How do your knees feel?
Good? Not so good? Could be better? Hmmm… the knees are pretty important, you know.
Problems related to the knees can vary. However, there are a shattering number of people who suffer from knee pain. For example, data acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states nearly 1 in 2 people may suffer from knee pain associated with osteoarthritis by the age of 85 . WOW! Think about THAT for a moment.
The CDC also states that, for older people, total knee replacement is one of the most common orthopedic procedures . It’s interesting to note how we ignore parts of our body, only to suddenly realize how important these parts are when we damage them or begin to feel pain in that region.
If your knees hurt, you know that this is an awful situation. The joints can be a very challenging area to deal with too, especially with regards to injury, because we need our joints to MOVE!
When we damage our knees, LIFE as we know it could DRASTICALLY change.
Is this what you want?
NO, I’m sure such a plan for knee pain and discomfort is far, FAR AWAY from your thoughts. So, you need to know what to do to avoid damage to your knees. There could be things that you’re doing RIGHT NOW that are damaging your knees! NO, this is NO JOKE! Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies, hurting ourselves without realizing it. It’s time to STOP damaging our knees. Do you want to KNOW more? GREAT! Let’s discuss 10 things you may be doing everyday that damage your knees.
#1 – Inactivity
Let’s be real about this… the MORE INACTIVE you are, the MORE LIKELY you are to have BAD KNEES!
It’s like a vicious cycle. Do nothing, remain inactive and your knees won’t be able to do ANYTHING as well. Be ACTIVE and MOVE! You’ll then see that your knees are able to become stronger and MORE LIKELY to deliver the results you want. What are these results, you may wonder?
Well… you want to be able to walk, go to the store and bend your knees, right?
These BASIC results when we try to use our knees would be sad to lose. Thus, don’t damage your knees through inactivity. BE ACTIVE! EXERCISE!! Consistent exercise can help your knees . Exercise helps to loosen the joints and keep the muscles well-toned and ready to deliver results. If you’ve been quite sedentary, you CAN change this! However, high physical activity levels can be detrimental to your knees too . MODERATION is IMPORTANT! Talk with your doctor if needed and begin SOME form of moderate-level activity to help keep your knees in good shape.
#2 – High Blood Sugar.
There is NOTHING GOOD about high blood sugar. NOPE! Not one thing! On the contrary, BAD things come with HIGH blood sugar.
With high blood sugar, a person has an increased risk of getting additional wear and tear on the joints and in turn, ailments like osteoarthritis. Hence, KEEP your blood sugar within normal levels and if you are a person who is prone to getting high blood sugar, you should be very AWARE of this for the sake of your knees and other joints.
#3 – Being Overweight.
Perhaps you’ve planned to lose some weight for reasons that may be connected to simply living a healthier life. Yes, an ideal body weight can provide you with a healthy lifestyle but also minimize the STRESS of excessive weight on the joints, including such weight on the KNEES!
Hence, don’t become overweight. If you’re currently at your ideal weight – GREAT JOB! If you have some pounds to lose – you can GET THERE! If you are overweight, discover healthy ways to begin to lose the weight TODAY and this can help you stop damaging your knees.
Your joint cartilage buckles under excess weight and excess fat can create changes in the durability or strength of the surrounding cartilage. The extra pounds a person carries also adds up to multiple pounds of pressure on the knees and as much as 3 times for each excess pound when we walk or as much as 10 times for each excess pound when we run . That’s a lot of extra pounds of pressure our joints do NOT need!
#4 – Smoking.
We’ve all probably heard that smoking is bad for us in terms of the damage that smoking could do to our lungs. However, what is the correlation between SMOKING and DAMAGED KNEES you may wonder?!! Well… wonder no more. Smoking can present an increased loss of cartilage and the occurrence of pain that is more severe in men that have osteoarthritis . There could be different reasons for this, including the possibility of the body experiencing increased oxidation stress, tissues gaining increased carbon monoxide levels and the reduced chances of repairs to the cartilage. We know that smoking competes with the ability of the lungs to inhale proper amounts of oxygen. Oxygen is required to enable the body to function properly. This includes contributing to the proper functioning of the knees. So, BEFORE you pick up that cigarette, think kindly about your knees.
#5 – Wearing Improper Shoes. Also, be kind to your knees and wear the RIGHT shoes.
BUT… what are the RIGHT shoes?
A good question! The right shoes eliminate excess stress from being placed on your knees. NOW, do you have an idea of the kind of shoes you SHOULD stay away from? I BET YOU DO! We all know these shoes. Perhaps you don’t have any such shoes in your closet (and that’s a GOOD thing!), BUT I’m sure you’ve seen people wearing these shoes! You can almost identify these kind of shoes from a distance because the people wearing these shoes typically have less balance and distribute their body weight unevenly, thus adding too much stress on the knee joints. You could make sure that your main and most frequently worn shoes have a solid base and appropriate support for your weight.
It’s sad to know that you could actually be damaging your knees without knowing it. If you’re not helping your knees, this could COST you quite a bit at the end of the day or over prolonged periods of time. Inactivity creeps up and suddenly it becomes an unhealthy lifestyle. If you think smoking only hurts your lungs, think again about your knees. The shoes we wear, the weight we carry and our blood sugar levels are very important too. These first 5 things that you may be doing everyday to damage your knees are good to PAY ATTENTION to! In Part 2, we’ll discuss the other 5 things you need to avoid doing if you want to keep your KNEES happy!
Rick Kaselj, MS
 CDC: Arthritis-Related Statistics
 Rate of Total Knee Replacements for Persons Aged Greater or Equal to 65 Years
 Exercise Can Help Knee Pain if You Stick With It
 Is Physical Inactivity Associated with Musculoskeletal Disorders?
 Are You Killing Your Knees?
 Weird Finding: Smoking Causes Knee Pain