Climbing The Stairs In New York Has City Dwellers Suffering From Knee Pain
Out of the door by six each morning, down five flights of stairs. Round the corner to the subway, down another four flights. Jump off the train, back up four flights. Hit the door at work and up another flight. Sound familiar? If you live in New York City, you're no stranger to the perpetual climbing up and down stairs while pounding the pavement! And, either are your knees. If you are constantly on the go, chances are your knees are taking the brunt of all those stairs and concrete. While we're a city of people who love the rush of the go all the time mentality, our bodies might not fully agree with this state of mind. Let's take a look at how you can give your knees a rest by understanding what the up, down and pound might be doing to them.
How To Give Your Knees A Rest & Practice Proactive Wellness
1. Hitting the pavement all the up your body. New Yorkers don't really mosey around, they move at a brisk pace from point A to B. Even when we're not in a rush, our auto-pilot mentalities keep us moving at top speed. Our knees are designed to help our body move, jump and climb with ease, but were not intended to sustain as much force as the typical New Yorker tends to exert on a weekly basis just by walking around. Because concrete doesn???t absorb any force when we walk, all of the force from your foot hitting the pavement travels up your leg to consequently be absorbed by muscle tissue. Unfortunately, muscles were never intended for this level of force. They often respond by tightening and contracting.
This un-necessary contracting and tightening can pull the knee out of place upward, downward, medially and laterally, causing stress on the associated ligaments. Your knees deserve massage and acupuncture to help counter the effects of the daily pound. Regular acupuncture, therapeutic exercises and massage not only facilitate flow, but help release what we refer to as muscle spindle fibers- you may know them as trigger points.
2. Stairs, stairs and more stairs. Many of us are walking around with alignment issues without an ounce of awareness of it. Maybe our knees hurt, we complain of the occasional sore neck or hip discomfort, but don't really give it a second thought. Then perhaps we notice a headache, or sciatica or tight sensations in the knees. The body is a fulcrum moving through time and space. When we subject it to continual climbing up and down stairs when already mi-saligned, we're simply making matters worse, everywhere. The knees respond by compensating for the misalignment, resulting in increased pain. Even in the absence of misalignment, the knees still sustain the pressure that constant stair use causes.
3. When we burn the candle at both ends. New Yorkers are pros at the play hard, work hard philosophy, but not necessarily at self-care. If you're going to play and work hard, we encourage you to heal well, to prevent that candle from burning out. If we ignore ongoing knee problems, or pain and discomfort anywhere in the body until it's screaming at us, other parts of our health are sure to fail us. Almost all patients report concurrent fatigue, some depression and anxiety when experiencing pain. Taking a big picture look at the yin and yang of your lifestyle will help determine where you can add in a healing modality or lifestyle modification that restores and heals the body to prevent pain from setting in. Consider how great you could feel if you practiced a meditative yoga class, a gentle acupuncture session and massage therapy several times a month. Your knees would certainly thank you!