What to do about knee pain from running

Running injuries can affect both experienced runners and beginners not used to running. Learn more about what to do about knee pain from running.

Find out how to detect the symptoms of running injuries, what causes the damage, and what to do if you get one, including medical help.

You will also find tips on avoiding getting injured in the first place, such as choosing the right shoes and warming up properly.

Being injured can weaken your motivation, so we have also included tips on how you can get started again when you have recovered.

Listen to your body! Start running when you have recovered sufficiently.

Knee pain

Knee pain, also called running knee, can have many causes, such as swelling under the patella. Knee pain is the most common among runners.

How does the running knee feel like?

You may develop pain in the front of the knee when running, around the knee, or behind the patella. The pain may be dull or sharp, and severe.

What should I do with a running knee?

To help with knee pain at home, its’ recommended putting ice on the knee and stretching.

Keep ice (try a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a damp kitchen towel) on the painful area for about 20 minutes a few times a day. Never apply ice directly to your skin.

Bend the upper leg so that the foot goes back towards the bottom, and hold it there with the hand and keep both knees in contact.

Stretch for at least 45 seconds, breathe deeply and feel the stretch in the thigh. Repeat this about six times a day.

If the pain is severe or the knee is swollen, see your GP immediately.

If the knee pain is not intense, stop running and check with your GP or physiotherapist if the pain maintains after a week.

Can I run with a painful knee?

Do not run if you have knee pain. If you still feel pain after a week of rest, see your GP or physiotherapist. How fast you can start running again will depend on the cause of the knee pain and how severe it is.

Tips to prevent injuries

Wear the right shoes

It is essential to buy the right running shoes, and it is best to go to a running store to get fitted.

Expensive shoes are not necessarily better. The most expensive shoes are perhaps just more durable and light, so they are suitable for people who run long distances, but not always. All running brands make cheaper versions that are suitable for beginners.

Heat and cool

Warm-up properly before you start running. Ten to fifteen minutes of jogging before you start will warm up your muscles and help prevent injury.

Keep running at a slower pace or walk for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down to recover after the run.

Build up slowly

Do not increase the intensity or distance of the run too fast. Do a similar run at least 3 or 4 times before increasing your pace or distance.

Stay motivated if you have an injury

Getting hurt can be very frustrating. You may be tempted to give up when injured if you are new to running. Having a specific goal, such as a 5 km race or a charity race, will help you stay motivated through injury.

If you have something to work towards, you will be much more likely to start running again once you have recovered.

Running with someone is also a great way to stay motivated. If they continue to run while you are injured, you will want to get out again when you are better since you will not let them down.

Related articles:

How to prevent knee injuries from running

Achilles injuries from running


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