Yes, things that you do every day can damage your knees.
Part 1 of the article looked at five things that could damage your knees RIGHT NOW.
BUT… we’re NOT done yet. Oh no – there’s more!
Indeed, other things can damage your knees as well. In continuation of Part 1, this is Part 2, which looks at five more things you could be doing daily that are damaging your knees.
WHY are knees IMPORTANT?
One major reason is that we NEED our knees to walk and move. Over 4 million people living in the United States have had knee replacement surgery, and there are MORE people with knee replacements than with hip replacements . Also, reports indicate an increase in the number of boomers seeking replacements for their knees earlier in their lifetime. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that in recent years, knee replacements have risen by 30% .
So yes, KNEES are IMPORTANT, and we must start taking care of our knees now. In Part 1, I shared five things you may currently be doing daily that are damaging your knees. These five things are inactivity, high blood sugar, being overweight, wearing the wrong shoes, and smoking. NOW… there are five more things you may also be doing that damage your knees. Let’s look at these other five items that complete this list. Here are items #6 to #10.
6. Eating Inflammatory Foods.
Unfortunately, not all foods that we eat are ideal for the body. While certain foods are filled with nutrients and can positively impact the body, other foods are not as “nice.” Inflammatory foods are part of this not-so-nice group. Fatty foods, for instance, that have high calories but little nutritional value is examples of such inflammatory foods. However, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and some spices have been known to provide great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory properties CAN protect the tissues around the knees from inflammation. So, eat the RIGHT foods!
7. Crossing Legs While Sitting.
Improper posture is another thing that gets us in trouble, and while there are times when it’s just more comfortable to cross one’s legs while sitting, this may NOT be Tucknott idea (especially for prolonged periods). With your legs crossed, you’re putting a lot of strain on your knee joints. Your hamstrings can get tighter, also stressing the knee joints. Sitting and then placing one leg over the other can create tight spots in the muscles, and over time, this can cause soreness and pain. There is also an increase in blood pressure if you cross your knees while sitting . It’s best to keep blood pressure at normal for a healthy lifestyle.
This refers to the ABSENCE of exercise or doing TOO MUCH exercise.
You can damage your knees if you do not exercise. BEWARE, though… too much exercise could also cause damage to your knees. Hence, be careful not to overdo exercise activities. DO NOT put your knees at risk by doing no exercise or doing TOO MUCH exercise. You have to determine what an acceptable and healthy balance is. One way to do this is to start exercise routines gradually.
Do not rush to start a new exercise regimen. EASE yourself into activities that work muscles that may not have been previously stretched or exercised. Initially, such muscles, ligaments, tendons, and tissues may be tight and NOT TOO HAPPY about this sudden movement. Gradual exercise can help turn this around. With time and continual exercise, you may notice increased AGILITY, FLEXIBILITY, and STRENGTH, especially around your joints!
9. Not Paying Attention to Pain.
Are you quick to dismiss the cramp, spasm, or pain you feel in your knee or joints? This may be a weird reason for damaging your knees. Sometimes, it may be something that quickly disappears in a short time. However, this, unfortunately, happens more frequently than we care to ADMIT!
Sometimes, PAIN at the knee happens immediately after some activity, which is a clear sign that the knee needs to REST! However, at other times, these instances of PAIN could be a sign or symptom of something much more serious. Pain can get worse and increase in intensity when the stimulus generating the pain remains present . Hence, DO NOT OVER-DO IT! Pay attention to the pain AND the pain stimulus. If you feel pain, ensure that you STOP the source of the pain.
10. Stress. Oh, STRESS!
Stress on the knees can occur in various forms. We know that TOO MUCH STRESS in our lives can be detrimental to healthy living and our quality of life. Likewise, STRESS on our knees is NOT GOOD!! But, what does stress do to the knees EXACTLY?
In many ways, all the other nine things that have been mentioned are in some ways related to stress. If your knees are stressed, they will not perform as they should for WHATEVER reason. The knees can also act like a shock absorbers. Depending on our posture when we use our knees, such as in an extended-knee landing position, we could SEVERELY damage our knee cartilage and meniscus, which increases the risk of bone-to-bone contact around our knees . STRESS the knees, and you CAN cause damage. Illnesses and inflammation could also lead to stress in various body parts. Prolonged sports or other knee activities and actions like excessive rotation can cause problems.
Yes, there is A LOT to talk about damaging the knees. If you have developed knee pain already, don’t DESPAIR – there is hope. You could fix your knee pain by using various tactics to tackle the source of the pain . Seek knee-friendly exercises, and you can see your knees and other joints begin to THRIVE!
You can CHOOSE to be kind to your knees. Knowing what to do and, perhaps more importantly, what to AVOID do in terms of damaging your knees could be all YOU NEED to protect your knees from damage. You don’t want to go down the road of needing to recover from knee pain. Avoid stress to the knee joint! Be aware of any pain you have, especially pain that emerges after some activity. Eat the right foods. EXERCISE! But do NOT over-exert yourself. Avoid crossing your legs while sitting. Pay attention to the pain you are having. Doing these ten things could damage your knees. But you can TAKE CONTROL NOW!
Rick Kaselj, MSc
For your guide to eliminating knee pain, check out Knee Pain Solved here!
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