Did You Know Stress Can Make Your Knees Hurt?

I thought I was just getting too old and fat when my knee pain became an every day thing. It was excruciating at times. However, yesterday, I realized my knees don't hurt. It's been a week since I was laid off. I haven't done anything that different physically , but I don't have knee pain!

Our stress manifests physically if we let it live in us long enough. I am a master stressor. My best childhood friend, Tom, calls me “busy, busy, busy Christy.” I know how to fuel myself with anxiety and a super speedy mind. In a crisis, it's my super power. I think fast. But when it becomes my default mode, I feel it in my body. Even in my late twenties, I would get arrythmia. My “go to” physical symptom is back pain. Some of that is from sitting at a desk too long, but there's this other pain that's hard to define. It goes away when my stress levels go down.

Stress makes us ignore ourselves. It makes us put all of our energy and well being into the external world. It will creep into our bodies in all kinds of surprising ways. Don't ignore it.

If your employer offers wellness apps and wellness activities, make time to participate. Don't feel afraid that your boss will think you're not working hard enough. Use the benefit. Here's a little secret that some of you should already know, but if you don't, here it is - Those wellness programs are risk management. Your insurance premiums (and the part the company pays) are dependent on a healthy pool of insured people. Knee surgery is expensive. Heart problems are expensive. If your company is offering you free preventative healthcare, then use it!  Here are a few health apps I received access to with my former company:

Omada - weight loss coaching app via Cigna
Calm - anxiety reduction, meditation, general sense of well being
Lose It! - weight loss app

Overweight people are expensive for a company. Think my knees… But also diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. You'll see a lot of nutrition and weight loss programs offered by companies for a good reason. Take advantage of those offerings!

I never was good about using those resources, and I regret it. I have a load of weight to lose, and a load of monkey mind to slow down. I have more time now, but I really wish I had practiced better wellness at work. And if  your supervisor makes any objections to you attending company sponsored wellness events, push back; no matter how junior you are. It is company sponsored. A manager in “clock punching” mode doesn't know much about efficiency. Your company wants you healthy and productive. So use those resources!

Leave a comment