It’s an all too common problem. You feel like you’ve just had a great workout, and perhaps you’ve made a new personal best record, going for longer or going harder than ever before. However, the burning sensation you felt in your knee during the exercise isn’t going away as quickly as you thought it would. Knee pain after a workout can be annoying, not to mention a little concerning. What’s causing it, and what can you do to fix it?
Could it just be regular post-workout soreness?
Before you get too worried about whether or not your knee soreness is something more serious, take the time to let it recover. You can ice your knee and make sure that you give it time to rest, but if the pain is entirely gone after a couple of days, then there is a good chance that it was nothing more than delayed onset muscle soreness, which is a natural part of working out for just about anyone. If DOMs goes on for too long, that can be a problem in and of itself, and one we will look at how to fix in more detail. However, there’s a difference between an injury to the joint and regular muscle soreness and, in most cases, the latter isn’t going to be too serious.
Be sure to stretch after an exercise
All of the ligaments around your knees can be tensed up to the point of pain due to tightening muscles, including your hips, calves, hamstrings, or quads. One of the most important reasons to stretch is to make sure that you’re activating these muscles and getting them into a proper resting position so that they don’t tense out of alignment. Aside from stretching before and after exercise, it might be worth learning how to use a foam roller to help you thoroughly relax your body properly. Otherwise, not only could you exercise knee pain, but you could end up pulling any one of these muscles quite easily, leading to a dramatic injury.
Inflammation can be a serious issue
In a lot of cases, inflammation has some role to play in the pain you might feel in your joint. This is also known as bursitis. Inflammation is when the small fluid-filled sacs around the knee bone get swollen due to irritation or overuse. In turn, this can cause it to grind against the bones and tendons, leading to pain. Inflammation is a risk around all the joints, as well as the spine. Avoiding pushing yourself too hard can help, but there are also remedies such as CBD gummies that a lot of people find help them control inflammation. There are also a lot of anti-inflammatory foods you can introduce into your diet.
Make sure that you’re getting the support that you need
There is a range of ways that we can influence the level of inflammation that affects our knees after exercise. Making sure that you’re doing the exercise right should be your primary concern. For instance, one of the biggest causes of inflammation is a lack of proper support for the leg and knee. How your weight and the impact of the road are distributed when you are running, for instance, will influence it. For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re using running shoes that give proper support of your foot, with arch support being most important.
Support your knees with the muscle they need
Muscles are there to do more than make you look toned. They play a vital role in supporting various parts of the body to make sure that they’re not dealing with too much weight or force by themselves. This includes your knees. If your hamstring muscles are weaker, for instance, then it can cause more strain on your ACL which can then lead to an overuse injury in the knee. For that reason, make sure that you’re relying on muscle building exercises, not just cardio, and ensure that you’re taking enough time to target muscle groups in the legs
Take it easy with the impacts
If you have been experiencing overuse injuries leading to inflammation around the knees, you don’t want to stop exercising completely, but you do want to make sure that things calm down again. While it’s important to get enough rest to shake off the worst of the inflammation, you should look at exercises that won’t exacerbate the issue until you can build the muscle needed and improve your form to prevent inflammation. High impact exercises such as running cause a lot of shocks to hit your knees if they’re not properly protected, leading to worse inflammation issues. Instead, you should look at low impact exercises, such as riding a bike, going swimming, or lighter exercise walking. You can get just as much of a cardio workout from any of these, with swimming being one of the most effective exercises for exactly that reason.
Your life might be a little too sedentary
There has long been evidence to support the fact that a sedentary lifestyle can be the cause and exacerbating factor in a wide range of health issues. Prolonged sitting and heart disease have long had a correlative relationship, for instance. Furthermore, an overly sedentary lifestyle has been connected to a great risk of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace, including pulling a muscle, chronic back pain, and chronic joint pain. Even if you’re starting to work out more, now, if you have been living a mostly sedentary lifestyle, it can contribute greatly to the inflammation problem. An hour of moderate exercise a day should be enough to counter those health risks, so keep it up.
There are different kinds of knee pain you might feel after working out, as well as different causes for those different kinds of pain. With the tips above, hopefully you can isolate what the source of your pain is and make sure you’re taking the correct steps to address it so you can get back to a healthy lifestyle.