During your workouts, you mostly rely on the knees for support and movement. Sometimes, you may feel pain in the knees after exercising. Knee pain due to exercise can be alarming since there may be an underlying problem causing it. You can easily understand the cause of the pain by evaluating the kind of workouts you're doing and also where the pain is centered. Below we explore the causes of knee pain and how to address it.
What Causes Knee Pain after Exercise?
There are a lot of issues that can cause pain in the knees. They range from mild injuries from overuse like bursitis or tendinitis to more serious issues such as cartilage damage and ligament tears.
Knee pain can also be experienced when you are starting a new exercise routine. This will end once your body becomes accustomed to the exercises. Even so, if you experience knee pain related with exercise that persists for more than 2 weeks, you are advised to see a physician.
How to Manage Knee Pain Due to Exercise
Always make a point of listening to your body. If you experience knee pain after exercise, you can temporarily stop exercising and see if it goes away.
Manage the Inflammation
When you experience knee pain when exercising, you need to take quick steps to reduce the chances of inflammation. You can ice the area around the knee within the first ten minutes after exercise. You may also take anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen.
When you experience knee pain, it is also advisable to evaluate the type of shoes you wear. You need shoes that offer good arch support. This goes a long way in preventing knee pain. Your physician is able to examine your shoes and tells you whether they are in good condition for exercise. In case you continue experiencing pain in your knees over a prolonged period, it is advisable to take a few days off exercising and consult a doctor.
Reevaluate Your Exercise Regimen
If your knee pain normally occurs after you do high-intensity exercises, you may need to start alternating between high and low-intensity exercise. You can consider swimming or elliptical machine exercises as low-intensity forms of exercising. Since these put less strain on your knees, incorporating them into your workout can help to take the pressure off your knees.
Work on Your Weight
If you are heavier than your recommended weight, you are definitely adding more stress to your joints when they provide support to your body. Every extra pound you weigh equals to 4 pounds extra weight on your joints. Therefore, it is important to include a healthy diet in your workout plan. This way, you’ll be able to keep your weight in check and avoid overworking your joints.
If you experience knee pain due to exercise, you need to strengthen your joints. There are various exercises that can help treat knee pain and prevent future injuries. Some recommended exercises for knee pain include:
Hamstring curls – Face and hold on to a chair’s back. Lifting your right foot, move it towards your backside facing upwards. Ensure you keep it at 90 degrees and hold for a few seconds. Lower it and repeat with your left foot, ensuring your knees remain close together.
Straight leg lifts – Lie on your back and keep the right leg bent while the other one remains straight. As you tighten your thigh muscles, lift the straight left from the floor. Let it remain in the air for a few seconds and lower it slowly. Avoid arching your back.
Wall squat – With your back on the wall, stand straight. Your feet should be parallel to the wall and about 2 feet away. Slide slowly down the wall to a sitting position. Hold in this posture for a few seconds and slide back up. Avoid having your knees overextended in front of the toes.
Single leg dips – Hold the backside of two chairs. One should be on your right and the other on your left. Lift one leg towards the front and bend the supporting knee. Ensure you lower yourself by a few inches as you do this. Ensure your weight is focused on the heels of the leg supporting you. Hold the posture for a few seconds and then switch sides.
You can incorporate these exercises as part of your routines. And you can refer to the video below to get more exercises that would help.
When to See a Doctor
There is a multitude of tendons, bones and muscles linked to your knees. This makes it a good target for injuries. Runner’s knees and iliotibial band syndrome are some of the conditions associated with knee pain due to exercise. Runner’s knee will cause pain behind the kneecaps while iliotibial syndrome causes pain outside the kneecap. If resting, joint exercise and weight loss do not bring an end to the knee pain, you are advised to see a doctor as you may have a more serious underlying issue. The doctor will recommend several methods of treating the pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.