People rely on their knees during most kinds of physical activity. Those in blue-collar professions and those who stand all day at work could injure their knees through repetitive stress or a spill on the floor. People can hyperextend their knees or tear their anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs). They could fracture their patellas by falling to their knees or tear their menisci.
Those with any kind of significant knee injury often experience pain, limited range of motion and reduced strength in the affected leg. Most people recognize that knee injuries will slow them down at work until they heal. What they may fail to consider is how that injury might affect other aspects of their life as well.
Knee injuries can affect relationships and daily life
Someone coping with a knee injury or other types of chronic pain may find that they become more irritable because of their discomfort. They may lash out at the people closest to them because of their frustration. Their change in behavior or mood can harm their relationships, including with their co-workers.
Other times, people can keep their emotions in check but cannot maintain their typical habits. A knee injury could prevent someone from actively caring for their children or doing work around the house. Someone’s functional struggles can impact them negatively by preventing them from maintaining their usual schedule. Their challenges can place additional pressure on their co-workers and loved ones.
Knee injuries can cause mental health challenges
Many people with knee injuries will try to power through the pain. They tell themselves they have to adjust to life with three or wait for it to improve. This approach may seem practical, but it can cause unintended negative consequences.
Individuals struggling with knee pain have increased rates of depression and may notice a decline in their overall mental health. That can in turn have an impact on their job performance and their relationships. Their mental health symptoms can even worsen their injury by leading to unsafe behavior or a refusal to exercise while healing.
A worker with knee pain probably needs treatment and likely time away from the job where they incurred their injury. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help someone cover medical treatment costs and afford to take a leave of absence from work while their knee injury heals.