Running or walking without pain

Why Can’t I Run or Walk Without Pain?

Can you run or walk a mile in 15 minutes without pain? This is a question physical therapists ask to assess if our patients are fully functioning and thriving in life. Also, walking and running are an important part of a well-rounded fitness routine. If you answered no to this question, please read on. We want you running or walking a mile pain-free, in 15 minutes or less.

Pain that you can exercise through

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something needs attention. But, what kind of pain do you need to worry about?

We don’t consider muscle soreness from exercise to be a worrisome pain. That’s simply a sign that you’ve been exercising and building strength. In this case focus on rest and recovery, hydration, stretching and staying active.

muscle soreness isn't concerning pain

Another pain that isn’t as concerning is the pain and stiffness that you might feel in the morning or after being sedentary for a long time. This is quite common with older adults. This type of pain usually feels better with movement and exercise.

Pain as a warning sign

More concerning is when you have pain that comes on, or intensifies with running or walking. This is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong.

Pain with running or walking

There are several factors that can cause this more concerning pain. Sometimes the alignment of your joints needs to be corrected with a combination of awareness, strengthening, stretching and even external support like bracing or taping.

There are several braces out there, one that we recommend for patello-femoral pain is a simple brace like this one:

Universal Knee Support - Knee Brace Wrap Universal Knee Support – Knee Brace Wrap

Or perhaps you need to replace worn-out shoes. Finally, imbalances in your strength or flexibility can cause pain.

Pain can also come from known conditions like back problems, arthritis, or an injury that is healing. With known conditions, it is concerning if the pain doesn’t subside with running or walking.

What to do about more concerning pain with running or walking?

If your pain with running or walking falls under the category of ‘concerning’, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your Physical Therapist.

physical therapists help with pain with running or walking

We are able to evaluate your gait while running or walking to see if there is misalignment. Your strength and flexibility will be tested to make sure it’s adequate and balanced. In the clinic we train the proper movement and muscle sequencing and give you a home exercise program that targets your specific needs. Furthermore, we make recommendations for footwear, taping or bracing that will get you back to running or walking sooner.

If your pain needs further imaging or evaluation outside our scope of practice, we will recommend that you see your doctor for the testing that you need.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

~ Dean Karnazes, American Runner

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