Bad Habits That Could Be Contributing to Your Knee Pain

If you have knee pain, it may be hard to move. After all, your knees are necessary for walking. Are you wondering what caused your knees to start hurting in the first place? Is there something you can change to reduce the pain? Here are some common bad habits that can cause knee pain. 

Sedentary lifestyle

Did you know that sitting the same way for more than 20 minutes can lead to knee pain? Your hip flexors tighten up and become shorter, compressing your knee joints. Your hips and lower back become unstable, and knee pain can come as a result. 

If you work at your computer most of the day, set an alarm for every 20 or 30 minutes to get up and move around. Simply walk down the hall or stretch for a few minutes.

Crossing your legs 

Something as simple as crossing your legs can make your knee pain worse. It increases the pressure on your knee joints. Use a low footstool or bar that you can place your feet on when you’re working at a desk to help you remember not to cross your legs. 

Overeating and being overweight

Did you know that every extra pound overweight you are adds four pounds of additional pressure on the knees? Your knees support most of your body weight.  If you’re 50 pounds overweight, then you have 200 pounds of excess pressure on the knee joints. If your knees could talk, they’d be pleading with you to lessen the load.

Being overweight or obese is one of the leading factors in developing arthritis. The extra weight strains the cartilage in and around your knees so that it becomes fragile and can tear apart. Studies indicate that losing weight reduces your risk for arthritis. In short, losing weight means less knee pain. 

Exercise habits that overuse joints

Exercise is one of the most important habits that keeps your body healthy. But if you’re a lifelong runner whose knees hurt, it may be time to adjust your running habit. Running puts stress on your knee joints. Other repetitive physical activities—like football, basketball, and baseball—can also damage tendons and cartilage, leading to injuries and arthritis.  

After examining you, testing your strength and range of motion, seeing where you hurt, and reviewing tests such as X-rays, Dr. Dammel can tell you whether continuing to run or play competitive basketball is a good idea. If you’re still able to run, do it on trails or a track rather than pavement. 

If Dr. Dammel advises you that running or another sport is going to continue to cause you more pain, it’s time to develop new habits. To put less pressure on your knees, try swimming or cycling. Tai chi and gentle or senior yoga help improve flexibility.

Pay attention to your footwear 

If you’re a sun worshipper who spends all summer in flip flops, now’s the time to visit a good shoe store and try special sandals that support not only your feet but your knees. 

Wearing shoes with proper support is important for everyone, but especially so if you already have knee pain. Your body’s structure may be contributing to your knee pain; the right shoes can help minimize it. If you have flat feet, bowed legs, or uneven legs, your walking stride is thrown off and puts extra pressure on your knees. Dr. Dammel can recommend the type of athletic and other shoes you should be wearing to help ease your knee pain. 

If you love high heels but your knees are causing you pain, try switching to dressy loafers or other flat shoes. You may be pleasantly surprised. Wearing those heels places undue stress on your knee and may result in arthritis. 

Are you ready to experience relief from your knee pain? Call or book an appointment online with the Physical Medicine & Wellness Center of Northern Kentucky for help with your musculoskeletal pain. 

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