A patient came to the clinic complaining that he had been experiencing pain in his knees for the previous 6 months while running and exercising. He stated that the pain started with soreness but from the past few months, he has suddenly started to experience more pain and the knees have even started to swell. He could not run even 5 miles or perform exercises like squats or lunges. He said that he has a marathon to participate in the coming year but he is unable to cope with the training because the pain is getting worse. Is this a temporary pain or is it something that you must get serious about? Does more physical activity mean that you are making the pain worse?
If the patient came earlier, we would have suggested him to discontinue running and putting strain on the knees with the physical activity he had been doing. There is one type of pain which you can work through and it is called muscle soreness. No pain, no gain is the saying that is best applicable to soreness or fatigue in the muscles, it is not applicable for joint pain especially if it is sharp pain. Soreness in muscles is typically dull and it is the kind of ache that might last for a few days only.
As soon as the muscles get used to the physical activity, the soreness goes away instantly. Soreness is felt in the muscle belt and not felt in the joints. If due to physical activity, you start feeling joint pain that means there is some kind of inflammation, or a dysfunction in the joints. In that case, you need immediate medical supervision. A physiotherapist can assess you & put you on a treatment plan to get you back up and going as soon as possible.
If you start experiencing joint pain due to physical activity, here are some questions you have to ask yourself:
Even if you have answered yes to any single question mentioned above, it is time that you visit a physiotherapist to perform a thorough assessment. It is common for patients to come to us after experiencing pain for 3 continuous months without seeking any help thinking the pain or injury will go away on its own. Trying to work through the pain will not help at all, in fact it will cause more damage and in worst cases, you might even have to undergo surgery.
If the problem is caught earlier, through footwear, muscle flexibility and strength, and other simple workout techniques, we can get the pain treated. These simple treatments can get you back on your feet in no time. If the pain or ache in your joints seems to be abnormal, consider visiting our office to stop the trouble before it reaches the worst stage. You will be glad you came earlier.