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What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking

by
author image Ashley Farley
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.
What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Ice packs can help your knee pain. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

After a long walk, you notice that your knees are aching and very sore. Knee pain after a long period of walking can occur if you walked farther than you have in the past, walked on a hard surface, did not take long and healthy strides or if you wore shoes that provided little to no support. Either way, you’re in pain and you want relief. Fortunately, there are several options for helping your pain and to make you feel better. Consult your doctor if pain persists or worsens.

Rest

What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Elevate your knees higher than your hips with pillows or blankets for the rest of the day. Photo Credit ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images

You probably already want to crash on the sofa, which is beneficial for your knees. Elevate your knees higher than your hips with pillows or blankets for the rest of the day. Avoid any physical activity that puts pressure on your knees for the next 48 hours, if possible, or until your knees are no longer in pain. Rest is just as important as exercise — it helps your body recover and gives your muscles time to repair.

Ice and Heat Therapy

What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Apply ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. Photo Credit Spike Mafford/Photodisc/Getty Images

During the first 48 to 72 hours after intense exercise, ice packs can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Apply ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. You can substitute frozen vegetables or meat for ice packs. After the third day, you can switch to heat therapy, use a heat pack, warm baths or a warm washcloth, bigkneepain.com suggests. Apply heat for 10 to 15 minutes and wait for an hour between sessions. Avoid using heat if there is still swelling around your knee, because heat will increase inflammation of the joint.

Compression

What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Compression therapy helps relieve pain and swelling. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Compression therapy helps relieve pain and swelling. You can use an elastic bandage for this purpose. Wrap it around your knee, but do not wrap it too tight. If your affected knee becomes colder than your other knee, you have the bandage too tight. Remove the wrap before showering or sleeping.

Medication

What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain. These medications should contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen sodium and aspirin. Read the label on any over-the-counter medications before taking them.

Medical Help

What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking
Seek immediate medical attention if you have intense pain, sudden swelling, lose function of your knee or notice a joint deformity. Photo Credit Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

If home care does not alleviate your knee pain, you could have torn or strained a ligament in your knee. If your symptoms persist or get worse after a few days, make an appointment with your doctor. Seek immediate medical attention if you have intense pain, sudden swelling, lose function of your knee or notice a joint deformity.

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