Exercise! - Exercising through knee pain

View Full Version : Exercising through knee pain

04-06-2002, 12:05 PM
I just started a run/walk program where I run 1 minute and walk 2 minutes then repeat the cycle 7 times for a total of 21 mintues. The first day I ran way too fast and was gasping for breath after the 1 minute of running. I rested the next day and when I went to run the next day my knees were very sore. I muddled through ensuring that I slowed my pace way down. I took 2 days off though I took a short walk yesterday, my knees were still sore. I went to run/walk today and my knees are still quite sore though I managed to get through.

I know I shouldn't be running through pain but the fact is that I am very overweight and you would think that my knees are going to hurt no matter what. I don't want to really injure myself but I don't want to give it up either. I have been walking for several weeks and I know my legs muscles are much better than before. I am going to start doing some resistance training to further strengthen them.

Can anyone offer some opinions or thoughts on what I should do? Should I keep going with the running or give it up til my knees are recovered and just make sure I don't go too fast and hope for the best?

Joanne D
04-06-2002, 08:09 PM
Hello Jen- I hope you won't mind me putting my two cents in... I have been a walker for several years.. I tried walking and running and my knees would not take the pressure. I have had one knee replacement and will probably have to have another in the future as my left knee is slowly getting worse. I have osteoarthritis..You know that when you walk/run you are putting that much pounds of pressure on your knees each time your foot hits the ground.It is bound to cause injury when you run more so than if you walk.I went to WW and with a walking program ,of my own making,I lost 57 lbs. I continue to walk almost everyday. I might miss a few times a month. I always feel guilty when I do.
Why don't you try walking increasing your time and distance a little at a time as well as keeping to a healthy eating plan.
I bet it will work for you...Joanne

04-06-2002, 11:48 PM
Hello Jen,
I also am alot overweight and just read an article in a fitness magazine to not try running until you lose some of the extra weight. I also tried running on the treadmill the other day and felt pain in my knee so stopped and just kept walking. That is what the article said too, keep walking, which is great for you, and then when a bit closer to goal try to start running. But start slowly too.
What is your walking pace right now? How long do you walk and how often?

I'm new here,
Look forward to getting to know you better,

04-07-2002, 04:39 PM
HI! Everyone I am new to this just joined like many of you I have ostoarthritis of my kneeand will need a replacement am trying to find some form of exercisethat will benefit me but not give me more pain then what I have have started walking for 30 minutesa couple of times a week should I just increase the time and naturally do it more often any suggestions would be a help Thanks Rita

04-07-2002, 07:54 PM
Never run through joint pain, whether you're overweight or not. I agree with Joanne that you should keep walking. I'm curious as to what is driving you to want to run? If it's your thinking that running will help you lose weight more quickly, I think it would help to know that *any* form of physical activity is going to help in your weight loss process. When you're very overweight and your body is in less than peak physical fitness, low impact aerobic activity coupled with strength training is your best bet. You will burn calories and you will add muscle mass, incrementally increasing your fitness level. Walking, swimming, low impact aerobics are all great - basically anything that causes you to break a sweat and leaves you slightly breathless. Anything that leaves you gasping for breath or that makes your joints hurt is too taxing on your body. Give it time.

RAR - You really should ask your doctor about what exercises are best, given the particular condition of your knee. My Mom is headed for a knee replacement, and she's been advised to stop long walks and stick with an exercise bike with no resistance. Water aerobics are also OK for her, provided the pool has stair steps leading to the water so she doesn't have to use the ladder.

Joanne D
04-07-2002, 07:59 PM
I have had one knee replacement and will need the other fixed in the future. I am a walker and have osteoarthritis too. I have always heard that movement is the key to arthritis. In other words don't get stiff by sitttng around too much. Walking is good and if you can increase without pain good... Joanne

04-08-2002, 08:54 AM
I want to run primarily because I always loved running when I was younger. I ran a lot in high school. Also of course I would like to increase my weight loss.

I have been walking for several months and at this point I don't think I can improve where I am. I walk at a fairly brisk pace and walk about 3 miles a day. I know I could walk further but I get bored of just walking. Even when I vary my routes and try all those techniques to try and make it more interesting I just find it boring after awhile.

I think my biggest problem was that I tried to do too much the first day. I ran on this past Saturday at a much slower pace and my knees were much better afterwards. They are still a bit sore so I'm not going to run today and see where I am tomorrow.

Thanks for everyones posts.

04-08-2002, 12:42 PM
Water exercise is excellent for injuries. You can use special pull-buoys to just exercise your arms and keep your legs steady, you can do gentle flutter kick, you can use aqua-belts for support and 'run' in the pool or just try leg lifts and ab work. Also check into aquafitness classes - you can talk to your instructor for ways to modify the program to your injury. Seniors classes are especially gentle. Good luck!

04-08-2002, 01:15 PM

If, as you say, you are very overweight then running is actually something you should NOT automatically include in your workout.

You would probably be better served taking down the intensity of your workout and increasing the time you spend doing it. By this I mean instead of running for a couple of minutes try power walking for 10 minutes.

I know that we are always told that running burns more calories than walking, and it does when measured over a set time. But the less fit or able you are the less time you can manage to run, so you limit the number of calories you can burn anyway.

As an obese woman who is also an exercise consultant I ALWAYS recommend that my clients start off at a manageable walk and increase the TIME not the SPEED. Any exercise you do has to be enjoyable, manageable and free of pain and discomfort. So why push it? Walk at a good pace, include hand/ankle weights if you so desire (when you get fit enough). Make sure that you only increase the pace as and when your body feels comfortable, decrease the pace if you don't like it.

Any recommendations you may read in magazines, and often the info given in gyms by consultants, are based on a fit active and healthy population. Actaully the magazines tend to concentrate on sporty fit people!!!! Don't be afraid to say "That's too much" and to modify your routine to suit your body. It's yours and you know how it feels, allow yourself to retain control and to work at a safe pace for you!!!

If I can help just let me know. Such stuff is my daily living and I am always happy to help!

Stef (Physical Activity Consultant; NVQ2, BSc, MSc)

04-08-2002, 02:14 PM
Stef I read your post with interest though one thing popped out at me. I've always read (and not just in magazines but in physiology textbooks about exercise) that walking with ankle weights is not recommended.

Also I would like to point out that Oprah was at least as heavy as I am when she started running. She was doing 2 workouts a day when she first started losing weight, running/walking and using a Stairmaster.

I'd like to thank everyone for their posts.

Joanne D
04-08-2002, 03:39 PM
Jen ..It looks like you are getting some real good advice about your exercise program. I am with Stef and the other girls when it comes to running. You can cause yourself a lot of injury. Shin splints as well as hip,knee and ankle problems that can be a lifetime injuries. I believe that although Opra was a runner she also developed some injuries from running and had to stop.I believe in the safe and slower way to weight loss is the best and more lasting way to go,but, you have to do what you feel is best for you.
Stef.. I think you also gave me some good advice at one time. I am still maintaining my wt. loss and still wishing for a little more loss. My body seems to like the place it's in even if I don't. I still have that fear of gaining. I washed the icecream down the sink last night. Now if I can get rid of the WOW chips etc...:lol: I wish I had a pool.. The spa's are really expensive here. ..Maybe I'll hit the LOTTO...Fat Chance..I just had my shoulder injected.. I have osteoarthritis and have been limited on upper body exercise lately..
Bye for now...Joanne

04-08-2002, 04:58 PM
I can totally understand the desire to run - especially if you used to run a lot. I'm a runner, and I can honestly say that having a good run is one of the best feelings in the world. I switched from power walking to running as a way to increase my cardio, and I've become hooked. But I did it *very* slowly (like running 1 minute, walking 5), and it took me a good 3 months to work my way up to a 5K distance. Jen, how about just relying on your body to be your guide? If there's joint pain, don't run. Get yourself a heartrate monitor, and use it to pump up your walking pace/distance to get yourself into a fat-burning zone. Sometimes knowing that we're working out in the proper heartrate zone (often a slower pace than you think you should be working in) helps us avoid overdoing it. Just some (more) thoughts (on one of my favorite subjects, since exercise has been my key to maintenance). Keep up the good work, at any rate. :)

04-09-2002, 01:34 PM
Hi All,

Jen, you are quite right about the ankle weights for running, but they are still a viable and valuable assett in other exercise forms. Apologies for being a bit slack there! Rupertsmom gives great advice. Having been there she knows how to as well as how NOT to!

Joanne D - glad to hear you're maintaining. I know you have heard this before but the last bits are the hardest! You have to decide whether you are happy where you are (remembering that a little extra fat covering is a natural and, in some ways, a positive thing), or if you really want to push yourself a bit further.

You need to increase your energy deficit, so that means increase expenditure or reduce calorie intake - doesn't that sound familiar? If, sorry WHEN, you feel like you want to start working that shoulder again give me a shout - I usually step in after physio! Chances are that a bit of resistance work will give your body a bit of a boost. I could work legs and/or arms for you!?!?!?!

Please read my HELP thread, I'm sure you could all give me really good advice.


Joanne D
04-09-2002, 08:06 PM
Stef- Now tell me how you could help me work my shoulder? You are in the UK and I am in Florida.!! I read your thread and it sounds very much like something I have been thinking about. I want to lose about 10 more lbs. I am sitting on 154 lbs which is 4 lbs over my high goal wt. It is too close to the edge for me to feel happy about myself.I will be willing to take all advice into consideration. My daughter got me a Margaret Richard vidio for over 50 age. and a Richard Simmons tape. He is a little fast. I guess he is good if you don't have osteoarthritis.
How you doing Jen?

04-10-2002, 11:12 AM
Just thought I would let everyone know that I've decided to take a week's break from doing any running or walking to give my knees time to completely heal. I am still going to ride my exercise bike, as that is non weight bearing it should be okay for my knees.

Joanne D
04-10-2002, 03:22 PM
Jen- Good for you!! Start slow and work your way up to your level.. I could barely walk 1/2 mile when I first started. I now walk 3.5- 5 miles with ease.I have my good days and my bad days.. By the way I am 69 years young..Joanne