Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aggravating factors

There are many things that can aggravate (make worse) joint pain, among them:

Sports particularly high impact sports. Simple running or jogging can place as much as three times the person’s weight onto the leg and its joints (ankle, knee and hip). The push off from the ground also places great stress on the joints

Running downhill or on uneven ground also increases these risk factors. Basketball, Football, Tennis, Baseball, Soccer and other sports all require lateral movements which stress the joints and the soft connective tissue.

Overuse from even non-impact repetitive activities such as stationary cycling can aggravate the joints and increase degeneration of the soft connective tissues. Take a lesson from body builders and weightlifters who work out a particular body part then give that body part 2 to 3 days of rest before stressing it again. Speaking of weight lifting, lack of muscular strength and flexibility is also an aggravating factor for joint injury and degeneration.

Overweight. If running can cause three times the weight of the person to be absorbed by the joints, imagine what being 20 lbs overweight adds,…..imagine 60 lbs overweight – you get the idea.

I think you will also be surprised to know that most people have one leg actually short than the other. This is a mechanical or structural factor. I know from chiropractic visits that one of my leg’s is 3/8ths of an inch shorter than the other. This obviously causes back stress, muscular stress and doesn’t do my joints any good.

Age, with the resulting degeneration from decades of use (and abuse) is a large aggravating factor especially when combined with any of the aforementioned factors.

Lack of proper nutrition is a huge factor as well. Your body needs nutrients in order to all bodily functions to operate efficiently, effectively and repair damages that occur.

About all you can do is to understand these factors and try to mitigate them as you live your life. In the near future we will talk about things you can do to not only minimize knee and joint pain but to possibly slow the degeneration process as well.

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