I’ve been hearing from a lot of people the past few weeks with complaints of pain that is holding them back from being as active as they’d like to be. Knee Pain has been the biggest complaint, but Back Pain and Shoulder Pain aren’t far behind.
Regardless there seems to be a common theme here!
It's the weather! Not the cold weather, but the Springtime weather that will be heading us into Summer before we know it!
We naturally want to be outside and be more active this time of year and we typically see more people who start to exercise more around this time too.
Whether it’s walking, running, hiking, yard work or prepping your garden…why does Knee Pain get worse when you exercise or are more active? Isn’t exercise supposed to help you feel better?
Well, yes…and NO!
Let me explain.
Yes, exercise is good for our health for many reasons and we should all strive to be as active as possible. BUT…if your muscles and joints are deconditioned, stiff and weak from a long winter with not enough activity and then suddenly you start a “NEW” activity without proper conditioning...
Well, you’re more than likely going to develop a “NEW” pain to go along with that “NEW” activity.
Even if you’re used to an activity like walking or running for example, people tend to “step it up” a little and run a little longer or faster when the sunshine starts to break through.
If you’re not used to walking or running, or haven’t gradually progressed the “NEW” activity, this is going to be a shock to your joints and muscles, which can lead to pain.
I see a lot of people this time of year with Knee Pain when bending their knee, squatting down to do yard work or garden, walking down hills or sometimes something as simple as going down a flight of stairs.
Of course, I see aches and pains develop in other areas with increased activity this time of year, but Knee Pain really is the most common.
So, the next question is…what can you do about it?
For starters, warm up a little! This will help prepare your body for being more active.
Next, start slow and build up the time spent doing the “NEW” activity slowly. And if it’s an activity you’ve already been doing regularly…again build it up slowly. This will allow your muscles, joints and connective tissues to gradually adjust to the change in activity.
Even with a warm up and gradual progression of the activity some people will still develop pain.
Well most of the time, it’s simply a lack of strength in one or more key muscles that support that particular area. With Knee Pain it could be the muscles around the knee, but it could also be muscles in the hips or lower back causing the Knee Pain.
So just doing MORE exercise isn’t always the best answer.
Doing the RIGHT exercises to stretch and/or strengthen the RIGHT muscles for your specific problem is the best way to get rid of your pain and ensure you can do more of the activities you want to be doing this Spring and Summer.
Build a strong foundation FIRST...then gradually do MORE! This will be your best chance to avoid and sudden pains or prevent aches from creeping up and then sidelining you for several weeks...or even longer!
If you're looking for more tips or advice for your Knee Pain, click here to get a copy of my FREE E-BOOK all about Knee Pain.
Helping active adults FINALLY get rid of their aches, pains and injuries, so they can keep moving, stay active and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery.
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger