Why Knee Pain Gets Worse When You Exercise And How To Ease It…
was asked this question recently when I was at ‘Holywood Runners’ at Seapark
doing a running injuries workshop.
I’ve been getting pain in my knees for a few weeks now when I’m running. I
don’t think I’ve injured myself in any way, but I don’t know what I’ve done.
It’s now starting to affect me when I go up and down stairs. I’m really loving
the running here at the club, but I’m worried that I may have to stop running”
a good chance that the same thing is happening to a number of runners at this
time of year.
time of year we see a number of people than ever in my clinic suffering with
painful knees. The reason why? Because it’s around this time of year that
people decide to be slightly less active due to the colder weather and reduced
daylight hours. They tend to do fewer activities. Then when they find the time
to do things like running and walking for longer distances, knee pain rears its
even if they’re used to running, people try to step it up and run a little
longer than usual to make up for the times that they are missing out on.
most likely thing going on here is called ‘runner’s knee’ – it’s got its
nickname for an obvious and very unfortunate reason because it’s common among
runners, and even those who are brand new to running.
if we run often, after a while the stress of running can cause irritation
around the knee area. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden, or irritating
and dull. Sometimes it disappears when you’re running, only to return again
pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee, especially when walking
or running downhill, or even something as simple as walking down a flight of
So why do you feel pain in your knees?
of it like this – each time you run and bend your knee, your knee cap rubs
against your thigh muscle. If that thigh muscle is tight it starts to become
sore. Think of rubbing your forearm continuously. The friction rubbing causes
heat and eventually burning ache. It just gets sore. Well the same thing happens
with your knees!
you’re not used to running, OR, if you haven’t slowly built up how long you run
for and how many times a week you choose to as well, then this is going to be a
shock to your knees.
if the muscles around your knees are weak and tight, they’re not going to be
able to support you through a run…
without strong and supple muscles to support your knee joints, (or just really
tired and weak ones), you’re much more likely to suffer from aches and pains.
So Gavin, what’s the solution?
this is a condition we see frequently at the clinic, we have lots of experience
helping people with it.
likely to be a simple case of stretching and strengthening the knee, hip and
lower back muscles, to make them stronger and support you when you run – NOT,
a lot of people think that exercising more is good for them, and it is to an
extent, however, only if you’re doing the right type of exercises to benefit
everything else you’re doing.
the right type of exercises – stretches and specific
strengthening exercises for the
mean your knees will be strong enough to walk and run for longer, with less
pain at the end of the day.
have to build a strong foundation first before doing more and to prevent any
aches and pains suddenly creeping up on you which could put you out for a few
tips and advice for knee pain? Visit my website here where you can pick up a
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