So How Long Should Recovery Take
Research suggests that doing exercises that strengthen the knees and hips 3 to 4 times a week for 6 weeks can help decrease knee pain.
But if nothing is working after 3 weeks and you still have significant pain, seeing a doctor or physical therapist is your best next step.
“Starting with the exercises listed is sufficient for acute pain,” says Win. “From there, I typically would progress them into more functional exercises or runner-specific. This could be jumps, hops, and landing mechanics, which is important to implement before going full on running again.”
You may need further evaluation with a CT scan, X-ray, or MRI to determine if there is an underlying cause.
Win also mentions that recovery really depends on the individual and the diagnosis behind the knee pain. Typically, recovery can take about 6 weeks.
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
Causes Of Knee Pain After Running
Before considering viable treatments, it’s important to identify the cause of the painful symptoms you are experiencing. If you are suffering from pain localized around the kneecap after running activity or even knee pain after walking, a condition known as patellofemoral pain syndrome is likely responsible.
Runners who are exhibiting runner’s knee may feature tissue irritation, degraded cartilage, or strained tendons surrounding the kneecap, causing aching pain. This condition is brought on by the following causes:
Inadequate muscle stretching
If Knee Pain Is More Sharp Frequent Or Intense Or If It Leads To A Feeling Of Instability Catching Or Buckling It May Be A More Urgent Issue
Structural problems such as ligament or meniscus tears are usually another story. These injuries, by definition, suggest damage to one of the stabilizing structures in the knee joint. Symptoms of instability, swelling, limited range of motion, and higher levels of pain are more common with these injuries and are all signs that you should have your knee examined by a professional before returning to running.
Inner Knee Pain: Running & Plica Syndrome
Plica syndrome is much harder to diagnose than the aforementioned conditions. The quick definition of plica syndrome is that this refers to irritation of the lining of the knee joint that often results in running knee problems. Plica refers to thin remnants from the fetal stages of one’s early developments that are located in the sleeves of the synovial folds; more specifically, these appear as an extension of the synovial capsule.
When the synovial capsule is irritated from activities such as running, plica thicken, making it more likely to get caught on the femur or pinched between the femur and the patella. This typically causes medial knee pain with running, along with a catching, locking or a crackling sensation/sound of the knee.
Overuse, as well as tight hamstrings and/or weak quadriceps muscles, can increase one’s likelihood of developing plica syndrome.
Knee Pain After Running
Whether you’re a long-time runner or just starting out, having sore muscles after a run is normal. But if you are experiencing knee pain after running, something more serious could be wrong. Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Zach Logan explains common reasons your knee may hurt after running on .
Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral syndrome is one of the most common types of knee pain among runners. The pain is located “nearly always in the center of the front of the knee,” says Dr. Logan. This pain can be a result of the knee cap not tracking properly over the thigh bone or from not getting enough rest between runs. If the muscles around the kneecap are weak or tight, this can also cause runner’s knee.
“Tight hamstrings and calf muscles both cross the knee joint in the back. Runners are pretty notorious for having tight hamstrings, so focusing on flexibility can help with knee pain,” Dr. Logan says.
Pain below the kneecap is likely due to repetitive stress on your knee from running. Over time, that stress could result in patellar . “Physiologically, this is the inflammatory cells in your body becoming overactive in a certain area.” Dr. Logan explains.
“For the IT band to be stretched, your knee has to cross the midline of your body,” he explains. “This rarely occurs during straight-line running, so all it gets to do is contract over and over.”
Strengthen Your Lower Body And Core
If you want to keep your knees feeling good during and after a run, work on strengthening your lower body — and that includes your core.
“Weakness throughout the lower kinetic chain can add to an increase risk for runners knee,” says Nessler. “If you address the most common physical weaknesses seen in the majority of runners …most will not only have a dramatic reduction in runner’s knee, but will have a reduction in all lower limb injuries.”
In between runs, make sure you’re incorporating functional exercises like squats, lunges, and planks to strengthen your lower body and core — and to keep runner’s knee at bay.
Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running
Why do you run? Because it feels good. Because it relieves stress. Because it enables you to eat cake. I get that, because running is also important to me. I’m a 32-time marathoner who knows how frustrating it is to be injured. It’s the reason I became a sports doctor. Ripping my anterior cruciate ligament playing football when I was in medical school was devastating, but it was the single most important event to influence my work. It’s what drives me to help my patients. Almost every day I treat runners with achy knees. Many are freaked out: can I still run? Will I have to switch to swimming? Thankfully, most knee problems won’t keep you off the road for long. Here’s what you need to know about common knee injuries.
What Is Runners Knee
First things first — what, exactly, is runner’s knee?
“Runner’s knee is basically a general term which encompasses multiple diagnoses,” says Trent Nessler, PT, MPT, DPT, National Director of Sports Innovation at Select Medical and creator of the Run Safe Program™.
If you’re dealing with knee pain, it’s important to understand exactly what’s going — that way, you can apply the right knee stretches to get you back on track .
Here are some of the most common diagnoses that fall under the “runner’s knee” umbrella.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 6 Avoid Overtraining
Doing too much too soon is the recipe for knee pain—and all sorts of injury.
In fact, whether you’re motivated to lose the pounds as soon as possible or have just signed up for a race, it’s important not to increase training intensity too abruptly.
Instead, ease yourself into running, regardless of how incentivized you feel.
Start with low to moderate intensity runs for shorter distances, then progress as you feel up to it—not the other way around.
One simple rule is to follow the ten percent principle—do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.
Also, be sure to take enough rest—when needed—to allow for proper .
Furthermore, listen to your body and train accordingly.
So, for instance, if you’re experiencing knee pain, back off and assess what you’re doing.
In fact, stop running whenever you’re experiencing knee discomfort or pain.
To deal with the pain, opt for the PRICE method.
This consists of:
If pain persists, seek medical help ASAP.
Dilly-dallying with knee pain will only make your case way more severe—and that’s not something you’d want to.
You are a smart runner, aren’t you?
Common Knee Injuries From Running
When most people think of running, they view it in the light of something that is beneficial for your body. While that is true in that it can improve your heart health, help with weight loss and provide a boost in mood or self-esteem, there is also a downside to running. Namely, the repetitive motions and impact of “pounding the pavement” can take a toll on the body.
For this reason, it is important to pay attention to any foot, hip or knee pain from running and to take steps to address any such pain. It is also important to engage in “safe practices,” if you will, relative to running. I will go into more detail on how to relieve knee pain from running and how to ward off future injuries momentarily. But first, I will detail a few common running knee injuries.
Change Your Running Technique To Cure Runners Knee
Consider changing the way that you run. This isn’t straightforward, but if your symptoms are related to your running form, this may be something you need to change.
Many runners will benefit from increasing their step rate . You can find more information about this here: Gait Re-training for Runner’s Knee – Patellofemoral Pain & Running Form
I hope this quick guide helps you in your recovery, and gives you a realistic idea of how long it will take to recover from runner’s knee.
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below…
» » Running Injuries » How Long Does it Take to Recover from Runner’s Knee?
Dr. Brad Neal
How Is Runners Knee Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old you are
Your overall health and health history
How much pain you have
How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
The best course of treatment for runner’s knee is to stop running until you can run again without pain. Other treatment may include:
What Should I Do About Runner’s Knee
To help knee pain at home, Andy recommends applying ice to the knee and stretching.
Hold ice on the painful area for around 20 minutes a few times a day. Never put ice directly on your skin.
To stretch the area, Andy recommends lying on your side with your bad leg on top.
Bend your top leg so your foot goes back towards your bottom, then hold it there with your hand and keep both knees touching.
Hold the stretch for at least 45 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling the stretch in the thigh. Repeat this around 6 times a day.
If the pain’s severe or the knee’s swollen, see a GP straight away.
If your knee pain is not severe, stop running and get it checked by a GP or physiotherapist if the pain does not go away after a week.
They can also recommend stretches or exercises to help you recover.
Our Joint Supplement For Knee Pain After Running: Performance Lab Flex
With Performance Lab® Flex, ibuprofen no longer has to be the runner’s go-to option for pain relief.
As any runner knows, inflammation can seriously disrupt one’s exercise momentum and performance.
Stiffness and soreness, tenderness and swollen pain—while OTC pain relievers may offer fast-acting relief, they fail to target the underlying biomechanisms of joint pain.
Gentle Exercises To Relieve Knee Pain That Results From Running
Preventing knee pain is all about building the muscles around the knee and in the legs to help provide support and cushioning. When using exercise to relieve painful or stiff knees, it is vital you avoid exercises that involve excessively bending the knees such as deep squats or deep lunges. Keep knee exercises gentle to prevent causing any further damage to the joint – take it slow and you’ll benefit more for it.
I’ve recommended some gentle exercises that will help build strength without causing any further damage:
The Knee Pain Treatment Plan In A Nutshell
To sum up what you need to do in case of knee pain, here are the steps you need to take:
Knee Pain From Running
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
Knee pain from running is extremely common. It is not surprising really when forces up to 550% of your body weight can go through the knee when you run.
Sometimes, knee pain from running may be due to an injurysustained while exercising, but this only accounts for approximately 25% of cases.
Running knee pain is usually a chronic problem caused by overuse from repetitive impact and motion. The pain usually creeps in, gradually getting worse and worse over time.
Here we will look at the causes knee pain from running, what you can do to prevent it and common conditions associated with it. We also look at common questions such as is jogging bad for your knees, and is it normal for knees to hurt after running?
How To Avoid Knee Pain From Running
- How to Prevent Knee Pain from Running
There’s a reason why knee pain is often referred to as “Runner’s Knee.” Current statistics report that 30 – 50% of all runners get knee pain from running every year. That’s a pretty high number, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why running gets labeled as a high-injury sport.
I have my own take on running and it’s a little different. It’s that running is blamed for knee pain when it’s not actuality running that causes problems. It’s the way people run that leads to pain and injury. The truth is, if you can learn to run with proper running form, where there is minimal impact or undue stress to your knees, you’ll never have knee problems. It’s a surprisingly simple fix, and entirely possible, contrary to what many people believe.
Here are some ways to improve your running technique, avoid knee pain, and insure that you can run for many more years without ever having to give it all up someday because your knees are toast.
Avoid heel striking
Don’t over-stride and let your feet get ahead of you. Always make it a point to NEVER step past your knees, and learn to let your legs swing rearward, not forward. When your feet land in front of your knees, you putting on the brakes with every foot strike, sending a major impact to your knees, which were never designed to be shock absorbers.
Don’t lift your knees when you run
Lean your entire body forward
Keep your knees soft and bent
Keep your feet aimed in the direction you are running
What Is Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee – also called patellar tendonitis – is an overuse injury that occurs when a tendon is overloaded, causing it to thicken. I see this most often in younger patients who complain about pain in the front of the knee.
It can be especially painful when you squat, jump or land. Jumper’s knee typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood.
Other Runners Knee Treatments
Tape it up. A 2019 review found that taping your knee and foam rolling could also help you out. More specifically, the McConnell taping technique helps to pull the kneecap to the middle , which reduces pain and helps prevent it from gliding out of alignment during use.
Foam roll. have also shown that foam rolling can be helpful in reducing fascial adhesions and trigger points throughout the muscle that make it feel “tight.” Just make sure you NEVER roll on a bony area or directly on a joint line .
Ice it. A little cooldown can help reduce inflammation too. Lay a bag of crushed ice or a frozen gel pack on your knee for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to feel the pain slowly subside.
Pop an OTC pain med. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen might help the pain. Just talk to your doctor first.
You Might Have Iliotibial Band Syndrome
If you feel pain outside your kneecap, chances are you have iliotibial band syndrome. The IT band is a stretch of fibers that runs from your hip to the knee on the outer side of the leg and is supported by the bursa to function smoothly, Dr. Logan explains.
Repeatedly bending and extending your knee while running can irritate the IT band and the tissues around it, causing pain and swelling known as IT band syndrome, according to Cedars Sinai. In addition to pain on the outside part of your knee, IT band syndrome can cause clicking, popping and snapping, per the Hospital for Special Surgery.
“Hip abduction is required for any activity that involves one of your feet being off the ground. Your hip abductors keep your pelvis relatively level when walking or running when the opposite side foot comes off the ground. The IT band helps with this, which helps explain why it gets tight,” Dr. Logan says.
“For the IT band to be stretched, your knee has to cross the midline of your body,” he explains. “This rarely occurs during straight-line running, so all it gets to do is contract over and over.”
“I also notice more pain myself when my shoes have too many miles on them. Spend the money to get fitted for the right shoe for your foot shape, and keep track of your miles,” he says. When you feel like your running shoes are worn out, toss them and get a new pair to prevent injury and pain.
How To Prevent It
Although injury may sometimes be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to reduce your chance of being afflicted, thus preventing ankle pain after running. These ways include:
- Avoiding sports or exercise when you are tired or experiencing pain
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Maintaining a weight that is considered healthy
- Avoiding any falling
- Ensuring to carry out proper warm-ups before exercising
- Running only on flat surfaces
Kneecap Pain: Runner’s Knee
If you have soreness around the front of your knee or possibly behind the kneecap, you may have runner’s knee, also known as patella femoral pain syndrome or anterior knee syndrome. Running downhill, squatting, going up or down stairs, or sitting for long periods of time can aggravate the condition.
Whats Going On In The Knee
Patellofemoral knee pain is the most common type of knee pain I see in my sports medicine practice. The patella is located inside the patellar tendon and connects to the quadriceps muscle group, the most powerful group in the body.
Pain can come from several causes. One is an injury to the cartilage under the patella. Poor running or biking mechanics resulting from weak or tight muscles can contribute. Here’s how: Ideally, your pelvis remains in a steady, level state as you run. But if your muscles are underconditioned, your pelvis will wobble as you run. This stresses the knees and can cause runner’s knee
How Is Runner’s Knee Diagnosed
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.
Running Knee Pain Questions
What Causes Outside Knee Pain Running? Most common cause of outer knee pain when running is iliotibial band syndrome – an overuse injury causing inflammation of the ITB. It can usually be self-treated with rest, ice, exercises and wearing a knee strap.
What Causes Inner Knee Pain After Running?Inner knee pain when running may be a sign that you are overloading the cartilage on the inner side of the knee which can result in a meniscus injury. Altered foot biomechanics, decreased knee stability and poor glutes strength all affect the angle of the knee so more force goes through the inner side of the knee. There’s generally a sharp pain that comes and goes.
Another possibility is pes anserine bursitis which causes inner knee pain about 2cm below the knee cap.
What Causes Front Knee Pain When Running?The most common cause of pain at the front of the knee when running is Runners Knee. It develops when there is excess friction on the back of the kneecap, usually due to a problem in how the kneecap moves as you run.
With Runners Knee there tends to e a general ache at the front of the knee and pain comes and goes, typically worse after prolonged activity or more surprisingly prolonged inactivity e.g. sitting for long periods.
Is It Safe To Run On Sore Knees?If you are getting knee pain when running, it’s usually your bodies way of saying you are doing too much. It might be a simple case of changing your shoes, easing up on your training regime, or switching to off-road.
Conventional Treatments For Knee Pain
Ron Torrance II, D.O, a Sports Medicine Trained Physician at the New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, says he commonly sees knee pain-related conditions among his younger patients who are generally fit — especially runners, female athletes and anyone who uses their legs in other repetitive ways
Dr. Torrance feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someone’s current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees.
When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Torrance first looks at his patients’ symptoms and then discusses their lifestyle and exercise habits. Knee pain treatment should always depend on which specific part of the knee is injured and the underlying cause of the pain. Even if medications and corrective devices like knee braces are needed to treat knee pain, exercises, stretching and other functional medicine practices should also be incorporated to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Aside from resting the knee after an acute injury, conventional treatments for chronic knee pain that lasts more than several weeks include: