We Mumbaikars typically lead a rather hectic lifestyle. Most of us are on the go right from the minute we wake-up First to go for a morning walk or complete daily house routines. Then make a mad rush to our offices schools or wherever it is we must be. If you are a common Mumbaikar chances are you will be taking long journey to your offices/school which will require hopping multiple buses, rickshaws & trains. While if you are one of those who drives to your work you are sure to be stuck in a maddening traffic at some point or though if you are that unlucky. Then later in the evening we hit repeat and follow the same routine back home. Like the stress of managing our daily lives was not enough long hours of travel has only added to it.
All the while we tend to ignore one very important part of our body, called the Knee Joint. Knees are that part of the body which takes a load equivalent to 2 to 4 times the body weight every time you jog/run, hop off or on a train/bus. They make sure that you are up and running. However, these joints can easily wear out if proper care is not taken.
Now I understand that we can do little about our daily work, as things must go on. However, I hope and believe that by just being aware of how we might be hurting our knee can help avoid major knee complications or even knee replacement surgery in the long run. so, let’s get started.
First up, if you are one of those who watched the Mumbai Marathon and have got motivated to get back to running. If you have not been active for a while, your knee joint components namely, the muscles. Ligaments, tendons & bones have become weak or not ready for such strenuous activity suddenly. They will not work as efficiently, and you will start experiencing pain in a few minutes/hrs. If you still carry on running you will end-up busting your knee which could cause complications like meniscal injury, knee cap pain, ACL tear etc. However, if you take it slow for the first few days/weeks and do proper strengthening and stretching exercises under guidance of therapist or orthopod before and after may be you can participate in the Marathon next year without having any major knee injuries.
If you are one of those who take local transport to reach your destination.
Well I have news for you! Every-time you jump on or off the train or bus you are adding a significant amount of load and twist on your knees. The load and twist is greater if the vehicle is still moving. Every-time you load the knee the rubbing action between the joints increase causing them to degenerate and meniscal injury. Hence, always try to get on or off as softly as possible. A better solution is to strengthen your thigh and calf muscles by performing knee exercises. (we will be sharing the best exercise you can do to avoid knee pain soon.)
If you are one of those who drive around town in Mumbai’s traffic.
Chances are you are, or at some point of time, you will feel a pain in the inner knee joint. This pain occurs primarily due to incorrect posture. It can also occur because of repeated motion of lifting your leg and holding it in one place. If your leg muscles (Quads, glutes&hamstring) are weak and don’t get enough exercise they are bound to put a load on the smaller ligaments and tendons to do the muscles job of lifting the legs. Even though the pain might seem rather miniscule and often neglected by driver. In the long run it can lead to a tear in the ACL or meniscus other joint problems. A good read on how to press the clutch to prevent knee pain can be found here http://benmlee.com/4Runner/Pressing_Clutch.htm.
If you are a house wife who does the daily house chores.
We have seen the prevalence of knee degeneration in house wife’s doing house chores which requires them to squat, sit cross legged and stand often. This causes the knee to hyper flex and a significant load is put on the knee joint while moving in this position. Of-course, there is nothing wrong in doing these chores. One can even argue that these chores are like exercises, important to keep one fit and flexible. However, certain precautions are necessary, for example, while standing up after a prolong period of squatting one should use a support to balance the body and not put pressure only on the knees. If there is a hint of knee pain, stop the activity and get some rest.
Finally, If you are gaining weight due to sedentary lifestyle & have Unhealthy eating habits:
By now you must have realized unnecessary loading of the knee joint and not performing regular knee strengthen exercises are prime causes of knee ailments. Now if you put on more weight and neglect performing regular work-outs, it is only going to make matters worse for your humble knees.
Now that you are a little more aware of how you might be damaging you knee joints. I hope you will try to look after them. A small effort to save our knees can help us all live a fuller life especially in the later stages of life. Of course, if you are facing with any knee ailment you can always contact me and I shall do my best to help you overcome the same.