Have you ever woken up with knee pain and didn’t know where it came from? Or have you had an ache in your shoulder you just couldn’t shake?
These are just a couple examples of how aches and pains or serious injuries can come out of nowhere. This has happened to all of us, but I’m here to tell you that the pain didn’t come out of nowhere.
Some of your daily habits may be hurting your body. There are things that we all do subconsciously that create imbalances in our bodies. Life is not balanced: when you drive your right leg is working a lot while your left is completely relaxed. You are either right handed or left-handed, which means one arm is always working overtime.
Little things like these cause muscle imbalances, or some muscles to be tight and others weak. When certain muscles in your body are overly tight, things will start to be painful. For example, tight quad or calf muscles usually create knee pain. When the muscles surrounding the knee are out of whack, that joint takes the beating.
There are certain things in life that you can’t change. You will always drive with your right foot, and you can’t change what hand is your dominant one. But, there are a few daily habits that if you focus enough on, you can change.
Sitting into one hip when you stand
I do not know many people that stand up completely straight with their weight evenly distributed on each foot. I for one always sit into my left hip when I’m standing still. This is probably why my left knee causes me pain from time to time. Knowing that this is a habit of mine, I try to switch up my stance whenever I think about it. Next time you’re waiting in line at the store, think about how you are standing and see if you should make changes too.
Carrying your bag on the same shoulder
Those of us that carry purses or messenger bags probably always drape the tote over the same shoulder everyday. Doing this will create imbalances in your shoulders. It will also hurt your posture. This is a tough habit to break, but the way I have broken it, is by using a backpack most of the time. Obviously when I’m out running errands or getting dinner with a friend, I carry a purse. It feels weird to switch which shoulder I carry the bag on, so I just try to keep that purse as light as possible. The rest of the time however, I opt for a backpack. So try not to carry your life in your purse, or be careful of overusing one shoulder if you do.
Always holding the phone to the same ear
Your cell phones rings, and you pick it up with the same hand every time. Am I right? This is another way of creating imbalances in the body. Always texting with the same hand or holding the phone in one hand creates issues in your upper body. This is another habit that is tough to break. However, if you find yourself on a lengthy phone call, try to switch up which hand is holding the phone every few minutes.
Wearing dress shoes
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. High heels, male dress shoes, sandals, and basically any shoes that do not provide cushion and support are going to mess up your ankles and knees. Unsupportive shoes force your calf muscles to work overtime, and as I mentioned before tight calves cause knee pain. Overactive calf muscles also mess with the ankle. It’s not always possible, but when you can try to find supportive shoes. There are so many options on the market today; you can find something that will not hurt you so much.
Sleeping on your stomach
There are pros and cons to every sleeping position, but sleeping on your stomach has some major cons that overweigh any potential benefit. Sure, sleeping this way may reduce snoring. However, it also puts unnecessary strain on your back and neck. All of us have blamed pain on sleeping weird. And it’s possible you may sleep on your stomach one night and wake up with no pain at all. However, this is one habit that over time will cause a lot of pain. It’s best to avoid sleeping on your stomach.