A couple of summers ago I was letting an arm injury heal and found myself doing run/walk intervals and core work as a way to work out. One thing I noticed at the time is that my knees were killing me after running; and we’re not even talking about “running running” here but rather like 1 minute running followed by 2 minutes of walking repeated. When I finally sought a consultation on my arm from a sports medicine physician I thought I’d get a ruling on my knees at the same time. I was pleased to find out there wasn’t really much of anything wrong with them for a person my age. The feedback I received is that my problem, rather than being anything intrinsic to my knees, had more to do with a lack of core strength; that is, it had more to do with my gait than my knees.
Since this experience I do think about whether aches and pains are signs of injury or secondary symptoms of other problems. Recently a few issues seem to be cropping up that are a result of muscle tightness in my legs and hips. I am here to report that the imperative to stretch apparently is greater as we age. I’ve always been a tense person and held a lot of tension in my shoulders etc. but the advent of low body tightness is new.
In her book The Female Body Breakthrough, Rachel Cosgrove recommends using a foam roller regularly; in particular on days one is not working out. I have a scary one called a Rumble Roller. It really is like getting a deep tissue massage–sort of. Something I know I should do and don’t is to foam roll more; ideally every day I don’t work out. As it is I only stretch when I work out so if working out gets disrupted so does stretching. Not helpful.