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    Behaviors A Physical Therapist Recommends You Cease Immediately

    There’s a humorous anecdote circulating on TikTok regarding people realizing they “stand incorrectly.” While it may appear trivial, the truth resonates: Many of us reach adulthood with poor posture, leading to unexpected discomfort.

    Engaging in this common behavior every day often backfires, causing negative consequences when left unchecked.

    Our knees are commonly impacted by our subconscious behaviors. Fortunately, according to Kristin Torres, DPT, a physical therapist in California, “There are not a plethora of day-to-day stances that will harm your knees.” Thus, standing itself may not be problematic. However, Dr. Torres notes, “There are a few mechanical issues that are detrimental to your knees and can result in early osteoarthritis,” emphasizing that these issues are preventable.

    To improve your chances and prevent knee pain, it’s crucial to break these three detrimental habits for your knees.

    Unhealthy Practice 1: Incorrect footwear for your feet

    The primary cause of early knee injury is wearing inappropriate shoes. Dr. Torres stresses, “Everyone has unique feet. Nevertheless, it is essential to provide your feet with flexibility and mobility in your shoes, ensuring they are not too tight.”

    Regardless of your arch type, she always advises opting for shoes with ample toe space, whether in minimalist or highly supportive styles.

    While unconventional advice for knee health, she explains, “The knee is positioned between the powerful ankle and hip joints. These joints must be robust for the knee to remain healthy,” emphasizing that suitable footwear aids in joint coordination, maintaining proper alignment to prevent pain and injury.

    Unhealthy Practice 2: Neglecting your gluteal muscles

    “To protect your knees, strong glutes are crucial—particularly the gluteus medius,” Dr. Torres asserts. Weak glutes can lead to excessive internal rotation of the femur, exerting valgus force on the knee joint, potentially resulting in early medial osteoarthritis.

    To address this, she recommends integrating gluteus medius exercises into your daily movement routine, such as lateral leg lifts and single-leg squats.

    Unhealthy Practice 3: Neglecting stretching

    We understand it’s a frequent reminder, but stretching is indeed vital. Dr. Torres advises, “A key tip for knee health is to always perform stretches before exercising,” underscoring that entering a workout with cold muscles compromises form, affecting your range of motion negatively.

    Her counsel to clients is to engage in dynamic stretches for warming up, followed by static stretches as a post-workout cool down.

    Dynamic stretching involves active, flowing stretches in a repetitive manner (in contrast to static stretching, where you maintain a specific position). Dr. Torres explains that dynamic warm-ups improve blood circulation in muscles, enabling enhanced range of motion with each repetition. Consider movements like leg swings or walking lunges. “This is excellent for your body and can help prevent injuries and early osteoarthritis,” she adds.

    On the other hand, static stretches elongate muscles to aid in relaxation post-exercise, increasing flexibility and alleviating discomfort, as highlighted by Jorden Gold, founder of the stretch studio Stretch Zone.

    “In conclusion: Stretch daily!” Dr. Torres emphasizes. “Dedicate those 10 minutes to it. Your knees will appreciate it in the long run.”

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