4 Bad Habits That Cause Knee Pain

Are you experiencing daily, persistent knee pain that makes moving difficult? Is your quality of life lessened because it hurts when you bend, walk, use the stairs, or stand up from a sitting position? Have you tried exercising, but that hurts, too? You’re probably feeling frustrated because of your knee problems and are wondering what to do to make it feel better.

Knee pain is a common condition among adults of all ages. It’s not just something that happens as you age, though, contrary to popular beliefs. And it’s not just something that will go away on its own. In fact, if you leave it untreated, it could get worse over time. 

While sometimes knee pain is the result of arthritis or a similar condition, it could also be from a fall or an awkward movement. And sometimes it just starts to ache without any apparent cause. However, knee pain is often the result of everyday habits that you may not even be aware you’re doing. Are you making your knee pain worse? Find out!

What Bad Habits Cause or Worsen Knee Pain?

Knee pain can interfere with your day-to-day living and make you feel frustrated when the pain won’t seem to go away. But you may be making the pain worse with one of these daily habits. 

Below are four common bad habits that could be making your knee pain worse.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Unfortunately, your favorite shoes could be causing you knee pain or making the pain worse. And it’s not just heels that are the culprit. The wrong business shoes or even casual shoes could be causing pain.

High heels are definitely a problem if you have knee pain. Wearing high heels places 25 times the pressure on your knee compared to regular flat shoes. This is due to the way that your weight is shifted forward to compensate for wearing heels which can put strain on your knees and the surrounding muscles, as well as your lower back. That means just switching to a pair of stylish flats could remove 25 times the pressure and force that is put on your knees. 

It’s worth noting that wearing the wrong shoes causes cumulative damage to your knees, causing pain that develops slowly over time. If you’re wearing heels every day or a pair of loafers that are too tight, it affects the way you walk. As the days, weeks, years go by, your knees develop aches that won’t go away as long as you continue to wear the wrong shoes. 

Instead, try wearing shoes that contain cushioning on the inside. These shoes can cushion the brunt of the contact between your foot and the ground, acting like a shock absorber for your knee. If your favorite shoes lack a layer of cushioning, you could always purchase inserts that provide added comfort and protection for your knees. 

This doesn’t mean that you can never wear your favorite heels again. Remember, it’s the cumulative effects of the wrong shoes. Simply limit your use of ill fitting shoes, saving them for special occasions. 

Squatting Incorrectly

If you repeatedly squat, such as when lifting weights, you may be putting your knees in danger. If you squat to the ground incorrectly, you could damage your knees, making them sore and painful. 

It can be unhealthy to squat with your knees moving forward excessively, causing your heels to come off the ground. This motion puts undue stress and friction on your knees. Over time, you could find yourself with painful knees. 

So what’s the proper way to squat? Use your hips. Your hips are a larger joint, designed to hold bigger loads than the knees. Keep your heels on the floor and your shins in a vertical position when squatting. This will take the load off of your knees and place it on your hips, where it belongs. 

Sitting with Your Knees Bent for a Long Time

If you sit with your knees bent for longer than twenty minutes at a time, you’re aching for a knee problem. Humans weren’t designed to sit at a computer desk for hours on end. Sure, you’ve got to work. That’s understandable. But there’s nothing stopping you from getting up and moving around throughout your workday. 

When you sit in a chair or on the couch with your knees bent and feet on the floor, you’re stretching muscles and ligaments that aren’t meant to stay stretched for long periods. Instead, get up and move around every twenty minutes or so. This break isn’t just good for your knees, it’s also good for your back, shoulders, neck, and eyes.

Resting Too Much

When you visit your doctor with knee pain, you may be told to rest. But your doctor doesn’t mean to only rest. The advice means to not overdo it. 

If you go home and sit down on your couch with your feet up, watching TV and commanding others to bring you food, you’re going to continue having knee problems. Rest is very important, but too much rest results in tight and stiff joints and muscles. 

Do put your feet up and rest for a while, but also try doing low-impact exercises that don’t strain your knees. Try swimming, bike riding, Pilates, or yoga to get some movement in your body without adding additional strain to your knees. 

Can a Chiropractor Help with Knee Pain?

Most people don’t realize that chiropractors do more than just “crack your back.” Chiropractors treat all manner of problems, including knee pain. 

When you first visit your chiropractor, be detailed in your description of the pain you are feeling. You can expect an initial comprehensive evaluation, including questions about your medical history, what you think caused the pain, and similar questions. 

The chiropractor will not only examine your knees, but will also most likely look over your hips, spine, and neck. It’s possible that the pain in your knees stems from another area of your body, as our bodies are integrated systems that are all interconnected. It’s possible that your knee pain is the result of a misaligned spine, tight muscles, uneven leg muscles, or hip joint problems. 

Once you’ve been assessed, your chiropractor will create a customized treatment plan just for you and your situation. They will also help create a plan that allows you to manage your pain effectively. 

You shouldn’t expect immediate results from your first chiropractic treatment, although you may feel a difference right away. For complete relief from knee pain, you may need to undergo a series of spinal manipulations or knee adjustments, at-home treatments like ice and heat therapy, and exercises to help stretch the muscles surrounding the knee.

Dr. Tim Swift proudly serves San Clemente, San Juan, Dana Point, and the surrounding areas of Orange County, California.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.

Picture of Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift combines his chiropractic expertise with regenerative medicine to bring a passion for restoring health, mobility, and vitality to help his community feel and function better.


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