My knee hurts when I run, what can I do?

Knee pain can be caused by several different things and if we are looking at running, one of the easy things to look at is footwear. Making sure that you have the right sneaker or running shoe for you is important. Sometimes people do not have enough arch support, or too much arch support, or they have a shoe that is too narrow and it compresses the bones in their feet together that does not let the foot move naturally. In that case if the foot does not move naturally, it has an effect up throughout the rest of the body and that can cause knee discomfort. Many times we can have tight muscles in our calves from sitting or wearing shoes all day or just our posture and when our calves are really tight and it does not let our ankle move, it puts a significant amount of stress on my knee. So doing flexibility techniques before and after running for the calves, hips and thighs; such as self-massage or self-myofascial release and static stretching, the type of stretching that you hold for at least 30 second with good form, doing those things for somewhere between 5-15 minutes before you run can be a way to help with that. Overall if that continues, I would feel free to talk to a physical therapist or a licensed healthcare practitioner to make sure that there is no pathology or serious injury.

My first recommendation would be to consult a physician or qualified physical therapist. 
Other than that, I would recommend the R.I.C.E. method - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. 
Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Knee pain, especially during running, is usually due to a dysfunction in the hip from above or the ankle/foot from below the knee. Think of the knee as a junction between 2 different stilts. If one does not work right it will put undue stress to the knee.

I would have a qualified health practitioner to assess your gait mechanics first as well as your hip, knee, and ankle/foot mechanics to see if certain joints are not working correctly. From there they should be able to assess your dynamic functional movement to see you squat, hop, and then running mechanics.

Interventions should then take place to address any assessed deficits, and then progress you to proper running techniques.

First, look at your shoes.  Have you been running in the same shoe for more than 6 months?  Much of the time when your knee starts to hurt the result is due to a worn shoe.  Runners need to change their shoes frequently to be able to endure the constant impact that occurs from running.

Another area to focus on is proper flexibility.  Are you stretching before and after running?  Make sure your calves and quadriceps stay limber during runs.  A great way to have this occur will be to stretch and stretch often.  The better your flexibility and the better your body will respond.

Lastly, consider strength training.  Are you running and doing nothing in addition?  Runners need to be sure to include some strength training into their routine so be sure to complete some squats or walking lunges to build the muscles around your knee.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.