10 Things You Do Everyday that Damage Your Knees – Part 2

Yes, things that you do EVERYDAY can damage your knees.

In Part 1 of the article, we looked at 5 things that could be damaging your knees RIGHT NOW.

BUT… we’re NOT done yet. Oh no – there’s more!

Indeed, there are other things that can damage your knees as well. In continuation from Part 1, this is Part 2, which looks at 5 more things you could be doing everyday 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 [1]. Also, there are reports indicating an increase in the number of boomers who are seeking replacements of their knees earlier in their lifetime. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that in recent years, the number of knee replacements rose by 30% [2].

knee replacement

So yes, KNEES are IMPORTANT and we have to start taking care of our knees now. In Part 1, I shared 5 things that you may currently be doing everyday that are damaging your knees. These 5 things are inactivity, high blood sugar, being over-weight, wearing the wrong shoes and smoking. NOW… there are 5 more things that you may also be doing that damage your knees. Let’s look at these other 5 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, there are other foods that are not as “nice”. Inflammatory foods are part of this not-so-nice group. Fatty foods, for instance, that simply have high calories but little nutritional value are examples of such inflammatory foods. However, foods that are 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!

funnel cake inflammatory food

#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 just NOT be such a great idea (especially for prolonged periods of time). When sitting 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. Being seated and then placing one leg over the other can create tight spots in the muscles and over time, this can begin to cause soreness and pain. There is also an increase in blood pressure if you cross your knees while sitting [3]. It’s best to keep blood pressure at normal levels for a healthy lifestyle.

crossed legs knee pain

#8 – Exercise.

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 over-do exercise activities. DO NOT put your knees at risk by doing no exercise or by 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 previous 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 begin to notice increased AGILITY, FLEXIBILITY and STRENGTH, especially around your joints!

#9 – Not Paying Attention to Pain.

This may be a weird reason for damaging your knees. However, this unfortunately happens more frequently than we care to ADMIT! Are you quick to dismiss that twinge, spasm or pain you are feeling in your knee or in your joints? Sometimes, it may be something that quickly disappears in a short time.

However, at other times, these instances of PAIN could be a sign or symptom of something much more serious. Sometimes, PAIN at the knee happens immediately after some activity, and this is a clear sign that the knee needs to REST! Pain can get worse and increase in intensity when the stimulus generating the pain remains present [4]. 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.

exercises for knees

#10 – Stress. Oh STRESS!

We know that TOO MUCH STRESS in our lives can be quite detrimental to healthy living and to our quality of life. Likewise, STRESS on our knees is NOT GOOD!! Stress on the knees can occur in various forms. BUT, what does stress do to the knees EXACTLY?

If your knees are stressed, for WHATEVER reason, the knees will not perform as they should. In many ways, all the other 9 things that have been mentioned, are in some ways related to stress. The knees can also act like a shock absorber, and 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 [5]. STRESS the knees and you CAN cause damage. Illnesses and inflammation could also lead to stress in various parts of the body. Prolonged sports or other activities involving the knees and actions like excessive rotation can cause problems as well.

Yes, there is A LOT to talk about with regards to 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 [6]. Seek exercises that are knee-friendly and you could 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 doing in terms of damaging your knees could be all that 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 are having, 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 pain you are having. Doing these 10 things could damage your knees. BUT you can TAKE CONTROL NOW!

Take care,

Rick Kaselj, MSc

For your guide to eliminate your knee pain, check out Knee Pain Solved, here!

Knee Pain Solved

[1] Adding Up How Many Americans Are Living with Hip and Knee Implants
[2] 8 Key Facts About Knee Replacement Surgery
[3] The Effect of Crossing Legs on Blood Pressure
[4] Why Pain Gets Worse:  The Mechanism of Heat Hyperalgesia
[5] Preliminary Analysis of Knee Stress in Full Extension Landing
[6] Fix My Knee Pain