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Knee pain while sitting at desk for extended periods

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ojwaktasa:
Hello! I currently sit at my desk for work for a good 8-9h a day. I love what I do, but the only issue I'm facing is that after a few hours, I find that my knees are absolutely killing me and it makes it difficult to focus.

I've tried standing desks/treadmills/etc, but the issue there is my work is very focus-intensive. I find myself getting physically exhausted much more quickly when I stand compared to sitting. So I'm at a bit of an impasse.

I currently sit in a Herman Miller Mirra chair, and have a typical Ikea desk. My feet are simply resting on the floor, wearing socks or slippers. I've recently also started doing knee-specific stretches daily, and am hoping for the best.

Has anyone else had this issue before? Any ideas on what could be causing it and what I can do to prevent/help it moving forward?

Thank you very much!

pixelpusher:

--- Quote from: ojwaktasa on Mon, 28 August 2023, 11:14:24 ---Hello! I currently sit at my desk for work for a good 8-9h a day. I love what I do, but the only issue I'm facing is that after a few hours, I find that my knees are absolutely killing me and it makes it difficult to focus.

I've tried standing desks/treadmills/etc, but the issue there is my work is very focus-intensive. I find myself getting physically exhausted much more quickly when I stand compared to sitting. So I'm at a bit of an impasse.

I currently sit in a Herman Miller Mirra chair, and have a typical Ikea desk. My feet are simply resting on the floor, wearing socks or slippers. I've recently also started doing knee-specific stretches daily, and am hoping for the best.

Has anyone else had this issue before? Any ideas on what could be causing it and what I can do to prevent/help it moving forward?

Thank you very much!

--- End quote ---

I have had issues with knees and feet for a decade.  There's no getting around it, the prolonged sitting is probably causing the issue. But, as you said, you need to be at your desk seated, so prolonged standing isn't an option. 

Breaking it up (consistently) will definitely help.  You need to hold yourself accountable to simply stand up take a few steps around the room every 15-30 minutes.  I know the consensus is 1 hr, but I think that's way too short when you have pain so quickly from sitting.  I would set a timer and stick to it.  You don't have to take a long break from your work... simply stand and take a few steps.  If you have an apple watch this is even easier to set up.  As you may have read, knee pain can often be caused by stiff muscles pulling on the many tendons around the knee.  So stretching your quads and calves a few times a day would certainly be beneficial.  When I did PT, stretching was usually pretty light and long.  So holding a stretch for 45 seconds two times is more beneficial than a hard 10 second stretch a few times.

Also, make sure you're drinking enough water.  Keep the joints lubricated.  Perhaps look into foods and supplements high in anti-oxidants.  I would even try a glucosamine supplement.  Can't hurt.

One last thing to check for would be anything in your diet that could be leading to inflammation.  I always mention it because I one time had pain in my hips and knees so bad that I couldn't sleep at night.  Turns out, sucralose (Splenda) was the cause.  I had started drinking a soda with sucralose and over a week or two, the levels built up in my system enough to cause joint pain.  After just 2 days off of the soda it went away.  I'm not alone in this regard.  Thought I would mention it.

Hope you find something that helps.  I know that chronic pain, especially one that you feel is unavoidable, can be overwhelming both physiologically and psychologically.  This is definitely something a doctor and/or Physical Therapist could help you out with if you decide to take that step.

Leslieann:
Make sure your feet are on the floor.
If they aren't solidly it can put put stress on your knees, if not, get a foot rest.

Just because you have a good chair and it supports your back doesn't mean your whole setup is is setup properly

ergomonk:
It's possible that this is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), but unlikely if you experience no other issues.
Generally most knee issues respond to the same exercises, so I'd suggest giving those for PFPS a try and also looking into Kneesovertoesguy on Youtube.

SirYeetWilliams:
Anecdotal, and probably not quite the answer you're looking for, but after struggling with the same thing for a LONG while (plus 2 lumbar spine fusions), I started doing squats every 2 hours focusing on form with an emphasis on inward knee flexion (a physical trainer friend's recommendation).

Doing this has removed 90% of my knee pain, and improving still 9 weeks in. It's straight up a night and day difference compared to before.

And like folks here are saying. Feet flat, and knees straight forward at 90 degrees. :thumb:

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