Ask Trainer Jake: Knee and Hip Pain
Q: Running and walking often makes my knees and hips hurt, but I want to get a good workout and burn lots of calories. What exercises can I do that will give me a good cardio work out but are gentler on my joints?
It’s no fun when our joints hurt during daily activities, so how do we find out the root cause of your pain? Two common causes are tight muscles that don’t allow joint mobility (full range of motion within the joint) and injury/bad joints. These problems take time to reverse, but the main point is that they ARE reversible. Let’s take a look at how the problems happen.
Running and jumping are considered high impact activities in that our joints take a substantial amount of force during ground impact. As we age, the cushion that allows fluid movement in our joints decreases and can cause inflammation and pain. If you know this is you, or question if this is you, consider doing little or no impact activities such as walking, biking, swimming, rowing, or yoga. If low impact activities still hurt your knees and/or your hips, there may be an underlying cause but the best and easiest way to make sure is to check your joint range of motion. You can do this with the help of a fitness professional and this assessment is usually free or fairly cheap compared to a doctor’s visit. You’ll feel better knowing that you won’t hurt during your workout.
You may not know where to start, so I suggest that you just start slow and enjoy the learning experience. Attempting to go full force to get the best results is a quick way to hurt yourself. Have patience and listen to your body. Trial and error along with time will help sort you out, and in the meantime you will learn more about your body than you ever thought!