Sep 13, 2009 1:47pm

blenderstyle blenderstyle
4 posts

I am currently overweight (6’2", 230 lbs) and want to be healthier, but I’m having a problem – my knees hurt. I like to jog and play basketball, but my knees can’t take it. Someone told me my knees probably hurt because I’m overweight. Makes sense I guess, but I can’t do the exercises I want to do to lose weight. Walking for 40 minutes every day just doesn’t seem to be working. I don’t have a gym membership nor access to a pool.

Ultimately, I want to be able to play basketball every week without major discomfort. Any suggestions?

Matt Bowden

Sep 13, 2009 2:30pm

jon_c jon_c
62 posts

Are eating to lose weight?

Sep 13, 2009 3:10pm

dianebl dianebl
942 posts

I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 50 LBS! I Lost 35 Lbs! I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 5% I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! I Walked 100 Miles! I Lost 20 Lbs! motivator I Lost 10 Lbs! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 5 Lbs!

The knee pain could have a cause other than your weight, although I don’t doubt your weight is making the problem worse.

First, your shoes. Are they old? Shoes wear out, and the mid-sole cushioning is the first to go. Are they suitable for your activity? Athletic shoes are designed for a specific activity, and the padding and support in them may not be suitable for other activities. Cross-training shoes, for example, aren’t up to basketball or serious running.

Next, your feet. Do you pronate? Over-pronation causes knee-pain. If you do, make sure any shoes you have are designed to provide stability. If you have severe over-pronation, you may need to see a podiatrist.

How is your flexibility? If the tendons in your calves are too tight, this will cause knee pain too (and may also cause foot pain in the arch of your foot). Calf stretches will help with this.

Sep 13, 2009 3:23pm

cccc cccc
266 posts

I Lost 10% I Burned 50K Calories! I Ran 100 Miles! I Lost 50 LBS! I Walked 100 Miles! Elliptical Crown Best of the Best I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 5% I Lost 35 Lbs! U Can Lose at Least 5 lbs Elliptical Champ! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs!

I think your weight is one reason. I have the same problem, especially as I have corrected X-knees. When I was 40 pounds heavier running was painful, so I waited, I did elliptical instead. Now it’s just OK, and well I could (should) be 30 pounds lighter, so I don’t run too much.

The other reasons could be :

-you don’t have the good shoes, I think you need 2 good pairs as I would use the same for basket-ball (in my basket-ball days that was forbidden anyway, we had to reserve shoes for indoor)

-you are not trained enough, so you should go progressively,
do stretching/muscle building of legs on a mat or on a bar (I mean on other days, not as a warm-up), do jumping exercises with a rope or in the sand for basket-ball

-you don’t run on the good ground. I see people that run in the street, some even seem to prefer the paved lanes. That’s a self-torture. I have no knee problems running 10 km on sandy paths, but if you want me to run 2 km on concrete, prepare the bags of ice, that will hurt.
And maybe there are other reasons. But those 4 make huge differences.

Cycling and rowing don’t put your bodyweight on the knees like running. You probably have a bicycle for indoor or outdoor, otherwise that must be easy to borrow one, get a cheap one. Rowing machines are cheap to, and in recycle shops they sometimes give them for a song. I got my elliptical on internet, I waited a few months to get a good one at bargain price, as that’s not so common here, I had no chance to get a second-hand, but that might be easier in your country.

You can do all sorts of low impact aerobic to burn calories (get a DVD, look for videos on the web or TV). And well, I let the colleagues tell you do to the resistance band and dumbbells…

Sep 13, 2009 3:32pm

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

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…but I can’t do the exercises I want to do to lose weight.

To finish the point I suspect jon_c is hinting at, you don’t need to exercise at all to lose weight. You just need a caloric deficit (burn more than you eat). If you don’t like the exercises available to you to up your caloric burn, you can certainly lose weight by eating less to decrease your caloric intake.
If I have to point the finger at the cause of your knee problems, weight aside, I’ll point exactly at your heart’s desire: basketball. (Sorry.) The jolting, spontaneous lateral movements are pretty darned hard on the knees. Have you seen a doctor? S/he may be able to point you to some strengthening exercises and/or a good knee brace/band/support.

Sep 13, 2009 4:02pm

Lyrica Lyrica
50 posts

Mine are painful but this is because of arthritis. Does arthritis run in your family? The best advice is to tell you to make an appt with your doc to determine the cause of the pain.

Sep 13, 2009 4:54pm

arnthorla arnthorla
832 posts

It can be many things, and most have already been mentioned. I have personally fixed a painful right knee by doing slow focused single leg presses (on the 45° legpress machine). And took 600mg of ibuprofen after each session, to prevent swelling to slow down the healing process.
I had a slight inward wobble on the down stroke (cycling) and it was all it took to establish an over use injury. But correcting the movement, by stabilizing the joint, I have never had this problem since.

Sep 14, 2009 12:19am

TheAng TheAng
773 posts

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I had to do physical therapy for a knee problem so the biggest thing we worked on was strength to add support. You can find a lot of exercises to help online but without knowing the exact cause it’s hard to be sure.

The other big part of my “recovery” plan is the weight loss – I have been doing a lot of walking and watching what I eat (for the most part). If you can – try biking or elliptical if you want to do cardio. You can also add resistance training in and at the very least do core and upper body stuff.

Above all, if you haven’t seen a doctor yet you should – it could be an underlying injury and maybe physical therapy can help.

Jan 18, 2010 4:04pm

blenderstyle blenderstyle
4 posts

It’s been several months, but I figured I would let everyone know what’s happened with my knee pain. At the time of my post, I weighed about 225 pounds. Now, I’m down to about 210 pounds. What a difference 15 pounds can make on the knees! I got new shoes and have been playing a lot of basketball, jumping rope, crunches, squats, etc., and I feel pretty good. My knees still hurt a bit after a couple of hours of basketball, but I’m 29 years old and I guess that’s to be expected. Thanks for all the suggestions here. I appreciate it.

My goal for 2010 is to be able slam dunk. If you’re interested, go to to see my progress.

Jan 18, 2010 4:26pm

Tlamb Tlamb
53 posts

I Ran 100 Miles! I Did 1,000 Pushups!

Have you ever heard of “Jumper’s Knee”?

Jan 18, 2010 7:43pm

blenderstyle blenderstyle
4 posts

I did some research on “jumper’s knee”, also known as patellar tendinitis and the symptoms don’t really fit my symptoms. The pain I feel is a sort of general soreness that is gone within 24 hours of exercising. I don’t think I’m pushing it too hard or anything, so I think I’m good.

That being said, I do think I have shin splits. After an hour or so playing basketball my left shin starts to hurt pretty badly. It goes away within an hour or so, but it hinders my playing a bit. From what I’ve read, it can be caused by a unbalance between the stretching of the calf and the shin. This makes sense to me because I do stretch my calf regularly and do a lot of calf lifts. I’ve started doing toe raises (incline my foot as high as it will go and hold for 5 seconds), but I think it’s too soon to tell if it’s really effective. I’m open to suggestions.

Jan 18, 2010 8:43pm

susannyny susannyny
982 posts


@blenderstyle, if you’re having knee pain I would dissuade you from trying to self-diagnose. It may be worth your while speaking to an orthopedist in regards to this to ensure there’s not a problem that can become more serious in nature if left un-diagnosed.

In regards to your shin splints, work on calf and dorsiflexor stretches (GOOGLE dorsiflexion stretch).


Jan 18, 2010 9:35pm

TheAng TheAng
773 posts

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I have to second that there’s no replacement for seeing a doctor when you have a painful problem like that. If you can, that’s the road I would go on now.

I just can’t say enough good things about physical therapy either, they work with you to get you back to the functional level you want.

Believe me, I walked around for probably 1-2 months on a broken foot because I thought it was just “tendon problems” and thought it would be a waste of my time. My recovery is taking a lot longer than I’d like and it would probably have gone easier if I had given in and let someone take a look at it.

Jan 19, 2010 2:56am

Cieron Cieron
63 posts

I Burned 25K Calories! I Lost 5% I Lost 20 Lbs! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I won October! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

I have had knee problems for years and I have eventually learnt how to cope with it.

The first thing is to get it checked out by a doctor to find out what the problem is. How you deal with it will very much depend on what the issue is. You need to be careful not to self-diagnose as you can easily do more damage to it.

I have dealt with “jumper’s knee” by using certain supports. I have used different ones over the years but I have found the open knee ones with velcro straps above and below the knee are the best for me – see….

I have also experienced pain at the back of my knee after strenuous exercise. This was due to overtight hamstring muscles and stretching my hamstrings sorted that out.

Jan 19, 2010 1:16pm

IrishEyes IrishEyes
131 posts

I Walked the AT! I Did 1,000 Pushups! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Burned 50K Calories! I Biked 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Walked 100 Miles! I Lost 5 Lbs!

Ditto on everything above – see the doc, good shoes, good form, etc. I caused minor damage to my left knee over 25 years ago and lived with a constant dull ache that occasionally escalated to real pain when I aggravated it, and was quite annoying during cold weather. A few years ago I started walking daily DOWN the stairs from where I park on the 8th. floor of a garage. The knee complained a lot at first due to the impact, but after awhile that went away and it’s been better ever since, even in the winter, including when I was running (had to lay off that due to my foot, not the knee…) Now I walk up those stairs, too. Of course whether stairs might help you or not depends on what’s wrong with the joint , and I did go to a doctor when I initially injured it.

Jan 19, 2010 2:06pm

apwors71164 apwors71164
1 post

I’m also 6’2" and weigh 262 lbs. I am working to lose the wieght now but have never felt any discomfort in my knees (especailly at this weight) I did start running and noticed that my left hamstring was pulling really bad. I would run for 3-4 days and them would not be able to for 2-3 weeks. I;m thinking I may have some hip displacia that has me a little off center. Most likley this is the result of being 50 lbs over weight. I think if your knees hurt whille running that maybe you should do what I do and try a low impact cardio like elliptiglide. I do this for 30 minutes a day prior to working out each night and it doesnt hurt at all.

Jan 20, 2010 3:38am

icequeen_ah icequeen_ah
61 posts

I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs!

I’ve had knee pain for a long time, but most of my issues stem from years of dancing through injuries, falling directly onto my knees, etc., (even before my current health issues.)

First GO SEE YOUR DR and find out what’s going on, make sure there’s nothing major.

Next, listen to your body. You can stretch, lunge, etc – just keep appropriate form and use a chair or something if you need to. You’ll still benefit.

Also, I agree with the ibuprofen thing, but check w/your dr if you’re taking any other medicines. I used to take mine before working out. Ice packs after heavier workouts may also be of benefit.

Good luck

Jan 20, 2010 3:48pm

Lephturn Lephturn
152 posts

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You have to be careful with doctors. Go see a sports doctor. If a doctor tells you the solution to your knee pain is to stop exercising – get a second opinion from a sports doc.

Also – stretch properly and get good sports massage once a month at least. It’s worth it.

Tracy has a great PDF on the front page of the site (near the bottom where it says “stretching exercises”) you can download for free. People who have not been injured (yet) typically don’t stretch enough. Those of us who take the time to stretch properly usually do so because we have been injured in the past and want to avoid it now!

Jan 31, 2010 10:40pm

blenderstyle blenderstyle
4 posts

I’m down to 206 pounds and play basketball several times a week now and it seems to be going well. I went jogging for the first time in months and had no knee pain at all! It must have been the weight I guess. Thank you susannyny for your suggestion on dorsiflexion. I also got a book on stretching. Now I stretch before, during, and after exercising. My shins still hurt a little bit, but not nearly as bad as before.

Thank you all for your help. My knee pain is gone.

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