Is it normal to have knee pain after running?

Wendy Batts
While it is common for runners to experience knee pain during and/or after running, it is not normal. Knee pain or discomfort associated with running can come from many culprits such as overactive muscles and poor posture. Often issues specifically at the knee and/or ankle can contribute. Common overactive and tight areas are the IT band (outside thigh), calf (lower leg) and hip flexor muscles (front of hip). Static streches and foam rolling, a common “self-message” technique, can be used to reduce tension and “knots” in the muscles and is great to help minimize the pain during and/or after your runs.

Below are a few videos of stretches you can perform to help increase the range of motion at your hips and ankles. Try these three techniques (particularly before and after your run) to help reduce discomfort in your knees. As always, consult your physician or other healthcare provider before engaging in any increased physical activity or if the pain continues.
Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

It is very common for runners to have knee pain, to say thats normal should not be expected. Running places a huge deman on the legs and trunk. Any muscle imbalance or joint restriction or hypermobility in the gait mechanics can manifest itself by causing increase shearing/torque to the knee and can eventually cause a breakdown of the tissues around the knee.

If you have pain in the knee while running - please consult with a specialized Physical Therapist that can properly assess your gait and leg mechanics to determine why your knee hurts.

Pain or swelling in the knee joint after any activity is not normal and is an indication that your body was unable to handle the demands placed upon it. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as ramping up training too quickly, improper biomechanics, or poor biomechanical alignment. Take measures to control pain and swelling, so it does not turn into a chronic problem. Before resuming your training program, address the cause of your symptoms (decrease training intensity, check your running form, make sure you have appropriate footwear, etc.). Make sure you incorporate flexibility, balance, and muscular endurance training into your weekly routine. For example, weak hip abductors can allow excess inward knee movement. To address this, incorporate side-lying hip abduction (leg lifts) or side planks into your work-outs, and focus on maintaining correct knee alignment with running. If pain is severe or persists, consult a health care professional.

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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.