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Athletic Training

Workout for Joint Pain

08/09/2009

Question:

I have planter fasasitas in both heals, bone spurs on the knuckles of both big toes, pain and swelling in both Knees and now my hip is inflammed. I am overweight which has happened I think due to the medication I have been taking for these problems for the last few years. I know I need to loose some weight to help with these bone issues I have. My question is what type of excersises should I do that will not irritate any of the above issues, or what type of exercise machine would be best to help out with this??

Answer:

Thank you for your question.  I am sure this is a very frustrating situation.  We always recommend having a physical exam before beginning any exercise program, especially since you have multiple injuries you are dealing with.  This exam will give you baseline information on your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. 

Once your physician clears you to workout, I would suggest beginning with pool workouts 3-4 times/week (water aerobics, swimming, jogging in the deep end) where you add time on to each session. 

After a few weeks, I would progress to seated bike workouts 3-4 time/wk.  During these workouts, include both distance (30-40 minutes at a steady pace) and sprint work (i.e. after a 5 minute warm up, peddle as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then peddle slowly for 40 seconds, repeat for 20 sprints and follow with a 5 minute cool down).

After another few weeks, you can progress to an elliptical machine which is very easy on the joints.

I would also recommend you include some strength training 2-3 times a week, even if it is only 20 minutes (3-4 exercises with dumbbells).  This will help speed up your metabolism and allow you lose weight more quickly vs. just cardio alone.

Additionally, you will need to make changes to your diet to allow for weight loss but include the right foods to give you energy to workout. Your physician can recommend someone to speak with regarding your diet.

It may be in your best interest to join a gym that will include some sessions with a certified personal trainer who can help you design your workout program and make sure you are familiar with all the equipment.

Starting an exercise program can seem daunting, but make a plan, make time in your day and stick to the program.  It may take several weeks to see significant gains, but if you stay with it, you will achieve your goal!

Good luck.

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Response by:

Vincent J O'Brien, ATC Vincent J O'Brien, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer
Clinical Instructor at the School of Allied Medical Professions
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University