Thursday, August 11, 2022

How To Reduce Knee Pain When Running

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Custom Orthotics For Patellofemoral Syndrome

Knee Pain When Running? | How To Avoid Runner’s Knee

We are all built differently and the arch in your foot may not be built for running. Your foot is the first structure that strikes the ground and will begin to transfer the force of impact up the leg. If the force is transferred incorrectly due to flat feet or high arches, it will change the mechanics of your knee. Custom orthotics aim to bring the ground to your foot to ensure that these forces are transferred correctly. An assessment of your arches is a standard component of your initial visit and your physiotherapist may recommend custom orthotics as part of your treatment plan.

Pick The Correct Running Shoes For To Save Your Knees

Picking the right pair of running shoes can be really challenging, thats for sure! However its such an important part of you being able to run without knee pain.

Your knees, and the patellofemoral joints in particular thrive on stability and alignment of your knees to be able to function properly, without knee pain as you run. That stability comes from the joints above and below the knees, namely the hips, feet and ankles.

Ill talk more about hip stability later in this article. However, when it comes to the foot and ankle, the stability provided by the inherent characteristics of your feet and your choice of running shoes will massively influence the way your patellofemoral joint loads as you run.

Because of the repetitive nature of the running gait cycle, small areas of overload around your knees caused by a bad footwear choice, will build-up over time and potentially cause you knee pain, or another injury.

The best advice I can realistically give you without seeing your feet, is to get yourself to a specialist running store. Not one of the big-box sports outlets, but a proper old school running shop with staff who actually run and geek-out about running shoes.

Theyll be able to look at your running gait and suggest the right amount of support, cushioning, heel-to-toe drop etc you need in a running shoe to accommodate your individual biomechanics.

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What Causes Pfp Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.

In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.

Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.

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Common Causes Of It Band Syndrome

IT band syndrome is caused by a tight IT band that rubs against the bone, causing inflammation in the band itself. As Runners World explains, this can be caused by:

ny activity that causes the leg to turn inward repeatedly. This can include wearing worn-out shoes, running downhill or on banked surfaces, running too many track workouts in the same direction, or simply running too many miles.

Research On Running To Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis

Lower Body Exercises That Reduce Knee Pain  ActiveGear

While it is true that those with severe arthritis may not be able to participate in high-impact exercise, activities like running may prevent the development of arthritis in the first place. Research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology explained that data collected from 2,683 participants found that those who ran at any age were less likely to have knee pain later on. Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, MD, MSc of Baylor College of Medicine and a lead author of the study pointed out that while running might not be for everyone, the benefits for those trying to prevent arthritis pain before it starts may want to lace up their trainers:

This does not address the question of whether or not running is harmful to people who have pre-existing knee OA. However, in people who do not have knee OA, there is no reason to restrict participation in habitual running at any time in life from the perspective that it does not appear to be harmful to the knee joint.

Even if your run resembles fast walking more than a professional runners stride, this can be excellent prevention for knee osteoarthritis. And forget about the conventional wisdom that says only 10,000 steps a day has benefit.

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Increase Your Running Cadence

Sticking with the topic of running technique one aspect of how you run that has been researched more thoroughly is running cadence.

Running cadence, or your stride frequency, is simply how many strides per minute you make.

Its well accepted now that running with shorter, quicker strides for a given pace, is better for your knees than running at the same pace with longer, comparatively slower strides.

An increase in your running cadence as small as 5% can provide enough of a biomechanical change to your running form, that your knees experience quantifiably less loading with each stride.

One last word on running cadence, before I move on. Youll often see it suggested that the ideal running cadence is 180 strides per minute, regardless of what type of runner you are, or pace you run at.

I have real issues with this advice, especially when running at an easy long run pace!

Check out this video for a proper explanation for why 180 strides per minute isnt a one side fits all number for best running cadence

How To Relieve Knee Pain From Running

No matter what type of knee pain from running issue you suffer from, remember these simple steps to manage or relieve it.

  • Rest first, dont push your body
  • Incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine
  • Talk to professionals for help retraining your gait or getting the right shoes
  • Work with a physical therapist to correct underlying issues
  • Talk to a pain doctor to get a correct diagnosis and additional treatment options

If you suffer from ongoing and severe knee pain from running, it may also be due to other conditions, like a sprain, tear, or bursitis. If you experience this type of pain, or any sudden onset of symptoms, tingling, throbbing, numbness, extreme swelling, clicking, or locking, talk to a doctor to rule out other causes. Click the button below to find a pain doctor in your area who can help.

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Front Or Side Location Is The Main Obvious Difference Between It Band And Patellofemoral Pain

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two conditions is simply by the location of the symptoms. PFPS affects the kneecap and surrounding area, whereas ITBS definitely affects primarily the side of the knee .

The location of PFPS is less predictable, but it usually still has an anterior epicentre. ITBS does not spread much beyond its hot spot on the side of the knee.

ITBS has a specific definition: it refers only to strong pain on the side of the knee, at or just above the lateral epicondyle. Pain in the hip or thigh is something else. For more detail about this common point of confusion, see IT Band Pain is Knee Pain, Not Hip Pain

Ow! Damn! The side of my knee hurts!

every single IT band syndrome victim ever

How Is Runner’s Knee Diagnosed

Reduce Anterior Knee pain when Running

Your healthcare provider can diagnose runner’s knee by looking at your health history and doing a physical exam. X-rays may be needed for evaluation of the knee.

While active men and women may be equally likely to get hurt, some sports injuries affect women more often or in different ways. This guide explains the biggest risks active women face and how you can run, play or work out smarter to prevent injury.

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Following The Proper Form And Technique When Running

Besides using the right equipment, you should also be exercising with the right form and technique. When running, its best to try to keep a tight core and to avoid leaning too far forward or backwards. Trying to keep your knees bent will also help ease the shock to the area.

A good cool down after your run will also help your body adjust post-workout. Try walking or jogging after your run to recover. Without a proper warm-up and cool down, youre more likely to cause pain to certain areas.

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Wear The Right Running Shoes

Just because youre running indoors doesnt mean you should run barefoot or wear any type shoes.

Wearing the right running shoes helps absorb shock, which reduces the impact on the knees. Your running shoes should fit well and be well cushioned.

If youre not sure which running shoes to buy ask for advice from an expert at the sports store.

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How Do I Stop Runners Knee

How to reduce knee pain when running

Fix Your Weak Spots Both Goldfarb and Fitzgerald are fans of strengthening exercises for runners. To help prevent runners knee, focus on exercises that strengthen the muscles of the hips and quadriceps. For the hips, exercises that strength hip flexion and abduction have proven especially effective against PFPS.

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How To Relieve Inside Knee Pain From Running

Its likely that your runners knee was caused by either a mechanical problem or a training issue. For both causes of knee pain from running, take some time off first. Continuing to run on the knee could cause more pain down the line. Instead, take some time to rest and figure out what was causing your pain in the first place.

If youve recently hit the trail hard and increased your mileage, your knee pain from running is probably due to training issues. Rest comes first. Runners World explains:

At the first sign of pain, cut back your mileage. The sooner you lessen the knees workload, the faster healing of runners knee begins. Avoid knee-bending activities, canted surfaces, and downward stairs and slopes until the pain subsides. As you rebuild mileage, use a smaller stride on hills.

From there, find ways to alter your training to prevent runners knee in the future. This may include:

  • Finding a softer surface to run on
  • Icing your knee after any running or walking
  • Keeping your mileage increases to less than 10% per week
  • Performing quadricep strengthening exercises
  • Regularly stretching your hamstrings and calves
  • Foam rolling to loosen up calves and quads
  • Wearing knee support in the form of a brace
  • Working in some cross-training, like swimming or biking

Protect Your Knees While Running

While running is one of the best ways you can gradually train your body and potentially get into the best shape of your life, it comes with some caveats that you must keep in mind. One of the most common injuries that occur amongst runners is some type of knee injury, i.e. runners knee, and even the most benign twinges in the knees can be a sign of painful things to come. Fortunately, there are simple tactics you can take to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.

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Protect Your Knees By Not Over Striding As You Run

Both leaning forwards as you run, and increasing your running cadence will help to prevent you from over striding.

What is over striding?

Over striding is when your foot strikes the ground too far ahead of you as you run, effectively increasing the impact and braking forces your body experiences with each running stride.

Your knees will be one of the first places that experience this increased impact and breaking force as you over stride.

Ideally you should be aiming to land your foot beneath your centre of mass as you run, with your foot striking the ground beneath a flexing knee, rather than ahead of a more extended knee.

Dont worry too much about how your foot strikes the ground . When were looking to prevent Runners Knee, its more important to address where the foot strikes the ground in relation to the knee and the rest of your body.

Ive seen it myself many times in the runners that I coach learning not to over stride is a powerful way of protecting their knees, overcoming the early signs of knee pain, and keeping them running.

Its been well documented that the easiest way to achieve this is to increase your running cadence, as discussed in the section above!

In my experience, a lot of runners struggle to prevent themselves from over striding in two specific situations:

a) when they get fatigued on the back-end of a long run

b) when theyre trying to lengthen their stride to run faster

The solutions to these two issues?

How Can I Prevent Runners Knee

Exercises to Reduce Knee Pain While Running Part 1
  • Keep your thigh muscles strong and limber with regular exercise.
  • Use shoe inserts if you have problems that may lead to runners knee.
  • Make sure your shoes have enough support.
  • Try not to run on hard surfaces, like concrete.
  • Stay in shape and keep a healthy weight.
  • Warm up before you work out.
  • Donât make sudden workout changes like adding squats or lunges. Add intense moves slowly.
  • Ask your doctor if you should see a physical therapist.
  • If your doctor or physical therapist suggests it. Try a knee brace when you work out.
  • Wear quality running shoes.
  • Get a new pair of running shoes once yours lose their shape or the sole becomes worn or irregular.

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How Is Runners Knee Diagnosed

If you see a doctor about pain in your knee, he or she will review your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and the activities you are involved in. Be sure to tell your doctor if youve increased how much time you spend at a certain activity or how often you do it.

The doctor will probably check the alignment of your kneecap, thigh, and lower leg, as well as look at your range of motion. Your doc will also check your kneecap for signs of tenderness or dislocation. You may be asked to squat, jump, or lie down so your doctor can assess your knees strength and mobility.

In some cases, your doctor may order imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to see if there is any damage to the structure of your knee or the tissues connected to it.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Runners Knee

To help relieve your pain and speed recovery, you can: Rest your knee. Ice your knee to ease pain and swelling. Wrap your knee. Elevate your leg on a pillow when you sit or lie down. Take NSAIDs, if needed, like ibuprofen or naproxen. Do stretching and strengthening exercises, especially for your quadriceps muscles.

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Run On The Street Vs The Sidewalk

When possible, choose a running route in quiet neighborhoods with few cars, and then run on the street! Asphalt is easier on your joints than the sidewalk.

Just make sure to run facing traffic, and to always hop onto the sidewalk around blind corners.

If possible, run on the grass, dirt paths, or gravel. I live in Atlanta and run along the dirt path on the side of the Beltline, and then run around the active oval at Piedmont Park, which is gravel.

What Members Are Saying

How to reduce knee pain when running

Id like to pass along my sincere thanks to MTA Coach Dominique. She has guided me through nearly five months of training leading up to the Chicago Marathon and I could have never reached this goal so seamlessly without her help! -Melissa R.

Today I finished the Chicago Marathon. I want to thank Angie for the motivation and support and the MTA crew who were great motivators as well. I had what it took to complete a marathon. -Scott S.

I cant say enough great things about MTA! Angie and Trevor are absolutely amazing with their podcast and support! I really enjoy the private Facebook group full of runners on similar goals from all over the world. Ill be using their training program again for my next marathon. -Melisa Robles

I ran my 5th half marathon today and PRd by over 3 minutes!! I really think that the MTA training plan Im following to train for my first marathon is really making a difference. Im so glad I found this group!! -Nikki M.

Our first marathon! Whahoo! Thanks Angie and Trevor for great podcast and info on the website! We didnt make any newbie mistakes! #firstofmany -Christina T.

Completed my first marathon today! Thank you to Angie and Trevor- all the support and guidance is so amazingly helpful, and this community you have built is the best! Cant wait for the next marathon!-Jennifer O.

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Getting Back To Running

The injury prevention pyramid.

You can see in the pic above that training load is the biggest factor in sports injuries. Given most running injuries are overuse injuries reducing the training volume is the place to start when looking to reduce knee pain when running.

After this, you need to identify if there are any notable strength deficits and address these.

After these, it is then about looking at, and improving where needed, running technique.

Carry out some simple assessments

The knee is at the beck and call of the ankle and hip so some quick assessments of both of these joints are going to give you some cues as to the source of the problem.

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