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It Is Normal For Feet and Knees to Become Sore

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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
This is from a previous thread I posted. I thought with the ability for people to increasingly be outdoors and to start walking longer distances near home, this post may be of help.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The purpose of this post is not to act as a guideline to diagnose injuries or abnormalities. It is to help those who are new to long distance walking, to appreciate the fact that feet and knees, like any other part of the body, can have normal responses of discomfort when suddenly being tasked to work at higher than normal levels of exertion.

Remember how sore you became during times that when you first started a new physical adventure? Whether starting a fitness program, physical labor in the yard, or starting a new recreational hobby like bicycle riding, chances are that by the next morning, your muscles felt sore and tender and it was a bit difficult to get moving. :)

The same holds true with feet and knees. When one first starts to do extended walking, hiking, fitness training, etc., feet can become tender and knees feel sore. If there is uphill and downhill walking, the effects can be even more pronounced.

This can sometimes cause alarm; and when it does occur, can make it difficult to gauge whether the discomfort one feels is within normal limits, or is the beginning of an injury.

Feet and knees are complicated structures and full of reasons why increases in activity takes some getting used to.

Each of your feet and ankles contain:
  • 26 bones (about 1/4 of all the bones in the body)
  • 33 joints
  • Over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
    • The tendons are a fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones; the ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.
Each knee has:
  • 2 main joints
  • 4 bones around the knee
  • 6 ligaments
  • tendons from 4 major muscles
  • A variety of cartilage, bursae, meniscus, and other goodies
Most of the time, it is the level of severity of symptoms which is used to differentiate normal from abnormal. For instance, the pain grows more severe or starts out as intense and sharp; or a small amount of swelling continues to rapidly increase; or there is discoloration at the site of the discomfort. But to add to the concern and confusion, it can also be normal for those brand new aches in the feet and knees to require a bit of rest for a day or so in order to help relieve the discomfort.

When I first start getting back into shape for backpacking after taking a break during late winter, I do daily hikes into steep and high foothills to the Cascade Mountains. Trails and paths may be anywhere from 8 percent to over 30 percent, and elevation gain and loss can be as high as 3300 feet/1006 meters within a 2.5 to 5 hour period.

And I always seem to forget when I first start, that it takes time for my feet and knees to adjust. And they DO adjust. It just takes a bit of time.

The day after that first day hike, my knees let me know that they are sore from the sudden activity, and that they do not like what I am doing. So, after the hikes I will Ice and Rest the knees for a period of time while reading or doing stuff like this post, or even working at my consulting job. Sometimes I find it beneficial to take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen to help with tissue swelling rather than any discomfort, but the main post-exercise therapy is Ice and Rest.

For the first 7 to 10 days on my training hikes, I tend to go slower, adjust my pace and stride to minimize how hard my foot impacts the ground on downhills, and if my knees start to bark too much, I will simply stop for a little bit and give them a rest.

This also helps with the period of adjustment as my feet structures strengthen from the increased activity.

Anyway, I just wanted to provide some encouragement to those who are doing Camino for the first time that, yes, knees and feet can and do adapt, as long as everything else is equal; like good footwear and commonsense :)

Also if you do have any suspicion or concern that there might be an injury, get it checked out by a medical professional. Do not be embarrassed that your symptoms might end up NOT being an injury. . . that's why the medics get paid to do what they do, to figure that stuff out.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
@davebugg, you always share a wealth of knowledge and with such a sincere motive to genuinely teach and help others. Thank you for the investment of your time once again with this thread!
You are welcome.

I cherish the fact that in terms of our Forum's 'Vault of Knowledge', there are so many, wonderful Forum members who make regular deposits. This means that we all have the benefit of the accrued interest to increase our Forum's wealth. :)
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 Francés
March 2018 Inglés
June 2019 Madrid
Thank you @davebugg, you posted this at exactly the right time for me! During this lockdown my husband and I started walking a long loop around the neighborhood (on asphalt 😕), 7.2 miles M-F and 20 miles on Saturdays. A perfect activity for staying sane during these difficult times, but lately my feet and now my knees have been quite painful. Your insights are very helpful!!!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
During this lockdown my husband and I started walking a long loop around the neighborhood (on asphalt 😕), 7.2 miles M-F and 20 miles on Saturdays.
I don't know anything about your age or fitness, or what your previous walking routine was, but this is a very ambitious program! It is 56 miles (90 km) per week! I am not surprised that your feet and knees are protesting! I think that training at home should be moderate enough that you strengthen yourself, gradually, without risk of injury. When on the Camino, you push yourself harder, but hopefully the safe training in advance will help you avoid significant injury, even though some soreness is likely.
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 Francés
March 2018 Inglés
June 2019 Madrid
I don't know anything about your age or fitness, or what your previous walking routine was, but this is a very ambitious program! It is 56 miles (90 km) per week! I am not surprised that your feet and knees are protesting! I think that training at home should be moderate enough that you strengthen yourself, gradually, without risk of injury. When on the Camino, you push yourself harder, but hopefully the safe training in advance will help you avoid significant injury, even though some soreness is likely.
To be honest it didn’t feel like it was too much because before the lockdown I was already walking 4-8 miles a day. And our current “workout” is more of a stroll; at the gym it was 15 minute miles but now it is 19-20 minute miles. So the pain has come as a surprise. I suppose now it’s time for a bit of rest. Too bad, as the walking is keeping me from developing cabin fever. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I think that training at home should be moderate enough that you strengthen yourself, gradually, without risk of injury. When on the Camino, you push yourself harder, but hopefully the safe training in advance will help you avoid significant injury, even though some soreness is likely.
I think this is a great piece of general advice, and should be considered and followed.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Nice info Dave.
I have largely solved getting blisters over the years, but I still find by the end of a Camino, my feet start to just plain ache. All the tendons and joints in my feet start sending out messages that they are done and ready to go on strike! I think it is just the accumulative stress and distress of 35,000 to 45,000+ steps per day with the weight of a back pack....and getting older!
Generally my feet are back to normal a week to ten days after my Camino and I have no lingering foot issues after six Camino's now.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Nice info Dave.
I have largely solved getting blisters over the years, but I still find by the end of a Camino, my feet start to just plain ache. All the tendons and joints in my feet start sending out messages that they are done and ready to go on strike! I think it is just the accumulative stress and distress of 35,000 to 45,000+ steps per day with the weight of a back pack....and getting older!
Generally my feet are back to normal a week to ten days after my Camino and I have no lingering foot issues after six Camino's now.
I hear you. :)

Right now, my feet are happy at any walking distances below 18 miles / 29 kilometers. At 21 miles/34 km, they start letting me know they are getting annoyed. At 25 miles / 40 km, they have a lot of my attention. . . it is the point when I find it to be a great idea to find a campsite when backpacking, or be near to lodging on Camino.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My feet have been like yours, Dave. Although my preferred Camino distance is 13-15 miles, at 18 miles my feet start to ache, no pain, just ache. I've only had to walk 21 miles one time and I was so tired I could barely lift my feet to take the next step...I don't have a clue beyond that and never want to find out.😐
 

Walton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Thanks for that Dave. Your advice is always appreciated and I have learned a lot from you over the years.

Unfortunately, we don't know when we'll be able to walk another Camino thanks to Covid, but I feel that it is important to keep one's fitness up, especially us older folk because if "you don't use it, you will lose it" as they say.

Apart from walking and training by walking specific routes, I'm wondering if there are gentle exercises that can easily be done in the non-gym equipped home that would help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the knees and feet?

Cheers

Graham.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Thanks for that Dave. Your advice is always appreciated and I have learned a lot from you over the years.

Unfortunately, we don't know when we'll be able to walk another Camino thanks to Covid, but I feel that it is important to keep one's fitness up, especially us older folk because if "you don't use it, you will lose it" as they say.

Apart from walking and training by walking specific routes, I'm wondering if there are gentle exercises that can easily be done in the non-gym equipped home that would help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the knees and feet?

Cheers

Graham.
Walking is a great thing to do, because it loads the same muscles and other structures in the same manner that they will be used. You are already doing regular walking, so that's a big plus. You can add weight to a well supported backpack (good shoulder harness and hipbelt), in small increments as you walk. Get used to carrying 5 pounds, first. Then, after 2 weeks, as your body becomes used to that load, add 2 pound increments. After 7 days, add two more, and so on. . working up to a total of 15 pounds is sufficient.

Be watchful for either sudden, sharp pains, or pain that increases, rather than decreases (as is normal with achy pains).

Walking is also tremendously benefited by strengthening your 'core' muscle group. A lot of people notice how their abdominal muscles and back muscles develop stresses and aches while walking. To help with core muscle exercises:

Dumbbells. . . . 1 gallon milk or juice jugs, filled with water, works well as dumbells. Water weighs about 8.2 pounds per gallon. The beauty is, you can partially fill the jugs to a starting weight that you can manipulate. Add water to increase weight as your strength increases. Instead of water. . . Sand weighs about 12.5 pounds per gallon.

Push-ups. . . The method of doing the push up can be modified as needed. Do half push-ups from the knees, rather than with legs fully extended. Or do standing push-ups by pushing away from a countertop. . . the amount of effort is controlled by how far back from the counter your legs are positioned.

Squats . . . Squats can do three things: They help with balance, they do engage core muscles, they strengthen leg and calf muscles. If balance is at issue, do squats near a table or counter so that you can hold on with one or both hands. If there are knee issues, modify the depth of the squat.

Lunges . . . Upper body and core muscle workout. Some will not be able to do lunges because of mobility and physical limitations.

All of the exercises are demonstrated with online graphics and even YouTube videos.

I have posted guidelines about exercises to help prevent shin splints and to help prevent plantars fasciitis. These can also be easily done, and will help. I might repost them as separate threads.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Walton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Thank you Dave.

I owe you another cafe con leche.

Saw your posts regarding shin splints and plantar fasciitis too.

Absolutely good advice and well worth doing.

Stay safe and fit and perhaps it won't be too long before our Camino community is walking all over Spain and elsewhere again.

Cheers

Graham
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Be watchful for either sudden, sharp pains, or pain that increases, rather than decreases (as is normal with achy pains).
Yep. This happened to me on the 3rd day of the CP last October. Just walking along, enjoying the beautiful coast when it felt like a knife stab in the knee. The pain I felt over the next 10 days to finish the CP recalibrated the definition of the "10" on the pain scale. Torn meniscus - I had surgery a week after returning home and it took 6 months to feel somewhat normal again while & after walking several miles/day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
This is from a previous thread I posted. I thought with the ability for people to increasingly be outdoors and to start walking longer distances near home, this post may be of help.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The purpose of this post is not to act as a guideline to diagnose injuries or abnormalities. It is to help those who are new to long distance walking, to appreciate the fact that feet and knees, like any other part of the body, can have normal responses of discomfort when suddenly being tasked to work at higher than normal levels of exertion.

Remember how sore you became during times that when you first started a new physical adventure? Whether starting a fitness program, physical labor in the yard, or starting a new recreational hobby like bicycle riding, chances are that by the next morning, your muscles felt sore and tender and it was a bit difficult to get moving. :)

The same holds true with feet and knees. When one first starts to do extended walking, hiking, fitness training, etc., feet can become tender and knees feel sore. If there is uphill and downhill walking, the effects can be even more pronounced.

This can sometimes cause alarm; and when it does occur, can make it difficult to gauge whether the discomfort one feels is within normal limits, or is the beginning of an injury.

Feet and knees are complicated structures and full of reasons why increases in activity takes some getting used to.

Each of your feet and ankles contain:
  • 26 bones (about 1/4 of all the bones in the body)
  • 33 joints
  • Over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
    • The tendons are a fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones; the ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.
Each knee has:
  • 2 main joints
  • 4 bones around the knee
  • 6 ligaments
  • tendons from 4 major muscles
  • A variety of cartilage, bursae, meniscus, and other goodies
Most of the time, it is the level of severity of symptoms which is used to differentiate normal from abnormal. For instance, the pain grows more severe or starts out as intense and sharp; or a small amount of swelling continues to rapidly increase; or there is discoloration at the site of the discomfort. But to add to the concern and confusion, it can also be normal for those brand new aches in the feet and knees to require a bit of rest for a day or so in order to help relieve the discomfort.

When I first start getting back into shape for backpacking after taking a break during late winter, I do daily hikes into steep and high foothills to the Cascade Mountains. Trails and paths may be anywhere from 8 percent to over 30 percent, and elevation gain and loss can be as high as 3300 feet/1006 meters within a 2.5 to 5 hour period.

And I always seem to forget when I first start, that it takes time for my feet and knees to adjust. And they DO adjust. It just takes a bit of time.

The day after that first day hike, my knees let me know that they are sore from the sudden activity, and that they do not like what I am doing. So, after the hikes I will Ice and Rest the knees for a period of time while reading or doing stuff like this post, or even working at my consulting job. Sometimes I find it beneficial to take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen to help with tissue swelling rather than any discomfort, but the main post-exercise therapy is Ice and Rest.

For the first 7 to 10 days on my training hikes, I tend to go slower, adjust my pace and stride to minimize how hard my foot impacts the ground on downhills, and if my knees start to bark too much, I will simply stop for a little bit and give them a rest.

This also helps with the period of adjustment as my feet structures strengthen from the increased activity.

Anyway, I just wanted to provide some encouragement to those who are doing Camino for the first time that, yes, knees and feet can and do adapt, as long as everything else is equal; like good footwear and commonsense :)

Also if you do have any suspicion or concern that there might be an injury, get it checked out by a medical professional. Do not be embarrassed that your symptoms might end up NOT being an injury. . . that's why the medics get paid to do what they do, to figure that stuff out.
When I start hiking after periods on non-hiking(like after back surgery or trip away from home) I start out on flat surface for 2 or 3 times increasing time. Then I hit the mountains and volcanoes which is basically all I have here in Antigua, Guatemala I've had a knee replacement which rarely if ever gives me problems. Can't wait to get back to hiking. Right now the only flat place, a municipal park is closed as are the parks with hiking trails.
 

travelgirl409

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2016)
This is from a previous thread I posted. I thought with the ability for people to increasingly be outdoors and to start walking longer distances near home, this post may be of help.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The purpose of this post is not to act as a guideline to diagnose injuries or abnormalities. It is to help those who are new to long distance walking, to appreciate the fact that feet and knees, like any other part of the body, can have normal responses of discomfort when suddenly being tasked to work at higher than normal levels of exertion.

Remember how sore you became during times that when you first started a new physical adventure? Whether starting a fitness program, physical labor in the yard, or starting a new recreational hobby like bicycle riding, chances are that by the next morning, your muscles felt sore and tender and it was a bit difficult to get moving. :)

The same holds true with feet and knees. When one first starts to do extended walking, hiking, fitness training, etc., feet can become tender and knees feel sore. If there is uphill and downhill walking, the effects can be even more pronounced.

This can sometimes cause alarm; and when it does occur, can make it difficult to gauge whether the discomfort one feels is within normal limits, or is the beginning of an injury.

Feet and knees are complicated structures and full of reasons why increases in activity takes some getting used to.

Each of your feet and ankles contain:
  • 26 bones (about 1/4 of all the bones in the body)
  • 33 joints
  • Over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
    • The tendons are a fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones; the ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.
Each knee has:
  • 2 main joints
  • 4 bones around the knee
  • 6 ligaments
  • tendons from 4 major muscles
  • A variety of cartilage, bursae, meniscus, and other goodies
Most of the time, it is the level of severity of symptoms which is used to differentiate normal from abnormal. For instance, the pain grows more severe or starts out as intense and sharp; or a small amount of swelling continues to rapidly increase; or there is discoloration at the site of the discomfort. But to add to the concern and confusion, it can also be normal for those brand new aches in the feet and knees to require a bit of rest for a day or so in order to help relieve the discomfort.

When I first start getting back into shape for backpacking after taking a break during late winter, I do daily hikes into steep and high foothills to the Cascade Mountains. Trails and paths may be anywhere from 8 percent to over 30 percent, and elevation gain and loss can be as high as 3300 feet/1006 meters within a 2.5 to 5 hour period.

And I always seem to forget when I first start, that it takes time for my feet and knees to adjust. And they DO adjust. It just takes a bit of time.

The day after that first day hike, my knees let me know that they are sore from the sudden activity, and that they do not like what I am doing. So, after the hikes I will Ice and Rest the knees for a period of time while reading or doing stuff like this post, or even working at my consulting job. Sometimes I find it beneficial to take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen to help with tissue swelling rather than any discomfort, but the main post-exercise therapy is Ice and Rest.

For the first 7 to 10 days on my training hikes, I tend to go slower, adjust my pace and stride to minimize how hard my foot impacts the ground on downhills, and if my knees start to bark too much, I will simply stop for a little bit and give them a rest.

This also helps with the period of adjustment as my feet structures strengthen from the increased activity.

Anyway, I just wanted to provide some encouragement to those who are doing Camino for the first time that, yes, knees and feet can and do adapt, as long as everything else is equal; like good footwear and commonsense :)

Also if you do have any suspicion or concern that there might be an injury, get it checked out by a medical professional. Do not be embarrassed that your symptoms might end up NOT being an injury. . . that's why the medics get paid to do what they do, to figure that stuff out.
During my training before my Camino, I found rolling my feet over two frozen water bottles gave great relief. Of course, that couldn’t happen in Spain but it sure helped get my feet ready for the daily pounding.
 

Carol06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
And all this fabulous information is the reason I felt so upset when you said you were leaving this forum and stopping your camino a year or two back. You are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you.
 

Tom Quinn

Happy walker
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
(2020)
This is from a previous thread I posted. I thought with the ability for people to increasingly be outdoors and to start walking longer distances near home, this post may be of help.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The purpose of this post is not to act as a guideline to diagnose injuries or abnormalities. It is to help those who are new to long distance walking, to appreciate the fact that feet and knees, like any other part of the body, can have normal responses of discomfort when suddenly being tasked to work at higher than normal levels of exertion.

Remember how sore you became during times that when you first started a new physical adventure? Whether starting a fitness program, physical labor in the yard, or starting a new recreational hobby like bicycle riding, chances are that by the next morning, your muscles felt sore and tender and it was a bit difficult to get moving. :)

The same holds true with feet and knees. When one first starts to do extended walking, hiking, fitness training, etc., feet can become tender and knees feel sore. If there is uphill and downhill walking, the effects can be even more pronounced.

This can sometimes cause alarm; and when it does occur, can make it difficult to gauge whether the discomfort one feels is within normal limits, or is the beginning of an injury.

Feet and knees are complicated structures and full of reasons why increases in activity takes some getting used to.

Each of your feet and ankles contain:
  • 26 bones (about 1/4 of all the bones in the body)
  • 33 joints
  • Over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
    • The tendons are a fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones; the ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.
Each knee has:
  • 2 main joints
  • 4 bones around the knee
  • 6 ligaments
  • tendons from 4 major muscles
  • A variety of cartilage, bursae, meniscus, and other goodies
Most of the time, it is the level of severity of symptoms which is used to differentiate normal from abnormal. For instance, the pain grows more severe or starts out as intense and sharp; or a small amount of swelling continues to rapidly increase; or there is discoloration at the site of the discomfort. But to add to the concern and confusion, it can also be normal for those brand new aches in the feet and knees to require a bit of rest for a day or so in order to help relieve the discomfort.

When I first start getting back into shape for backpacking after taking a break during late winter, I do daily hikes into steep and high foothills to the Cascade Mountains. Trails and paths may be anywhere from 8 percent to over 30 percent, and elevation gain and loss can be as high as 3300 feet/1006 meters within a 2.5 to 5 hour period.

And I always seem to forget when I first start, that it takes time for my feet and knees to adjust. And they DO adjust. It just takes a bit of time.

The day after that first day hike, my knees let me know that they are sore from the sudden activity, and that they do not like what I am doing. So, after the hikes I will Ice and Rest the knees for a period of time while reading or doing stuff like this post, or even working at my consulting job. Sometimes I find it beneficial to take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen to help with tissue swelling rather than any discomfort, but the main post-exercise therapy is Ice and Rest.

For the first 7 to 10 days on my training hikes, I tend to go slower, adjust my pace and stride to minimize how hard my foot impacts the ground on downhills, and if my knees start to bark too much, I will simply stop for a little bit and give them a rest.

This also helps with the period of adjustment as my feet structures strengthen from the increased activity.

Anyway, I just wanted to provide some encouragement to those who are doing Camino for the first time that, yes, knees and feet can and do adapt, as long as everything else is equal; like good footwear and commonsense :)

Also if you do have any suspicion or concern that there might be an injury, get it checked out by a medical professional. Do not be embarrassed that your symptoms might end up NOT being an injury. . . that's why the medics get paid to do what they do, to figure that stuff out.
Dave,
You are a marvelous encourager. Wish that we had the hills to practice here in SoFla. But there are stairs and while not as scenic can serve a purpose. Thank you for all the meaningful information you share with us. I hope Spain opens up soon and that any that wish can walk their dream on the Camino.
Semper Fi
Tom
 

RogerUSA

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
Dave, great points! However, this past February I started my second Camino, this time I started from SJPP. Couldn't do much bcs of Covid 19. However, when I reached Arcos on March 10th , I had tendinites on both of my feet, on the top part of it. I could barely walk. Tried ice, didn't work.... tried rest for a couple of day.... still hurt. Pain Pills.....nothing..... So, remember: hear your body! If it tells you to stop, STOP! Otherwise, it will stop you.
After a few weeks after I returned to USA, the pain started going away naturally......go figure...
But I have heard, rest is the ONLY WAY to stop this kind of pain.....
Have a great day you all !
Be safe,
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Dave, great points! However, this past February I started my second Camino, this time I started from SJPP. Couldn't do much bcs of Covid 19. However, when I reached Arcos on March 10th , I had tendinites on both of my feet, on the top part of it. I could barely walk. Tried ice, didn't work.... tried rest for a couple of day.... still hurt. Pain Pills.....nothing..... So, remember: hear your body! If it tells you to stop, STOP! Otherwise, it will stop you.
After a few weeks after I returned to USA, the pain started going away naturally......go figure...
But I have heard, rest is the ONLY WAY to stop this kind of pain.....
Have a great day you all !
Be safe,
Yours is a good example of how I distinguish injury pain, as different from that mentioned from the subject at hand. The big question in many people's mind, when discomfort arises is: Is it ok to continue on with the discomfort or pain, or will I either injure myself, or make an injury worse?

It is what I had to sometimes decide on when seeing soldiers at the sick-call dispensary as a Dustoff combat medic, and what I later spent time focusing on during my clinicals during my coursework with athletic training. You do not want to aggravate injuries. And yet, not all aches and pains are abnormal when starting a new workload routine with muscle groups.

Considering the guidelines presented on those differential considerations mentioned in my OP will help folks separate what is normal discomfort from that which needs attention. Your example will help folks gain a bit more understanding. :)
 
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