The knee is a complex joint that joins two largest bones in our body. They deal with a lot each day, subjected to forces throughout activities such as running, jumping, walking, jogging and more. Women are at a greater risk of knee injury due to monthly hormonal fluctuations and difference in anatomy.
Knees often suffer when people are working, too. Jobs such as carpentry, floor installation, bricklaying, and housekeeping require a lot of kneeling, lifting, standing and climbing stairs, which leaves you with a high risk of damaging your knees. A knee injury can be a long-term health problem; if the injury happens at work, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney such as those at Brooker Law to help get appropriate compensation.
Knees are the most commonly injured joint, no matter your profession. Here are some tips to take care of them.
Maintain a healthy weight
Knees support a lot of your body weight, and excess weight can put more pressure on them. Since knees are used in everyday activities, the excess weight will affect them throughout the day. Just walking can put pressure equivalent to five times your bodyweight on your knees. Extra weight can also trigger or accelerate deterioration of joints. So, it is important to maintain a healthy weight that does not force your knees to cope with additional pressure. Along with helping the knees, a healthy weight will also prevent you from suffering from other health risks related to being overweight or obese.
Leg strength and stretching
Hamstrings in the back of the thighs and quadriceps in the front of the thighs function as shock and impact absorbing muscles. In order to reduce the pressure on the knees and protect the joint surfaces, it is important to keep these muscles strong and flexible. When working on building your muscles, make sure that you pay attention to all of them and not just one group. Hip abductors and adductors are also muscles that should be paid attention to.
Stretching will help with mobility. It fights stiffness and prevents wear and tear in the cartilage as the movement of joints provides the cartilage joint fluid. It’s important to be aware of your own limitations when stretching as overdoing can negate the benefits.
Proper footwear and safety equipment
Wearing the proper footwear is necessary to avoid future knee problems. It is especially crucial to wear shoes with the right cushioning and fit when performing athletic activities as these activities exert a lot of load on knees. If you’re going to stand for a long time, cushioned shoes or gel inserts are recommended to reduce the strain.
If your work puts immense pressure on your knees, wear proper safety equipment such as knee pads to lower the impact and reduce wear and tear.
It is widely known that maintaining a good posture is important. Good posture has a number of benefits including prevention of joint pain. Bad posture is when you slouch while standing or hunch over your desk, among other things. Poor posture misaligns your spine which puts stress on all your joints, including your knees, as your bodyweight is not evenly distributed. A good posture is when your shoulders are even, your chin is parallel to the floor, back is not flexed or arched and your neck is straight. You should be aware of how you’re sitting and follow these tips for a better posture if you’re working from home and your work includes sitting at a desk for long hours. Prevention of back pain is an added benefit of perfecting your posture.
Careful heavy lifting
People don’t usually think of their joints when lifting heavy objects or other weights. Sometimes people even lift and carry things that are beyond their own capacity. This can lead to the erosion of cartilage in the knees. While lifting weights is not always risky, lifting them wrong can lead to long-term damage, especially if your work involves a lot of heavy weight lifting. Ensure that you don’t twist your knees or body when lifting and ask for help if you’re lifting an item that seems too heavy for you. Best way to lift weights is to bend your knees, squat down and then straighten your legs after picking up the load.
Start slow, warm up and rest
It is important to stretch and warm up before starting with your workout or work which requires constant use of knees. Warming up will reduce the tension on tendons and prevent sudden impact on your knees. If you’re new to working out, you should start slow.
While exercising and stretching are important, it is just as important to know when to take a break. Pay attention to your knees when running, cycling, going up and down or partaking in other work and exercises. If there is a hint of strain, stop and rest.
Consult your healthcare provider
If your knees start hurting, either due to injury or age, don’t ignore it. There are ways to relieve the pain and you should consult your healthcare provider to help. Checking in with your healthcare provider will also let you know if you have developed arthritis or if you have a knee injury, which can be treated with medicine and care.
If you’re prescribed physical therapy, ensure that you follow the routine. Therapy for knee injury or pain can take weeks or months to show results, so it is important that you stay patient.
Knee injuries can result in long-term inconvenience. Every day tasks can become difficult and therapy might be needed over time. If your knees are already in pain, there are several natural remedies available. Basic everyday habits such as eating healthy and sleeping seven to eight hours every night will also contribute to better knees, along with improving your overall well-being. Aging does deteriorate the condition of knees, but you can slow the process down and prevent knee damage by starting to take care of them now.