One body part that people give little thought to until it breaks down is the knee. Our knees allow us to do everything from walking and climbing stairs to kneeling in worship and getting down to the level of a small child.
Knees certainly deserve to be treated with care, as when they “go out,” the consequences can be life-altering. Unfortunately, those in certain professions are more likely to develop knee problems like bursitis. If you work at one of the following jobs, you, too, might suffer a work-related knee injury:
- Carpenters and construction workers – Builders, contractors and construction workers have to frequently bend and kneel to do their jobs.
- Carpet, tile and floor installers – Kneeling on the ground and “kicking” the carpet using a knee-kicker is particularly damaging to the knees.
- House-cleaners – Whether it’s done professionally or simply in your own home, kneeling to scrub floors can damage the knees over time.
- Bricklayers – Those who toil at stonework, bricklaying and masonry spend their working days on their knees.
- Roofers – Roofers must kneel to measure, repair and install roofing shingles.
- Landscapers and gardeners – Yard work involves pulling weeds and planting flowers, activities that are often done while kneeling.
How bursitis develops and flares
The 11 bursae in each knee are fluid-filled sacs that both lubricate and cushion the soft tissue, tendons and bones, allowing them to glide effortlessly with every movement. The bursae in knees get irritated and inflamed due to over-usage and stress.
What you can do to help
Stretching your legs and taking frequent breaks can alleviate some of the stressors that can lead to chronic bursitis. So can wearing padded knee braces or using mats to protect the knees from excess pressure. Elevating the legs and icing the knees after work may be helpful in some cases.
It’s also helpful to drop a few pounds if you are overweight, as too much weight causes great stress on vulnerable knee joints.
When your condition impedes your working
If the condition persists and worsens, the above remedies may no longer bring relief. In fact, you may discover that you can no longer continue doing your job because of your stiff and sore knee joints.
Should that day come, you may need assistance with filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits so that it gets quickly approved and you can get some medical and financial relief.