Joints are structures necessary for differential growth, stretching force, shear force, compressive force, torsional force transmission, and various movements. The main function of joints at any given time depends on their position and the age of the individual. You may not know that some of your daily habits may be the cause of accelerated joint degeneration. By paying attention to some details of life, you can reduce damage to your joints.
Here are several habits that harm joints:
1. Walking up and down stairs
Of all the body’s joints, the knee joint is the most common and vulnerable to injury. When walking up the stairs, the knee joint bears 4.8 times the body weight, and when walking down, it bears 6.7 times the body weight. This puts significant pressure on the patellofemoral joint and can lead to pain between the cartilage with prolonged stress.
Try to slow down when going up and down stairs or hills, and try to turn sideways 45-90 degrees. Use handrails as much as possible when going downstairs. The elderly can use crutches to reduce the weight on their knees.
2. Kneeling to clean the floor
In the clinic, we often see women with knee pain caused by kneeling to clean the floor, resulting in pain in the patellofemoral joint. When kneeling, the pressure on the patella is compressed onto the femur, which is equivalent to the cartilage between two bones being pressed directly onto the ground. Over time, some knees may not be able to straighten or support weight.
Try not to kneel to clean the floor, but if you must, consider putting a cushion under your knee and take breaks every 10-20 minutes. This can help maintain blood circulation and nourish joint cartilage. Instead, it may be more comfortable to sit directly on the floor or prepare a small stool.
3. Sitting cross-legged
Many people like to sit cross-legged, and some young people even like to sit cross-legged on their beds while using their laptops. In fact, while sitting cross-legged, the knee cartilage is already under pressure and has to bear the weight of the upper body. If the force used is incorrect when sitting cross-legged, some people’s knees may hurt immediately.
If you have the habit of sitting cross-legged, you can bend one leg naturally and avoid crossing both feet together. Don’t apply too much pressure on your legs.
4. Hand overuse
Although housewives’ workload is not high, their wrist joints will hurt after long periods of washing dishes and cleaning the floor. Overuse may cause arthritis in the wrist and elbow joints.
Pay attention to the combination of work and rest and avoid prolonged labor. Try to use warm water when washing clothes or dishes.
5. Poor posture while using electronic devices
The 5th and 6th sections of the cervical spine are the most vulnerable to injury, and most cervical spine injuries are related to posture, aside from sports injuries. The neck naturally curves in a C-shape to evenly distribute the weight of the head on each joint when it is tilted downward.
Keep electronic devices at eye level to avoid bending the neck forward or downward for prolonged periods. Take frequent breaks and stretch to release tension in the neck and shoulders.
6. High heels
High heels can cause a variety of problems, including ankle sprains, calf muscle strain, and knee pain. The increased pressure on the forefoot and the narrow toe box of high heels can lead to bunions and hammertoes, and the increased pressure on the knee joint can accelerate cartilage degeneration.
Limit the frequency of wearing high heels, and opt for shoes with a lower heel height and a wider toe box for everyday wear.
In summary, there are several habits that can lead to joint damage, including climbing stairs, kneeling to clean floors, sitting cross-legged, overusing the hands, poor posture while using electronic devices, and wearing high heels. By being mindful of these habits and taking steps to reduce their impact on the joints, individuals can help maintain joint health and prevent joint degeneration.