“My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents. Yet when I look back, I see a pattern.” ― Benoît B. Mandelbrot.
When I injured my knee years ago, I thought it was an accident. While playing basketball, I jumped and landed awkwardly. Someone pushed me sideways, increasing the twist in my knee – and there went my ACL. What a stroke of bad luck!
I was wrong.
Months later, by paying attention to the small details of how my leg worked and how it was moving relatively to my hip, pelvis, and spine, I had a big “AHA” moment. I learned there was no such thing as an accident or bad luck. The way I used my leg was weakening my ligaments! It was only a matter of time before I would blow out my knee.
What made my knee vulnerable? The cumulative effect of poor movement and posture over time – and a lack of awareness.
In my case, it was the habit of holding my right foot off to the side, the pelvis mainly rotating to one side, and my torso compressing and collapsing into a slouch.
The cause of pain and misery is often trivial. A slight misalignment here or there. Insufficient skeletal support and little disorganization of movement cause strain or excessive loading. Do it repetitively, thousands of times over months or years, and you got a recipe for a problem or injury.
Poor self-use can herniate spinal discs, damage tendons, menisci, cartilage, and ligaments, and contribute to the onset of joint arthritis.
Reverse Engineer Through Awareness
Improving how you sit, stand, walk, and use your body can reduce chronic pain and damage to your joints. But, the process has to start with your awareness of your unique patterns of self-use. For the health of the knee joint, the essentials include: how you stand, walk, squat, pivot, and negotiate stairs.
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” — Eckhart Tolle.
Is your knee a ticking time bomb, too? Is your knee pain the center of attention these days?