‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday 22 May 2013, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Dr Jonathan Houghton is a consultant rheumatologist and sports physician:
Spire, I have been experiencing joint pain and swelling after running, I am a sports freak and love to get out at any chance I get! I also feel a grinding sensation when I move my joints. I am 30 years old with a good physique; just lately I’ve been inactive and want to know what it could be? Hope you can help. Thanks. Mr Patel, Crawley.
Dear Mr Patel. It is good that you love running as there is a wealth of scientific evidence regarding the benefits of regular exercise. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers by between 30-50%. However, running should not cause you pain and swelling on a regular basis.
Pain can be caused by a number of factors and may be related to the way that you run (biomechanics), your footwear or training errors. Swelling is a more concerning symptom as this often signifies some sort of inflammation and can be associated with damage inside the joint. The reasons also differ significantly if it is one joint or multiple joints.
The best thing to do would be to discuss your problems with your GP who may like to organise some blood tests. They will ask some more specific questions about your joint pains and may decide to refer you to a Rheumatologist or a Sport and Exercise Medicine doctor.