Lots of things can make your knee pain worse – including some bad habits that you might not even realize could impact your joints! From what you eat to how much you move around and the shoes you choose, every part of your daily life can contribute to knee pain.
Dr. Joshua D. Harris supports patients in the Houston, Texas area who are living with knee pain, and can give you expert advice on how not to further aggravate yours. Here are three common habits that can actually increase your knee pain.
Eating the wrong foods
Being overweight can lead to knee pain, as more weight means more pressure on your lower-body joints. Making dietary choices that lead to weight loss can alleviate knee pain and increase your ease of motion.
Some foods and beverages cause inflammatory responses in your body. Inflammation can increase issues with joint and body pain. Inflammatory foods and drinks to watch out for include:
- Foods with lots of sugar
- Red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy, containing saturated fats
If you're dealing with chronic knee pain, try eliminating some of these options from your diet, and see if your condition improves. Instead, choose bright-colored vegetables and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (fish, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds).
Over- or Under-exercising
Getting the right amount of exercise, in the right ways, is key to preventing knee pain. Not exercising enough, or exercising too much, can both leave your knees feeling uncomfortable.
If you over-exercise, you can wear out your knee joints. Over-exercising can be the result of too much activity, but it can also be caused by the wrong kind of activity. When you work out, be sure to take time to stretch, and chose the right exercise regimen for your unique health needs. If you need suggestions, talk to Dr. Harris about the types of exercise that are best for you. Low-impact options, like swimming or water aerobics, may be a better choice than high-impact activities like running or playing sports.
Under-exercising can leave you in pain, as well. Without muscle strength, your joints become under-supported. Use moderate exercise to build up your leg muscles, stretch your ligaments, and maintain healthy cartilage.
Not having the right support
Whether you're sitting or standing, the right support will keep your knees pain-free. Pay attention to support when you sit, stand, and move.
When you're active:
- Choose the right shoes, using inserts if needed to address foot or gait problems
- Replace your running shoes frequently for more effective support and cushioning
- Maintain good upright posture, not leaning over or hunching
When you're resting:
- Avoid low chairs or couches that make you sink down or slump
- Add a pillow to raise your seating level
- Make sure your sitting posture is straight, and that you're not slouching or leaning
If you're dealing with knee pain and could use some additional support, advice, or treatment, contact Dr. Harris today. He can help you figure out what's causing your pain problems, and suggest adjustments to your habits that can alleviate or even resolve your knee pain altogether. To schedule your initial consultation, simply call our office or use the online booking tool.