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Bad Knees

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm worried about being a chef with arthritic knee issues.  Will it be a problem keeping up with everyone else and so on. Does anyone have or know someone with this problem and if so how do you/they cope?

post #2 of 19

I am with you on this one brother, I have arthritis in both my hands since last year and have to say it depressed me in the beginning. It is worse in the mornings when I wake up and it gets better as I warm up and get on with my day, some times it is worse than other times...The thing is there is nothing that can be done about it really as far as I know, so we have to learn to live with it. as I say mine is in my hands, and apart from loosing a bit of strength in my hands everything else is as before. at times it hurts but generally it isn't too bad  So I don't know about the knees, my feeling about it is that I have to keep active to minimise the effects of it, so I plough on...

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshellbites View Post
 

I'm worried about being a chef with arthritic knee issues.  Will it be a problem keeping up with everyone else and so on. Does anyone have or know someone with this problem and if so how do you/they cope?

 

its what retired me..... They tell me i need both knees replaced.  You cope by pushing through :)  18 hour days 75 days in a row.. you just push though.

 

Invest in very good orthopedic shoes and stay on the mats as much as possible.  Do not ignore your knees. Keep up with your doctor as much as possible.

post #4 of 19

I have some major arthritic joints and what I do is wear the proper shoes, stay on the mats, wear pressure socks and have both my knees wrapped if they are really bad, I also get home and jump into an epsom salt bath each night for 20 minutes minimum and this gets all the kinks and soreness out. I have been eating a lot cleaner (no gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, processed anything) and drinking tons of water lately and have to admit this has been helping with less pain. Go figure!

post #5 of 19
the importance of shoes cannot be understated
post #6 of 19

Are you already suffering from bad knees or just looking ahead?  Good shoes, watch your weight, don't live on cigarettes and booze, and work smarter not harder.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #7 of 19

I think it depends on you. Your lifestyle, drive and what you can handle. Some people can push through, some cant. My previous banquet supervisor had both knees replaced, was out for three months, and on his first week back he worked 75 hours. Another woman who had the same procedure coudnt see how he could do it. I am really young, already have back problems (ive been diagnosed with Fibro but think thats a bullcrap diagnose) and figure it pretty much comes with the job. I invest in my shoes and feet as well as my health. Nearly every cook i have worked with has back problems, shoulder problems, knee problems, wrist/hand problems.... it really just depends on you and how hard you want to push.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie007 View Post
 

I am with you on this one brother, I have arthritis in both my hands since last year and have to say it depressed me in the beginning. It is worse in the mornings when I wake up and it gets better as I warm up and get on with my day, some times it is worse than other times...The thing is there is nothing that can be done about it really as far as I know, so we have to learn to live with it. as I say mine is in my hands, and apart from loosing a bit of strength in my hands everything else is as before. at times it hurts but generally it isn't too bad  So I don't know about the knees, my feeling about it is that I have to keep active to minimise the effects of it, so I plough on...


Some days I have to physically pry my hands from their locked position when holding a Chef's knife.

Like you mornings are stiff but warm water and finger manipulation helps...(I practice piano scales to help)

post #9 of 19
Had knee surgery a couple of days ago.
Everyone in the room preop asked how I blew it out and were shocked when I told them a lifetime of wear and tear.
They were used to hearing about a specific injury I guess.

It is your thigh muscles that protect your knees.
Instead of bending over to pick something up or put it away...squat.
Place heavy things at your tummy level and small light equipment on lower shelves.
As a nurse I started most of my IVs by squating.
If not I raised the bed.
Kept my legs strong but could still hear the occasional popping.

Good shoes and strong core muscles will keep your lower back healthy.

It was my back that went first ....my balance after the first lumbar fusion.
Then the knee.
Wonder what is next lol.

mimi
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wow thanks for all the responses. Yes, I currently have knee issues and it's making me procrastinate horribly on progressing in my career.  Ok so I guess I have to face the fear and plough through.  Thanks everyone. 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshellbites View Post

Wow thanks for all the responses. Yes, I currently have knee issues and it's making me procrastinate horribly on progressing in my career.  Ok so I guess I have to face the fear and plough through.  Thanks everyone. 

You can stall the enevitable for quite some time by working on your core and thigh muscles now.
See if you can get your doc to write an order for a PT evaluation.
If you have insurance they will likely pay 100% as it is a preventative measure.

mimi

If you are a runner you may want to thing about power walking instead.
Running is brutal on your hips and knee joints.

m.
post #12 of 19

yoga or stretching. and proper Standing Position while working,  get some instruction on Body alignment.  my wife is in physio and she constantly Trains me,  but she is really correcting me,  at first i was like "chill babe this is how i do it."  then started listening to her and now after Long days of proper Standing i feel strong and good at the end of the day not tired and sore.  she also has me put cold water on my lower legs at the end of the shower to push out any excess liquid from my lower legs that has accumulated after standing all day.  this will help with the circulation

post #13 of 19

Doctor is a must - shoes that support is a must

 

Little secret helper - used it myself on numerous occasions - heating pads

 

The heat makes it slightly better and by getting a knee brace (one of them things you pull over the knee) in a size or two larger than needed you can easily fit a nice heating pad in.

 

Hope it helps

post #14 of 19
I am still suffering the consequences of years spent on my feet in food service. What I've found to help above all is regular bicycling, which strengthens the quads that surround the knee and take pressure off of the joint. Cycling also helps keep weight down, which is also important to keeping your knees happy as possible with fewer pounds to press down on them. Cycling is a non-impact sport that's easy to do for busy people who don't want to drive to a gym.

When I'm not riding regularly and I'm spending time on my feet, my knee ache and grinding comes back. Icing it really helps- there are dedicated freeze pack braces to keep the cold on- as does wearing a fabric knee brace with metal side reinforcements and a hole for the patella. The knee brace is really helpful for long periods of standing in the kitchen.

I hope this helps. I really sympathize with those who also have chronic knee pain.
post #15 of 19
It's frustrating working in kitchens where they don't believe in mats....
Just a couple years ago I thought every kitchen used them, now I've seen 3 straight restaurants without them....
Amazing how stingy some places are...
post #16 of 19

45 years of working on some really bad floors has given me 5...count them....5 herniated disks. I was diagnosed just a month ago and still trying to take it all in.

No more lifting, carrying things on my shoulders, got to learn how to sit in a chair correctly, how to bend and pick stuff up all over again.

post #17 of 19

Great advice here. I'll have to return to yoga and get the bike fixed. Not to mention lose some weight. 

Kostendorf mentioned Proper Standing position while working. I'll second that with proper posture, not just when working but all the time.  I see so many people who seem to be slouching when they stand. 

"At attention" is the first phrase to come to mind. shoulders back, stomach in (as much as possible anyway), back and legs straight.

This puts your spine in the proper positioning and keeps the internal organs where they should be with plenty of room and keeps the weight distributed as correctly as our bellies will allow. 

Stand up straight, sit up straight. 

And good shoes. Never work without good shoes. 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

45 years of working on some really bad floors has given me 5...count them....5 herniated disks. I was diagnosed just a month ago and still trying to take it all in.

No more lifting, carrying things on my shoulders, got to learn how to sit in a chair correctly, how to bend and pick stuff up all over again.

 

Hate to hear that.

You didn't say where the disks are located but lumbar region I suspect.

I hatehatehate regular physical therapy but have found the sports type to be fun as well as safe.

Get one good round and learn all the core exercises then join a gym.

I stretch first then do about 30 min on the recumbent bike (this bike supports the lumbar area) and move onto the machines that target my abs and back.

I remove all of the weights and then go slow (closing my eyes helps me focus on the muscles I am working on) and stop at 10 reps.

You don't want to build muscle... just tone and strengthen the ones that support the lower back and tummy.

 

mimi

post #19 of 19
As I sit here recovering from knee surgery 2 days ago this sure does bring things into perspective. I have been working in kitchens for almost 40 years. Opened my restaurant almost 4 years ago. It has really taken a toll on my legs, knees and lower back after 12 hour days 7 days a week. What I have always done is wear good shoes ( replacing them after around 7-8 months.) I have recently learned to delegate more ( not soon enough) as this life style is taking its toll. After reading the previous posts this knee problem seems to be prevalent in this industry. Hope I can learn from this and delegate more and learn to let go of things.
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