What to Do for Knee Pain After Long Periods of Walking

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

Elevate your knees higher than your hips with pillows or blankets for the rest of the day. (Image: 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

Apply ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. (Image: 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

Compression therapy helps relieve pain and swelling. (Image: 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

Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain. (Image: 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

Seek immediate medical attention if you have intense pain, sudden swelling, lose function of your knee or notice a joint deformity. (Image: 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.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.