4 Ways You May be Making Your Knee Pain Worse

Knee Pain, STAR Ortho, Dr. Raj Sinha, Dr. Jacob Spencer, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, California

Is knee pain affecting your quality of life? Chronic pain does more than stop you from performing simple, everyday tasks.

An article published by Harvard Health Publishing goes in-depth about how often pain is associated with depression and anxiety. So if you’ve been feeling blue lately, your knee pain could be to blame.

At STAR Ortho, Dr. Raj Sinha, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, can help boost your quality of life by eliminating the cause of your knee pain. But lifestyle choices can also affect knee pain. To help you avoid the ways you may be making your knee pain worse, we put together this list of things to avoid.

1. Heavy exercise and sedentarism

Your workouts have to change. Exercising as you did before developing knee pain will only make it worse, but so will quitting exercise.

When not used enough, the muscles around your joints get weaker, which in turn makes your pain even worse. On the other hand, excessive exercise puts too much pressure on your knees.

So what can you do?

Avoid squats, lunges, deadlifts, and long-distance running.

Instead, focus on low-impact workouts such as walking and cycling on level ground. Yoga and tai chi are both popular among knee pain sufferers because they involve slow movements with very little chance of developing injuries. With this type of exercise, your muscles won’t weaken, and yet you won’t experience too much pressure on your joints.

Finally, contact a licensed physical therapist. They can help you develop a personalized workout routine to strengthen your muscles and prevent your knee pain from worsening.

2. Uncomfortable shoes

On special occasions, high heels and smart suit shoes are a must, but don’t make wearing them a habit, since these types of shoes put a lot of stress on your knees. Opt for comfortable shoes made with knee pain in mind.

Cushioned soles are a great way to lessen the amount of stress on your knees. You can find these for sale just about everywhere, but it’s best to speak with a physical therapist about the types of cushioned insoles and shoes that would work best for your needs.

3. Sitting with your knees bent

Sitting in a chair for hours at a time is far from advantageous to the human body because it usually involves bending the knees.

When you bend your knees for hours at a time, you put your knees under too much pressure.

So if you can’t avoid office work, invest in a leg rest or standing desk to reduce some of the pressure on your knees. Ideally, you should alternate between a standing desk and a regular desk, as standing for several hours in a row isn’t ideal either.

4. Carrying a few extra pounds

One of the biggest risk factors for developing knee pain is carrying extra weight. Being overweight or obese affects the knees in two ways:

When you’re heavier, your knees have to work more. At the same time, those extra pounds trigger inflammation. Not only is there more stress on your joints and knees, but you also have to deal with increased pain caused by inflammatory responses.

A study revealed that losing weight reduced pain associated with knee arthritis and lowered inflammation levels. So including more vegetables and lean meats in your diet while cutting calories is definitely worth a try.

When lifestyle changes aren’t enough to fight the pain

In some cases, you need more than just lifestyle changes to fight knee pain and improve your quality of life. Our specialists, Dr. Raj Sinha and Dr. Jacob Spencer, can help you determine what steps you can take next to relieve your knee pain, based on your medical history and diagnosis.

If you have any questions regarding knee pain, feel free to ask them using the contact form. And to make an appointment, call one of our two Coachella Valley locations — Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, California — or request a consultation through this website.

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