Knee Pain in the Workplace
Pain. We have all experienced it. Although pain is a normal part of life, when it becomes debilitating, it not only makes your job more difficult, it also impacts activities of daily living and can take a toll that goes far beyond joint pain.
Causes of Knee Pain
Office environments can be harder on the knees that we think. It may not seem like it, but sitting down all day can be a stressful position to maintain. Some of the most common reasons office workers find themselves in pain:
- Sitting for long periods of time. If you sit for more than an hour at a time, then you will probably experience pain due to inactivity. Muscles and tendons can become stiff and painful.
- Injuries caused by kneeling. This kind of pain is associated with a type of bursitis. This occurs when small sacs of fluid become irritated and inflamed due to excessive kneeling.
- Non-ergonomic furniture. If you are not using proper furniture, you may find yourself suffering from knee pain and stiffness from holding your body in an awkward position for extended periods of time.
Prevention in The Office
Regular movement is ideal for keeping joints limber and mobile and sitting for an eight-hour workday counterproductive for the treatment process. Here are some tips for making the work day pain-free:
- Sit up straight. Sitting up straight keeps the spine, hips and knees aligned properly.
- Get up and walk around. Find ways to incorporate movement into an otherwise sedentary day. A walk at lunch and regular water breaks are a great way to encourage getting up.
- Move while sitting. Regular leg extensions can prevent stiffening and is good for your arthritis.
Take a Break
Use your break periods as an opportunity to recharge mentally and physically. Here are a few effective ways to help your knee pain during the work day:
- Stretch. If your knees feel stiff, gently stretch the quads and hamstrings.
- Walk. Take a stroll around the block during your lunch break.
- Water. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Rest. You don’t want to overdo it, so give your joints rest when you are experiencing inflammation flare ups.
Talk to Your Employer
Inform your employer about your knee pain. It will help them to understand why certain tasks may be difficult or take you more time.
The best course of action is to get a letter from your doctor and present it to your immediate supervisor and human resources department. This ensures those who oversee your daily work tasks and those who handle your health benefits are conscious of your condition.
Informing your employer can help you obtain necessary accommodations, such as access to devices that will make your job easier or reassignment to a position that meets your physical needs. It will also help protect your legal rights in case of unlawful termination.
Treating Knee Pain
Besides lifestyle interventions, there are several treatment options for those who suffer from knee pain. Treatments are much more effective when the condition is treated in its early stages, so getting your knee pain evaluated is important. Physical therapy and exercise may be all you need. For individuals who have a chronic condition such as osteoarthritis (the most common cause of knee pain), more advanced treatment such as off-loading knee braces or injections to lower inflammation may be needed. Proper evaluation and treatment will not only help relieve pain and help people stay active, it will also help them avoid surgery for years.
If you are ready to get relief for your knee pain, it is time to call the experts. We will work closely with you to create a treatment plan that combines lifestyle changes with cutting-edge therapies.