How To Get Rid Of Joint Pain After Exercise
Joint pain is just a fact of life, OK? Most of us experience it to a greater or lesser degree throughout our lives, but it becomes especially common as we get older.
There are a number of possible causes of joint pain, including injury, arthritis, bursitis, gout, and tendonitis. Joint pain can also be the result of repetitive stress or overuse.
Exercise can go a long way to help/alleviate joint pain. It helps to increase range of motion, lubricates joints, strengthens the muscles that support them, and can help with weight control.
Post-workout Pain: How much is too much?
If you’re new to exercise, or if you’ve been away from it for a while, start slowly and gradually build up your intensity and duration. Also, don't forget to warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards - yes, we know you'll be rolling your eyes, however, no warm up/cool down will always be a recipe for disaster!
If you already have joint pain, exercise may not be the best solution for you – at least not initially. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting or changing an exercise routine.
In some cases, exercise may help to reduce joint pain by keeping the muscles around the joints strong and better able to support them. However, in other cases, particularly if the joint is already damaged, exercise may further irritate the joint and cause more pain.
It’s important to listen to your body and not push through pain. If you experience joint pain during or after exercise, stop what you’re doing and rest. You may also want to ice the area for 20 minutes to help reduce inflammation.
If the pain persists, talk to your doctor to see if there’s another cause that needs to be addressed. In the meantime, focus on other forms of exercise that don’t put as much stress on the joints, such as swimming or biking.
Joint-Friendly Exercise Tips:
Strength training: Strength-training not only helps to keep your muscles strong, but can also help reduce joint pain. Be sure to focus on all major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdominals, chest, arms, and shoulders.
Range-of-motion exercises: These exercises help to maintain or improve the range of motion in your joints. Examples include gentle stretching and yoga.
Tai chi: This ancient Chinese practice is often described as “meditation in motion.” Tai chi involves slow, deliberate movements and is said to be helpful in reducing stress and improving balance and coordination.
Pilates: This exercise method focuses on controlled movements that engage the core abdominal muscles. Pilates can help to improve posture, muscle control, and flexibility.
Aquatic therapy: Exercise in a pool is a great way to get moving while minimising stress on your joints. Many community pools offer aquatic exercise classes for people of all fitness levels.
Cross-training: This term refers to participating in different types of exercise to avoid overuse injuries. For example, if you’re a runner, you might also bike or swim to vary your workout routine and give your joints a break from the high impact of running.
Wear the right shoes: Wearing shoes that are appropriate for your sport and fit well can help reduce joint pain by providing support and cushioning for your feet, ankles, and knees.
Use proper form: When exercising, be sure to use proper form to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your joints. If you’re not sure how to do an exercise correctly, ask a certified personal trainer or your doctor for guidance.
Don’t forget to warm up and cool down: As mentioned above, warming up before exercise and cooling down afterwards helps to prepare your body for activity and prevent injury.
A simple warm-up might involve walking or riding a stationary bike for 5-10 minutes, followed by some light stretching.
After your workout, cool down with another 5-10 minutes of walking or easy activity, followed by static stretches (holding a stretch for 20-30 seconds without bouncing).
Is it normal for joints to hurt after exercise?
It’s normal to feel some muscle soreness after exercise, but joint pain is a different story. Joint pain can be the result of overuse, injury, or an underlying condition such as arthritis. If you experience joint pain during or after exercise, stop what you’re doing and rest. You may also want to ice the area for 20 minutes to help reduce inflammation. If the pain persists, speak to your doctor.
How Long Does joint pain last after working out?
Joint pain that is the result of overuse or injury should go away within a few days. If you’re still experiencing joint pain after a week, it’s time to see your doctor to rule out an underlying condition. They can run any necessary tests and develop a treatment plan to help relieve your pain.
How can I heal my joints faster?
If you’re experiencing joint pain, there are a few things you can do to speed up the healing process:
- Make the most of your gym; if you have access to a sauna or warm pool, use it. Heat and humidity will do wonders for soothing tired muscles.
- Rest; take a break from exercise or activities that aggravate your joints.
- Ice; apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes several times a day.
- Compress; use an elastic bandage or compression sleeve to help reduce swelling.
- Elevate; keep the affected joint elevated above heart level to reduce swelling.
- Pain relief; pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce inflammation and pain. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and talk to your doctor before taking any medication.
- Re-hydrate; drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.
- Sleep; getting enough sleep gives your body time to heal.
- Supplements; certain supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown to be helpful in reducing joint pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
If you’re experiencing joint pain after exercise, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, this is a very common issue.
However, there are ways to help ease the pain and speed up the healing process.
Follow these tips and you should start to feel better in no time.