Running has various advantages, including enhancing cardiovascular health and reducing stress. Running, however, is regarded as a high-impact activity since it is more taxing on the body than low-impact exercises like walking or cycling. In turn, running increases the risk of injury.
For many people, running is an excellent form of exercise and stress reduction. However, it could be hard on your knees. Overuse, alterations in your running program, or wear and tear are the leading causes of knee injury among runners.
Beginners who don’t take their training sessions gently and allow their bodies to acclimate may have knee pain when they start running.
Causes Of Knee Pain From Running
The term “runner’s knee” is used to refer to a variety of knee conditions that cause pain. A doctor might refer to it as patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Several factors can trigger it:
- Overuse: Knee tissues around and around the kneecap might become irritated if you repeatedly bend your knee or perform high-stress workouts like lunges and plyometrics (training that exploits how your muscles extend and shorten to improve their power).
- Malalignment: If your skeleton is not aligned, your doctor will call this malalignment. It can place too much pressure on specific areas of the bones, including the kneecap. If this happens, your kneecap won’t slide easily through its groove, which could hurt.
- A straight strike or tumble fall: Some injuries can cause the knee to be directly hit, leading to knee pain triggered by running.
- Feet Structure: Issues such as fallen arches (flat feet), overpronation, or hypermobile feet could be some possible causes. These frequently alter your gait, which might cause knee pain.
- Weak or imbalanced muscles in the thighs: When you bend or flex the knee joint, the large muscles at the front of your leg, known as the quadriceps, keep your kneecap in place. Your kneecap might only stay in the proper position if they are tight or firm.
- Chondromalacia Patella: A condition known as chondromalacia patella causes the cartilage under your kneecap to deteriorate.
Symptoms of Runner’s Knee
Pain is the most prominent symptom. Though it could be around or beyond your kneecap, it’s typically in front of it.
Your knee bends when you squat, kneel, run, or simply get up from a chair. It deteriorates when going downstairs or downward. You can notice swelling around your knee, hear popping, or feel a grinding sensation there.
A runner’s knee often improves over time and with therapies that target the underlying issue that’s causing your pain.
To ease your discomfort and hasten your recovery, you can:
- Take a knee break. Avoid activities that aggravate the pain as much as possible, such as jogging, crouching, lunging, or prolonged sitting or standing.
- To reduce discomfort and swelling, ice your knee. For 2-3 days, or until the discomfort is gone, do it for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours.
- Wrap up your knees. Use sleeves, patellar straps, or an elastic bandage to offer it more support.
- When you sit or lie down, elevate your leg on a pillow.
- If necessary, take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These medications reduce swelling and pain. Unless your doctor advises otherwise, use as recommended on the label.
- Perform stretches and quadriceps-specific strengthening exercises. Your doctor may suggest a physical therapist instruct you.
- Try using shoe orthotics or arch supports. They could support how your feet are positioned. You can have them built to order or purchase them off the shelf.
You can also use red light therapy to decrease pain quickly. Elite and amateur players in all sports use red light treatment to improve performance, accelerate muscle recovery, treat muscular weakness, and get back into the game as soon as possible. Red light therapy is a fantastic choice for a speedy recovery from conditions like meniscus tears, tennis elbow, runner’s knee, shin splints, and lower back discomfort.
Ask your doctor if you need to see a specialist, such as an orthopaedic surgeon if you try these methods, and your knee continues to suffer. Although it’s uncommon, severe cases of a runner’s knee may require surgery.
To distribute stress through the joint more evenly, an orthopaedic surgeon may remove or replace damaged cartilage and, in extreme circumstances, adjust the position of your kneecap.
You must be gentle with your knee as you recover. That does not imply that you should stop working out. Simply try a novel activity that won’t damage your joints. Instead of jogging, swim laps in a pool.
Take your time with whatever you do. You risk permanently damaging the joint if you attempt to resume your routines before fully recovering. Wait to resume your previous level of physical exercise until:
- Your knee doesn’t hurt whether you fully bend it or straighten it.
- If you walk, jog, sprint, or leap, your knee doesn’t hurt.
- Your wounded knee is just as sturdy as your healthy knee.
Preventing Runner’s Knee
Remember the following pointers if you want to prevent runner’s knee:
- Exercise regularly to keep your thigh muscles supple and robust.
- Make sure to use shoe inserts if you have issues that could result in the runner’s knee.
- Ensure that your shoes are supportive enough.
- Never run on concrete or other similarly hard surfaces.
- Maintain a healthy weight while staying in shape.
- Before working out, warm up.
- Avoid introducing new exercises right away, such as lunges or squats. Intense add gradually.
- If you should see a physical therapist, ask your doctor.
- If a medical professional or physical therapist advises it, try wearing a knee brace when you exercise.
- Put on good running shoes.
- Once your current running shoes start to lose their shape or the sole starts to wear unevenly, buy a new pair.
Are knee pains common among new runners?
The runner’s knee is the most typical running ailment, particularly for inexperienced runners. For some individuals, the discomfort could begin at the beginning of the run, lessen during, and then resume as soon as you stop.
Does a runner’s knee heal by itself?
To get your pain under control, you usually need to take a break or run fewer miles. You can utilize this time to strengthen your muscles and boost your endurance.
Your kneecap pain is worse when you run and when you climb or descend stairs. Fortunately, most knee issues won’t keep you from driving for very long. Just follow a few measures, and you’re good to go!