Monday, March 28, 2022

How to Prevent Knee Pain While Working From Home

How To Prevent Knee Pain When Working From Home

With more and more people working from home, taking care of your health is as
important as ever. On average, 1 in 4 adults struggles with knee pain, 
and with remote work becoming more popular that number is trending up. 
So how is working from home causing more knee pain? 

A huge contributing factor is inactivity. Did you know that inactivity is actually hard 
on your knees? It can lead to weakened knees, increased risk of arthritis, 
and increased risk for osteoporosis. 

Luckily there are some simple, easy things you can implement to stay active,
even while working from home (or from your work desk!) No matter where you
spend your 8-5, you can start on these quick tips to make sure you prevent knee
pain in the future. 

The best and easiest way to ensure your knees aren’t inactive is to, well, be 
active! You can do some light stretching throughout the day to relax your 
muscles and ease your tension. You can also do some strengthening leg 
exercises such as knee lifts, calf raises, and knee curls. 

See below for a more thorough explanation:  

Knee Lifts: Stand straight and lift your left knee to hip height, lower your knee 
and repeat with the right knee. Alternate knees and continue for a few minutes.
Calf Raises: Stand straight and push up on the balls of your feet until 
you’re almost on your tippy-toes, hold for 3 seconds then lower your feet 
all the way back down so they’re flat on the floor. Repeat.

Knee Curls: Stand straight, bend your left leg back and hold your foot with your
left hand, you’ll feel the stretch in your thighs. Lower your left and repeat with 
the other side.

Sitting for long periods of time can cause stress on your knees, especially the 
cartilage surface. The more your knee is constricted, the more stiffness
and soreness you’re exposing yourself to. Luckily, an easy way to bypass this
is to make sure you have a good work chair. You’ll need to look for one 
that has an adjustable height and that’ll allow you to move or flex your 
knee more often. Also, look for a chair that will give you better posture.

The easiest solution to ensure you’re moving about is to take intentional 
breaks throughout your day. Set a time every hour and stand and walk around 
for a bit. It doesn’t have to be a long break, a minute at most will create a 
big difference in your overall routine. Taking this simple measure will not 
only make a difference when it comes to your knees but on your overall health.

Even though we can make all the correct changes on our own, sometimes
our knee pain will continue to bother us. Or you could have been taking
all the preventative measures and still end up with pain. Don’t allow yourself
to be discouraged or try to fix the problem on your own! Make sure to give 
us a call and schedule an appointment to see what’s going on. 

Call today to schedule your appointment 978-651-1812

Wednesday, March 2, 2022


Joint Pain in the Cold: Three Theories Behind Winter Joint Pain

February 28, 2022

Is Cold Weather Affecting your Sensitivity to Pain? Is the Cold Weather Causing Muscle Spasms? Is the Cold Weather Causing the Tissues Inside the Joints to Expand?

It’s that time of the year when the temperature begins to drop. If you’re an active person you know that this is also the time nagging aches and pains resurface. You’ll feel these unpleasant and sometimes unbearable sensations around your joints.

If you’re familiar with cold-weather joint pain, you’re not alone!

According to the (CDC), about 23% of Americans have arthritis. This means around 58 million people stock up on knee wraps and Tylenol for the winter.

We can always blame the weather, but what is it about the cold that causes joint pain to flare up?

According to WebMD, cold weather creates the dreaded pain and stiffness around your joints by:

Cold Weather and Pain Sensitivity

The nervous system — particularly the nerve endings — is essential to the perception of sensations. The nerve endings are responsible for taking sensations like temperature and pain felt on the skin and transporting them through the body as electrical signals. These electrical signals make their way to the brain where they are either processed as pain or pleasure.

As the temperature drops, the cold stimulates the nerve endings. Because the sensation is of the air and not pressure, a different signal goes to the brain. In a 2020 study, cold — particularly extreme cold — has been shown to elicit a sensation that is identical to pain.

By default, the cold is not the cause of actual pain. However, the study above suggests that you’ll perceive cold temperatures as pain when the cold becomes “too cold.”

Cold Weather Joint Pain as a Result of Muscle Spasms

Other than increasing your pain sensitivity, the cold also affects your muscles. Muscle spasms occur more frequently during the colder times of the year.

One of the ways your body tries to maintain its temperature is by muscle contraction. In other words, when the temperature drops, your muscles will be activated – this is why you shiver!

For some people, shivering hardly leads to pain. However, for anyone suffering from arthritis, spinal cord injury, and other neuromotor issues, prolonged shivering causes spasms.

When the muscles spasm or “freeze up,” the pain can be unbearable, often resembling a cramp. During muscle spasms, the joints that spastic muscles surround can be painful and stiff.

Stiffness is common on the nearby muscles of small joints like the fingers and toes. Muscle spasms in the quadriceps from the cold also lead to stiffness and pain in weight-bearing joints. Examples of weight-bearing joints are the knees, ankles, and hips.

Tissue Expansion and Joint Pain in the Cold

Lastly, another theory that accounts for the pain you feel in your joints during the winter involves tissue expansion. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, cold temperatures have a way of affecting air pressure. This is important because of how tissues inside your joints respond to changes in pressure.

Decreases in air pressure can cause the tissues inside the joints to expand. The expansion is also partly due to the increase in fluid.

Both reactions are meant to keep the joints mobile during cold weather. The problem is that the expansion of tissues can lead to pain for arthritis patients.

As the joints expand, they press on the pain receptors close to the skin. The pressure on the pain receptors causes pain in the area where the joint is. Most of the time, the pain radiates or spreads to nearby areas, making simple tasks like walking or gripping problematic.

Can Anything Be Done about Winter Joint Pain?

Yes! Here are some simple tips to manage your flare-ups:


If there is no need to exert yourself, why bother? Sometimes resting the affected limb or joint is enough to cause relief.

Warmth and Compression

During the cold months, it’s important to stay warm. Not only should you be dressing in warm layers, but sometimes compressive clothing can be helpful as well. Compression will be helpful on the weight-bearing joints (areas like ankles and knees)

When Allowed, Consider Over-the-counter Pain Medications

There are many medications you can take to alleviate joint pain. Most of the time, these medications are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). These medications were formulated to stop pain by decreasing inflammation.

Speak to a physician before you purchase pain medications.

Manage Winter Joint Pain with Physical Therapy

The cold weather can cause your joints to hurt unbearably. If the tips above do little to help, there is another solution.

Physical therapy can help alleviate pain, whatever the cause. With therapy, your joints can regain their health and natural range of motion.

Contact us now and give winter joint pain to the cold shoulder.


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