By Kim Hemphry
Your knees make it possible to walk, squat, sit, run and do all the physical activities you love. That’s why it’s wise to take care of your knees, and not just when they’re hurting.
It’s easy to get a knee injury when you’re not careful. And one place where these injuries often occur is in the workplace. Knee injury claims are common in jobs that require a lot of physical movement. But even if your job doesn’t require a lot of movement, it’s still possible to damage your knees.
Here are 7 tips for protecting your knees in the workplace.
1. Wear Protection
Knee pads are an excellent choice for protecting your knees on the job. Jobs in construction, electrical work, or plumbing are examples of jobs in which knee protection is beneficial. Workers in these fields often spend a lot of time on their knees.
Constantly being on your knees to repair a pipe, or bending to pick up planks of wood or to reach an electrical socket can take its toll on your knees.
2. Pay Attention to Pain
Ignoring knee pain is a mistake workers often make. They want to keep working, so they push through the pain just to get the job done. If a certain position or movement causes knee pain, then stop what you’re doing. You might need to stretch, move around, change position, or take an over the counter pain medication.
3. Maintain a Reasonable Weight
Your knees support your body. The more weight you have to support, the harder your knees work. And this can cause problems if you spend a significant amount of time standing or walking on the job. Give your knees less weight to carry by maintaining a reasonable weight.
4. Do Exercises for Flexibility
Gentle stretches go a long way in keeping your knees healthy. Before you begin your workday, take about 5 minutes to perform stretches for your calf and thigh muscles. You can also perform these stretches during the day. Another benefit is that stretching will help improve your range of motion. Overall, performing stretches can help keep your knee joints healthy.
5. Protect Previous Injuries
Perhaps you have a previous injury that’s currently affecting your knees. For example, maybe you pulled a tendon, ligament, or muscle in your leg or around your knee. If so, you might want to consider wearing a knee brace.
A knee brace can prevent a previous injury from becoming aggravated. It can help stabilize your knee and prevent further damage. The brace will also take some of the stress off of your knee joint. However, you might want to consult with your doctor before wearing a brace. Some braces are available over the counter. While others might need a doctor’s approval.
6 Take Joint Supplements
Over the counter joint supplements are an option for maintaining healthy knees. These supplements often include chondroitin and glucosamine. It’s important to note that chondroitin and glucosamine provide a substance similar to those found in healthy knee joint cartilage.
Although these supplements are relatively new, research is promising. There’s evidence that chondroitin and glucosamine can improve mobility in the joints, slow down the progress of osteoarthritis, and relieve pain. You might want to speak with your doctor about which supplements are safe for you.
7. Take Your Vitamin D
Research shows a link between low vitamin D levels and osteoarthritis. And it’s believed that maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D can keep osteoarthritis at bay. This condition can have a devastating effect on your knees.
Osteoarthritis damages joint cartilage. And over time, the damage continues to get worse. When this affects your knees, the pain can make it almost unbearable to move. And this in turn can affect your job performance. But vitamin D can possibly help you avoid this problem.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium. And these two substances help the body repair cartilage and bone. Maintain healthy vitamin D levels by getting a daily dose of sunlight. Eating a healthy diet consisting of foods high in vitamin D helps as well. You can also consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
About the Author:
Kim Hemphry is a passionate expert in the areas of Legal Matters, learning and education. She has been featured on over 50 leading Legal and education sites and is a modern thought leader in the field. More about her interests and articles on her site – http://kimhemphry.com/.