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When you are younger, things like aching knees and painful hips do not seem to enter your mind. That’s for when you are really OLD and not when there are still kids at home….right?
Sadly, I am finding that it is not the case.
As I trudge through my 40s and see 50 closer to me than 40 is in the rearview mirror, I am experiencing more of these issues. Ignoring them or wishing them away doesn’t work. Yet, I want to be able to hit play and enjoy life!
Knee and Hip Pain Made Worse Through Work
While I had occasional problems the last few years, it really came to a head a few months ago.
What had changed?
I took a sales job that had me on my feet for 6 hours a day on hard concrete. Below is the original location we had in the store. It has since moved near an area with carpeting, but the carpet isn’t plush or padded either.
While some people in the store were constantly moving, my job (and my co-workers for the same entity) requires associates to stay within 10 feet of the main desk at all times.
Let’s just say there is only so much pacing you can do with those constraints.
Even with shoes meant to support you on your feet, this particular environment and work requirements mean even the associates in their 20’s experience knee or hip pain. Add in my more advanced age and it is no wonder that I was struggling for those 6 months.
For a few weeks, the hip pain was so bad that my co-workers could tell by looking at my face. A few times I actually felt my one side give away that led to my stumbling (but not falling!)
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Knee and Hip Pain
Short of leaving my job, which I did just do a week ago for other reasons, I had to look at ways to minimize the knee and hip pain.
Yes, I could just suffer. But, what fun is it to put your life on hold?
Rather, I wanted to go for hikes as a family.
Or, some days, I just wanted to get through my shift with the ability to still stand up.
After all, life is a lot more fun when you Hit Play.
Easy things I implemented included making a circuit around the store (walking on my own or with a co-worker if we were in the hour of excess people on the floor.) Moving more than a few paces here and there can help immensely. Depending on how busy the store was, I might only walk around once. Other days, I did one lap upstairs and a separate one downstairs.
When things are more problematic, such as the time I leaned onto the one leg at it gave way, I take a break and sit down for a bit. Movement is key to keeping mobility, but so is including rest.
I also changed which shoes I wore. The pair of hiking sneakers that looked great with my uniform got tabled for a pair of shoes favored by nurses. While I am all for looking great, sometimes you need to be practical.
When Simple Lifestyle Changes Do Not Work
While I am a huge proponent of making lifestyle changes to change your overall wellness, there are times when simple things are not enough.
For some people, joint replacement is an option to get you back to doing the things you love. Osteoarthritis is a condition many people ignore or don’t even know they have!
While I have not been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, I do have family and friends who have. So, I have it on my mind already as something I may need to worry about in the future.
Do you or a loved one suffer from knee and/or hip pain?
How do they manage the pain so they can Hit Play and Enjoy Life?