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How do you tackle bone pain when walking?

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Old 05-07-2014, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default How do you tackle bone pain when walking?

I have never tried to exercise at this weight before and I am running into a problem I'm not sure how to deal with:

I can't seem to walk more than about 1/2 mile before my leg bones (shins, ankles and knees) start to hurt pretty bad. I have pretty supportive shoes and it's not muscle soreness - but bone pain. I had always been able to walk a couple miles at a time when I was 280ish, but now that I am 320 I just can't

My Dr. isn't very helpful, just attaching it to "because I am so fat" or "we could do tests" I can't afford.......

the only thing I can think of is to stay at the 1/2 mile and do other exercise until my weight comes down (maybe chair exercises or swimming over the summer)

Does anyone have experience with this? Does yoga or stretching help? Do vitamins help? (my calcium came back a bit low - but not bad)

I am sad because walking has been my go to exercise, and so appreciate any help you can give.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:16 AM   #2
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I run like a crazy man and have ever since I got down to 220lbs.

Three things helped me overcome joint pain.

1) Good running shoes. Try them for walking. They may just help. Especially the ones for heavy set people (e.g. Mizuno Wave Creation).
2) Oily fish. Salmon, sardines, trout, mackeral. Or if you can't stomach the fish, fish oil tablets with omega 3.
3) Glucosamine chondroitin supplements.

Ultimately weight loss helps a lot too!
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #3
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Is it joint pain or shin splints?

Anyway i was convinced that pain from shin splints was stress on the bone but others here are convinced its to do with lack of conditioning of the tendons and ligaments.

whatever the explanation, i would say definiltey do not force yourself to exercise through this sort of pain. YOu will cause a more significant injury. Work up gradually and as you say, maybe wait until you've lost a bit more weight. The amount of stress you are putting on all your joints is high. Your body doesn't need any more punishment. And if you are stressing your joints, you are causing inflammation, which i don't know a lot about but it seems to cause multiple other problems.

So don't push yourself with walking and do as you suggested, water exercise, and maybe some resistance training exercises at home. These will help you a lot.

vitamins and stretching will not achieve what can be achieved by a good diet and not over taxing your body. I"ve had an exercise injury from over training a long time ago and its not worth it. You have to stop exercising and maybe for a long time and then you just put all the weight back on.

See if you can find a training program online. I just found one suitable for me for running. Clearly its not suitable for you but there must be such things out there. I have realised that by following this plan, after one day, i can improve the quality of my exercise and minimise stress to my body doing this.

I suspect that you are trying to do too much too soon because you are in a hurry to lose the weight. I can only suggest you try to be patient with the whole process. It will come off if you can take it a bit more slowly.

Just make yourself some very firm rules around your diet. Weight loss should mainly be 80% diet, 20% exercise. That's what they say and i have found that its easier and more likely to have long term success as well.

By all means do more exercise but its your diet that needs the most work so try to focus most of your attention on that.

Last edited by Pattience : 05-07-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:22 PM   #4
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Okay, I don't disagree with what anyone has said, but I would add that stretching can be helpful, especially after you walk or even during your walk. When I walk for exercise, I stop and stretch whenever I have hip or shin pain. If the pain stops after I stretch, I keep walking; if not, I head home. When I started working up my endurance, I couldn't walk more than 10 minutes or so before I needed to stop and stretch; after a few months of working on extending endurance I can make it for 30 minutes or so without needing a "stretch stop," and up to about 45 total. I'm also noticing greater flexibility, and I've been able to add short jogging intervals, which I really thought I'd never be able to do.

I would note that I've been maintaining my weight (because I'm struggling with eating, not exercise), so these improvements in mobility have happened as a result of steady exercise and gradual increasing of walking time, not because I'm any lighter than when I started.

I hope this pain is temporary for you.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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Some of the things I would try if it was me (please note I have no training , am not a trainer, and also have never been unable to walk even at 352 lbs I still walked fairly regularily).

First : Focus on diet, diet not excercise at this point is what is going to get the weight off. And its something that your weight doesn't interfere with, you have lost weight and can continue to lose weight keeping careful watch over your food intake. Honestly that is the MOST important part of weight loss, I find while excercise improves your fitness and ergo quality of life (I excercise even when i'm GAINING weight and I think my life is better for it). Weight LOSS is mostly about food... so that's good news in that regard.

As for increasing your fitness level despite your weight issues...

You can walk a SHORT distance, there are stories about people that just started by walking to the end of their driveway, so pick the distance you can walk without it causing the massive pain.

So if you can walk 1/2 a mile at a time (or however far) without the pain then just walk the 1/2 mile, but say do it a few times a day very spaced apart. So if you can do 1/2 a mile in the morning, without it causing pain, and 1/2 a mile at lunch time 1/2 a mile in the evening. If you keep up a schedule like this your fitness will improve slowly. Eventually when that feels comfortable you can start adding afew meters... depending how you measure distance, maybe adding half a block to your route a week eventually you'll be back to walking a full mile. It's slow and tedious and takes mental toughness but you can do that.

Alternatively or in conjuction try excercise that does not involve bearing your whole body weight. Lets face it at our size it takes a lot of strength and conditioning to keep lugging around all this. Sit or lay on the floor and do moves that work your arms and/or legs. Do AB excercise that involve breath, and simply focusing on thinking and contracting your coor muscles, etc.

So a combination of doing excercises that you can do right now... determination and stick-to-it-iveness, and watching your diet/losing weight you should be able to to more.

For me excercise is about what i can do, not about how many calories it supposedly burns. Excercise is about improving fitness, capability and quality of life for me so I'm pretty passionate about it.

You can totall get to a place where you can do so many amazing things!
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:44 AM   #6
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thanks everyone, these are helpful ideas
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:54 AM   #7
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Even a modest reduction in weight will be beneficial and decrease a lot of stress on your lower extremities. As the others have said, don't force it. Do what you can tolerate or wait a bit until some more weight comes off.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:11 PM   #8
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I "walk" indoors using a Leslie Sansone video (3 mile 45 minute power walk which I find on youtube). I also follow this with 20 minutes of yoga to minimize any body pain/soreness one would usually get from working out. Additionally, I take an anti-inflammatory, just because I have really tight back/shoulder muscles. I usually get really bad pains in the areas you mentioned while I'm working out, walking long distances, or walking on rough terrain (I actually was born pigeon-toed which kind of exacerbates this issue). For the last few days I decided not to wear shoes at all when I workout. I get zero leg/ankle pain and only a tiny bit of foot pain due to my arch height (foot pain is slightly more painful upon waking the next day, but it subsides quickly). Maybe you could try this form of walking (indoor video led) and not wearing shoes?

Hope you figure out the best way for you to relieve it soon!
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