with Your Legs Bent
There’s so much “gossip” that surrounds knee pain, but the fact is… 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 a position that is not natural, a position 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.
3) 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 laying on the sofa watching your favorite TV series back to back all day long. It means not doing taking too much time resting.
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 cycle – all of these exercises are great for fitness and 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 do exercises which have been tailored for you and your knee pain. This can be accomplished by a physical therapist who can help tailor treatment specifically to your needs.
These are the fundamentals. If you apply them daily, you’ll feel a huge difference.