Aching Knees

Aching KneesOnce your knees start to hurt, it seems like nothing brings relief. Sitting or standing at work, your knees can take a beating. A bank teller, teacher, retail clerk, or crossing guard can spend hours standing without relief.

If you’re also overweight, then stress load on your knees magnifies. If you sit most of the time at work answering phones, working on the computer or doing other paperwork, your knees don’t have the stress of standing, yet they still hurt.

In fact, sedentary work styles can be as painful on the knees as too much standing. If you can’t quit your job, try to moderate the way you work. Bring a note from your doctor explaining that you need the freedom to get up and walk to keep the knees from locking up.

You know that feeling. You stand up ready to do something and it’s as if your knees refuse to go along. Your movement is stuttered and painful until you get going. The temptation is to stay seated rather than deal with the pain of movement, but that’s exactly what you need to do – you need to move.

Before you can treat the knee pain, you need a medical evaluation to determine the cause of the pain. If it’s arthritis, you can expect the knee problem to gradually increase. What you have to do is find ways to be comfortable and functional.

Stretching muscles and tendons in the leg and knee area can be very useful. But make sure you learn the right way to stretch from a physical therapist or personal trainer. Ask for suggestions on types of stretching to do in the morning before getting out of bed, during the day at work and in the evening before going to bed. Regular, moderate movement can help knee function as well as reduce discomfort.

Change your activities. When your job requires a lot of time sitting or standing, do something different when you get home. Walking or light sports can be a good choice that also gets you out of the house and involved in something you enjoy.

Since most knee pain comes from arthritis, tendonitis or bursitis, you can find relief during the day from non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications called NSAIDs These are available in over-the-counter as well as by prescription.

While these medications bring relief, they are not likely to compromise mental or physical function at work unless your work activities are among those recommended to avoid. The label of the medication gives that information in detail.

You can really help you knee pain by knowing when to rest. If the pain increases to the level of limiting mobility, you have to take time to relax and apply ice or heat until the knee joint inflammation reduces.

If you want to avoid cortisone injections or knee replacement, you need to do as much as possible to support your knee joints. Even if that means redefining or changing your sedentary work habits.

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