What is knee pain when running?
As you know, in recent years, road running rampant, it has become a popular sport. During my routine workout, I would find increasing number of runners in my running place. However, some of my friends claimed to me that they get knee pain while having running exercise, so they think running is not good for their knee or more directly, they think running will hurt their knee. Is it true? As a runner who had ACL injury of left knee ligament completely torn almost 20 years ago, I would tell you it is not true and it is also not an excuse for you not go for running. I would really finish marathons without any knee pain.
Running in the end will not hurt the knee?
In terms of running, the sport itself is a weight-bearing exercise, but when the person in running, knee secretes synovial fluid under pressure to help achieve the role of lubrication of the knee. At the same time, during continuous running workouts, the runners BMI values (body mass index) is also decreased, the pressure on the knee would be smaller. From this angle of view, running would be good for knee in long-term.
But why would someone say that running would cause knee pain? It would include following reasons:
Overuse. Repeated bending and stretching of the knee can irritate the nerves of the kneecap. Overstretched tendons (tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones) may also cause knee pain.
Direct shock to the knee. It is a common cause for heel striker who wear running shoes with insufficient support. Land your feet heavily. I experience such shock before that give you instant knee pain, never forget.
Misalignment. When knee joint misaligned during run, it would cause pain with too much pressure exert on the joint and cause pain on it.
Problems with the feet. It resulted from flat feet or called overpronation. This is a case in which the impact of a step causes the arches of foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
Weak thigh muscles.
If you get knee pain after run, you would consider below treatments to relieve the pain. In severe case, it requires further doctor consultation:
Rest the knee. Try to avoid jogging and running for a period of time to avoid putting weight on your knee.
Ice your knee to relieve swelling and pain. Do it right after knee pain happened for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days, or until the pain is gone.
Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to give your knee extra support. It would also apply when you start running again. Or wear knee brace when running.
Elevate your knee on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.
Get arch supports for your shoes. This orthotics can be custom-made or bought off the shelf; it would help on flat feet.
How to prevent knee injury during run?
You would consider run on softer surfaces, keep mileage increases less than 10 percent per week, and gradually increase hill work in your program. Land your feet with slight knee bending to offer natural shock absorption on your knee. Visit a specialty running shop to make sure you’re wearing the proper shoes for your foot type and gait. Also, strengthening your quadriceps will improve patellar tracking, and stretching your hamstrings and calves will prevent overpronation.
At the first sign of pain during run, cut back your mileage immediately or move to walk. The sooner you release the knee’s stress, the faster healing begins. Review your running form, follow natural and relax way to avoid overstress happened on your knees.
Feel free to leave any comment, I would like to hear your opinion on knee pain issue and share the way(s) to prevent it.