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Do you get knee pain when you run?

Categories: Exercise

Knee Pain From Running

Interestingly enough, most people who complain about knee injury caused by running are not runners themselves. They usually make it seem that knee injuries are inevitable for runners and that runners are literally running their knees to the ground with every step. However, knee injuries are not inevitable, though they are common and can be easily corrected. Knee pain should not cause you to automatically quit running.

Types of knee pain include:

  • Runner's knee – Characterized by pain around and sometimes behind the knee cap. It mostly strikes as runners approach 40 miles per week for the first time. The pain seems to come back and even intensify with subsequent runs even after taking a few days off. It feels worse when running downhill or walking down stairs and you might hear a crunching sound when you bend your knee.
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome – Characterized by pain outside the knee that goes away almost immediately after you stop running.
  • Baker's Cyst – Pain and swelling behind the knee that feels like Jelly right at the junction between upper and lower leg.

Causes of knee pain:

  • Relatively weak thigh muscles and lack of foot support.
  • The imbalance between the hamstrings and quadriceps allowing the kneecap to pull and twist to the side.
  • Increasing mileage by more that 10 percent each week causing strain from overtraining.
  • Running on banked surfaces or a curved track giving you a “short leg”.
  • Non-malignant growth

Exercises to strengthen your legs

  • Knee pain can usually be relieved through effective, targeted exercises such as:
  • Straight leg raises – This does not strain the knee too much. Lie on the floor, bending one knee and placing your foot flat on the floor. Raise the other leg, keeping it straight to the height of the opposite knee. Do three sets of 10-15 reps.
  • Hamstring curls – Lie flat on your stomach. Slowly bring your heels as close to your glutes as possible and hold. Do three sets of 15 seconds.
  • Wall squats – Keep your feet firmly on the floor. Stand with your back straight against the wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, keeping your back and pelvis against the wall. If you feel discomfort, simply adjust your position.
  • Calf raises- You could do these on flat ground or preferably, a step with your heels hanging off the edge of the step. Slowly raise your heels as high as possible and lower them. Do three sets of 10-15 reps.
  • Leg press – use a leg-press machine for this. Make sure your back is comfortable as you slowly push the plate away from you until your legs are fully extended. Bend your knees back to starting position. Do three sets of 10-15.

If you have tried the above exercises together with at-home remedies such as placing an ice pack on your knee and you are still in pain, it is time to seek medical help. If you have Baker's Cyst, you have no other option than going to a doctor and getting it drained.