I have been researching joint pain to try and work out what brought on my recent knee injury. I now have a good idea of the likely cause and wanted to share the steps I am taking to fix the issue as they could be useful for anyone that spends a lot of time sitting at a desk.
Joint pain is often a result of issues in the joint above or below actual location of the pain. If a joint isn’t performing properly it puts additional strain on the ones around it eventually leading pain and/or injury. Starting at the bottom, there is a pattern of stability/mobility in joint function as you work your way up the body:
?????????? Foot – stability
?????????? Ankle – mobility
?????????? Knee – stability
?????????? Hip – mobility
?????????? Lumbar spine – stability
?????????? Thoracic spine – mobility
?????????? Scapulae – stability
If the hip or ankle becomes tight they can force the knee to be more mobile which over time causes a problem. I work in an office and sit at a desk for most of my day and hip tightness can be an issue, it was especially bad on the day I injured my knee – coincidence?
I am??currently using the following five yoga poses to try and undo the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day. They help open up the areas that tighten up when sitting, are relatively simple to learn and can be scaled if you struggle to get into the full pose. Camel pose is probably the most difficult, but cobra pose would make an excellent substitute.
- Downward facing dog – opens shoulders, upper back, hamstrings, calves
- High lunge pose – opens hip flexors, groin
- Camel pose – opens hips, back, chest
- Half spinal twisting pose – opens piriformis, thoracic spine
- Hero pose – opens hips, knees
I hold each for 30-60 seconds for one or two rounds which takes no more than 15mins. If you are pushed for time I would focus on camel – your body???s position in this pose is pretty much the physical opposite to when sitting. I’m a big fan of getting into camel pose a few times during a work day to loosen myself up, it also helps relieve a bit work stress!
I would normally prefer to fix the source of a problem rather than symptoms but the nature of my job makes it difficult in this case (career change maybe?). As well as these poses I would also highly recommend taking regular breaks from sitting at you desk, although not so many that you get fired 😉
*The same can be true of the hip and lumbar spine. Stiffness in the hip can force the??lumbar spine to be more mobile??causing lower back pain.