How to Prevent Knee Pain whilst Commuting

Whether you live in London or in the countryside, chances are you spend quite a lot of time commuting. Despite the uncomfortable peak time conditions, if you are not careful with the positions you are adopting, you can also end up in pain or slowing down your injury recovery.

When you are spending countless hours on the train, car etc, it’s important to optimise your positions to ensure that your body won’t feel the after effects.

A common issue with commuters is knee pain.

Most issues around the knee stem from poor hip and foot positions.

Does the photo below look familiar to you?

Hip dropped to one side, knee collapsing in. You may also have added load in the form of a bag or backpack. Most people often adopt a similar position while sitting or driving, with knees together, almost touching and sitting more on one hip.

This will likely cause problems along your spine – (more on back pain next week) – but also down your legs. Your knee is where all the stress tends to concentrate, and you are likely going to get pain at the sides of your knee cap/s. Hip weakness is the main culprit here as mentioned in our previous blogs.

Another common issue is tight hip flexors, causing pain along the front of the knee.

Here are 3 simple steps to reduce stress on your knees while commuting:

  1. When you stand, make sure your feet are under your hips and your knees are tracking over your feet. Try to equally distribute your weight on both legs. When driving, try avoiding shifting your hips side to side and don’t let the knees buckle in.
  2. Get on/off your stop earlier: walking an extra block will help you spend more time moving, activating your glutes and counteracting all the hours spent sitting. It’s also a great chance to destress.
  3. When sitting, sit actively and straight: don’t slouch, don’t sit at the front of the seat and lean back and don’t  lean excessively to the side.

Remember that being stationary can make symptoms from conditions like runners’ knee, tendinopathies and arthritis worse so if you are recovering from any of these, try standing whenever possible, or if you are sitting for a long period as on trains and planes, perform some leg extensions and calf raises to get some blood flow and movement in your leg muscles and joints.

Struggling with knee pain? Get your assessment booked today….

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