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3 Surprising Ways You May Be Injuring Your Joints

There is a plethora of information on the most common causes of joint pain – excess weight, being a weekend warrior, repetitive stress, for example. What we don’t hear about, or think about, are the ways we injure our joints during the process of daily living. Here are three surprising ways you can injure your joints and not be aware of it while it happens:

Pain

Crossing Your Legs

We all cross our legs at some point during the day; it’s a comfortable way to sit for most of us. What we don’t realize is crossing your legs has adverse effects on our health. Crossing your legs can injure your hip joints, in the same way a repetitive job can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Constant stress on the joints leads to cartilage damage and inflamed tissue, and is the precursor to osteoarthritis. Crossing your legs can also raise your blood pressure, because blood to pool in your legs, and can lead to blood clots in the lower extremities.

Improper Posture

In our computer-driven society, we all pretty much have a head-forward posture. This is derived from hours of staring at a computer monitor, in a poorly designed office chair. Most office chairs lead the sitter into a head-forward posture, in order to see the screen and use the keyboard. When your mother kept after you to stand up straight, keep your shoulders back, and your head held high, she was trying to keep you in a posture designed to reduce stress on your back, neck, and head. In a proper posture, your ears should be over your shoulders, and your shoulders should be over your hips.

This keeps the spine in a straight line, reducing stress on your discs and allowing for a free flow of spinal fluid. When your shoulders are slumped and your head is forward, you increase the stress on your neck and spine from the weight of your head. This stress causes joint damage, and muscle fatigue. Should you be unfortunate enough to suffer from fibromyalgia, this posture leads to painful trigger points in your trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, and pectoralis muscles. These trigger points then lead to muscle tension migraines.

Worn-out Shoes, Old Bras

Most of us are aware when we need a new pair of shoes, from the physical condition of the shoes. What we don’t realize is we needed the shoes long before any damage appeared. Your shoes provide protection to your feet, but they also provide support for your musculo-skeletal system, starting with your feet and moving up along your legs to your knees, hips, and spine. Improperly supportive shoes are a cause of back pain, although not one commonly known. Loss of support leads to stress on your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine, and eventually causes wear and tear damage to the joints.

A cause of joint damage in women is an old or improperly fitted bra. If you have large breasts, they add stress to your back and shoulders. If your bra is not supportive, due to age or to fit, your breasts place more of a pull on the muscles of your chest, shoulders, and back. This leads to tight muscles, trigger points, and muscle tension migraines, but it will also cause wear and tear damage on your shoulder joints, neck, and spine from carrying the excess weight.

While your body weight may be at a healthy level, large breasts add unnecessary weight and stress to your upper body. A properly fitted bra, one that is not stretched and worn out, can mitigate the stress placed on your back, neck, chest, and shoulders by keeping the breasts tightly in to the chest. Think of it like carrying a heavy backpack; if you carry a heavy or improperly packed backpack low down, your chest and shoulders bear more of the weight. If the backpack is worn high on the shoulders and in tight to the body, the excess weight is better handled.

There are many ways we place stress on our joints; most of them we know about and can work on mitigating or eliminating, but there are ways we injure ourselves on a daily basis we are totally unaware of; these three examples are not the only ways our daily lives can injure our health, but now you know about them, and can work on changing their impacts.
Author Bio:

Kelly Everson is MA in English Literature and an American Author. Her work comprises of articles appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen health information websites covering beauty skin care, weight loss, diet and overall men’s & women’s health. When she’s not educating strangers with her writing, she’s most likely researching about new discoveries in health, fitness and beauty industry.

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