The Slow Accident and Your Knees

These accidents occur over long periods and often do not generate accident reports or present themselves until it is too late. 

A Working Machine

The patella tendon/patella/quadriceps tendon, is a working machine. Its job is to work for the quadriceps muscle in standing you up from a bent knee or squatting position. The patella tendon is fastened to the front of the tibia. This working machine is very strong. You could likely tow a small vehicle with it. Its only attribute is its strength from end to end. Though far better than man-made rope, like rope, it still has it’s limits when being impacted from the side. Its tolerance is directly related to the number of hits it takes.

Cumulative Trauma Disorder

Your body usually speaks when you do something damaging. Unfortunately, there are few nerves involved with the patella tendon. If nature had known about specializing tradesmen and their repetitive work habits, there would probably be extra sensory nerves to signal “enough.” Many workers simply block out the pain and do their work believing that better solutions do not exist. It is unreasonable to believe that your patella tendon is not being traumatized when you crush it between the end of your femur and a hard surface with your full body weight. The effects of this repetitive traumatizing of the patella tendon accumulates over the years. If statistics were developed by the shear number of late life knee surgeries and knee replacements, the need for concern would be obvious.

Circulation in the Legs

Strap-on knee pads of many different styles and types have been on the market for 60 – 70 years. They have been resisted by most workers and rightfully so. Besides the irritation of being hot and sweaty, pulled hair and annoying mislocation, they more seriously impair the lymphatic migration from the lower extremities. This lymphatic fluid (plasma) is the nourishment for your entire body. Nature has given this system the ability to defy gravity and with reasonable activity return to the thoracic artery above your heart for replacement. We believe this system will not tolerate straps around your legs particularly tight enough to keep knee pads positioned.

Knee Infections

Knee infections are caused by bacteria entering the body. This can be caused by your body weight forcing contaminants through your skin. Sterile knee infections can be caused by excessive cumulative trauma where soft tissue is damaged and has lost its blood supply. Both of these health threatening infections may be avoided with proper knee protection. Working Concepts is dedicated to searching for and developing new and better solutions for kneeling workers and to teaching the long term affects of kneeling with out knee protections.

Human Knee Anatomy

The distal end of the femur and the tibial plateau both have hard, shiny, smooth, silver gray surfaces called condyles.

The meniscus does NOT offer cushion to this joint while standing.

The condyles meet in the middle, making hard surface to hard surface contact.

Why static standing is painful:

  • Your skeleton struggles against gravity to hold up your soft tissue
  • Contact points remain the same when standing
  • Body weight forces nature’s lubricant out of these contact points
  • Both earth and man-made vibrations are now wearing on one very small, unlubricated area
  • All load bearing joints feel these vibrations
  • The instability of these soft mats triggers the proprioceptive muscles that shift your body weight from side to side. The end result is a lube job for your load bearing joints.

The Slow Accident and Your Low Back

Human SkeletonThere is mounting evidence that the flat, firm and stable surfaces that we spend so much time on, coupled with static work, may be responsible for many of the unexplainable low back attacks. Many back surgeons admit to missing something due to so many unsuccessful back surgeries.

A case study reveals that flight attendants do not have low back trouble. Standing in flight is very similar to standing on an Extreme Standing Mat.

Have you ever wondered why walking on the beach or a mountain trail feels so much better than the floor of a convention center? Have we done too good of a job stabilizing, supporting and reducing muscular demands in our effort to reduce musculoskeletal problems?

The Extreme Standing Mats, an ErgoKneel product, was designed for and proven successful in providing substantial relief for people doing standing work. Please read “Preventing The Slow Accident” for more information.

The Psoas muscles connect the lumbar spine to the head of the femur. Many static work environments result in atrophy of these muscles that provide supporting tissue for the lumbar spine. We use them or we loose them. Period.