It’s normal to have pain, stiffness, and swelling after starting a new physical activity program. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for your joints to get used to your new activity level, but sticking with your activity program will result in long-term pain relief. Here are some tips to help you manage pain during and after exercise
- Until your pain improves, modify your physical activity program by exercising less frequently (days per week) or for shorter periods of time (amount of time each session) or with less intensity.
- Try a different type of exercise to reduce pressure on the joints—for example, switch from walking to water aerobics.
- Do proper warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise.
- Exercise at a comfortable pace—you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
- Make sure you have good fitting, comfortable shoes.
See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Pain that is sharp, stabbing, and constant.
- Pain that causes you to limp.
- Pain that lasts more than 2 hours after exercise or gets worse at night.
- Pain or swelling that does not get better with rest, medication, or hot or cold packs.
- Large increases in swelling or if your joints feel “hot” or are red.