5 Common Habits That Quietly Damage Your Knees

5 Common Habits That Quietly Damage Your Knees

Knee injuries are a burdensome misfortune. They can turn a normal routine on its head and change a life forever with a simple twist or pull of the muscle. Even the strongest athletes in the entire world live in mortal fear of them.

An injury to the knee could be the result of intense physical activity or a simple bad step during a casual daily routine. In this article I will describe 5 little known habits that can damage your knees that you should stop right now.

The damage causes by these habits come in many different shapes and forms, whether a fracture, dislocation, tear or sprain.

Considering the amount of work demanded of the knee cap constantly bending to move around our body weight every single day, it’s not much of a surprise to hear that more than 10 million annual doctor visits are a direct result of knee injury [1].

Keeping mindful of joint health is important, especially in the knee where a complex system of vulnerable components is open to slight disasters. The following habits are some lesser-known contributors to knee injury, and dropping them from your routine might ensure a longer, happier and healthier future of movement in the knee.

1. Too Much Weight

Remind yourself how hard your knees have to work on an everyday basis. They are constantly bending to suit your movement, probably accumulating thousands of contractions without the slightest recognition. This is where a healthy body mass index comes into play.

Allowing your BMI (body mass index) to rise to unhealthy levels puts a lot of extra pressure on your knees. Every single pound of weight that you gain translates to an additional 3 pounds of pressure taxing your kneecaps when you are standing upright. Obesity is commonly linked to knee problems, as people that are overweight put a lot of extra stress on their knees without knowing it. It also has been linked to osteoarthritis, which is a condition that makes your knee cartilage break down faster and increases the likelihood of injury.

Strive for a healthier BMI level to take pressure off of your knees and reduce your injury potential. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health recently found that people could reduce their osteoarthritis risk by up to 50 percent by dropping more than 10 pounds. For an average 5 foot 9 inch person, the healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9 [2].

To work out your BMI:

  • divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in metres (m)
  • then divide the answer by your height again to get your BMI

If you are overweight or you just want to drop a few pounds then I have great advice and tips for you:

2. Inadequate Exercise

Exercise is kind of a double-edged sword when it comes to knee health. On one hand, it can be the culprit behind knee issues. On the other, you need it to make your knees stronger and less prone to injury.

The knee relies on muscles to function without stress, so in the end a proper exercise routine is preferable to no exercise whatsoever. If you are barely out and about, start slow and try to adapt a consistent activity routine.

Knowing how to exercise can eliminate the danger that comes from intense physical exertion. First and foremost, you need to stretch. Muscles are kind of like a springs that need to be loosened up before they bounce, or else they might snap. Try to choose an exercise that is associated with low knee impact. Walking, biking, swimming, yoga and weight lifting are all relatively low impact movements that can build knee muscle. Remember that running does put a lot of stress on the knees at long distance.

3. Shoe Importance

Sure, those high-heels might look great on a Saturday night, but they also set your balance of weight off and frequently cause knee pain [3]. Your shoes are just as important as physical activity when it comes to knee health. Find a shoe that fits you comfortably and look for orthopedic options that are designed to distribute weight evenly and reduce stress.

I am not saying you have to ditch the fashionable appeal of fancy shoes, but use them in moderation instead of every day, your legs and knees will thank you. Studies have shown that high-heels are the biggest risk factor for foot and knee injury in women. Runners should also choose their shoes carefully. Running with the right design of shoe depends on your foot shape and size, which a doctor or knowledgeable runner can usually help determine.

4. Posture

It’s the age-old beckoning by mothers worldwide. “Straighten yourself up, your posture is terrible!” It actually has some medical merit as well. Posture plays a huge role in how your health develops over time.

There are plenty of health benefits that result from practicing good posture. As you move around throughout the day, you want the weight you carry to be evenly distributed between your two legs. Bad posture is often characterized by bending your knees, slumping your back, loosening abdominal muscles, allowing your head to be off-center or shifting weight from foot to foot.

I have written at the past about the best exercise to improve your posture  and about 13 exercises to strengthen your back  – these exercise will help you to strengthen your back and will defiantly improve your posture!

5. Joint and Muscle Overuse

As I mentioned above, physical activity is good for the knees, but too much of it in the same manner is bad. If you do the same, knee-taxing activity from day to day, your knees suffer a substantial amount of stress with little room to repair. Add some variety to your physical routine to make sure you aren’t stressing only one angle of the knee consistently.

Most importantly, you should pay close attention to how your knee feels. If there is a pain that develops, you should take immediate action. Knee injuries worsen over time; so early detection and treatment can be the difference between healthy and decrepit knees. Rest, ice, elevation and compression are recommended for any sudden or prolonged knee pain, as well as medical attention if the problem persists.

If you develop a knee injury you can use essential oils to relieve pain or you can also eat certain foods to reduce inflammation or prepare anti inflammatory ginger turmeric tea and you can even make your own cayenne warming oil for joint and muscle pain relief.

Read my other related articles:
1. How To Use Sesame Seeds For Knee Osteoarthritis
2. How To Use Turmeric For Knee Osteoarthritis
3. Hyperextended Knee: Causes, Treatments & Prevention

Getting rid of unhealthy habits and developing healthier habits is your first action to improve your health, and is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health.

Healthy and Natural World