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Working out with achy joints

Aches and stiff joints can hold some people back at the gym. There are safe ways to work through some of those pains.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When you're feeling the aches and pains, it's easy to want to skip working out. 

Changing your mindset can be a big part of finding relief because movement is medicine. 

"Appropriate exercises can reduce pain and arthritis. It doesn't stop the pain but it does reduce it," said Tyler Wunderlich, a Health Fitness Specialist with Cone Health Sagewell Health & Fitness. 

To get rid of those aches and pains, you don't need to put a lot of stress on your body, it's just making sure you are moving and active. 

"Starting off slow is the best way to do it, making sure you are gradually introducing exercise into your routine. It's making sure you can ease into it, let your body adjust and as you get more used to it, you can add more," said Wunderlich. 

Part of the exercise is muscle soreness, so you can expect a little bit of soreness when you start, but it will be reduced the more you do it.

You can expect it will take around 2 weeks to feel higher energy and less soreness when working out.


  • If you have knee pain, avoid things that cause you pain. If lunges are causing issues, try squats. High impact things like running should be avoided with knee pain. 
  • With a stiff back, make sure you are not doing anything to cause pain. If bending is giving you pain, try a seated back extension. Lean forward and keep your core tight as you bend forward and lean back up. 
  • If you're working out at home use a counter or the back of a chair to do squats. A heavy book can be used for bicep curls. Take a walk around the mall or a shopping center if walking is what gets you moving. 

Find your motivation, whatever will get you moving and get you determined is the best way to start working out again!

For more information about working out and the programs Cone Health offers to help you reach your health and fitness goals, click here.

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