We had a client who was getting knee pain after running and like many of our clients who went to see other healthcare providers including other physical therapists, chiropractors and doctors, they were frustrated with the care.
They have been dealing with knee pain while running for months. They are fearful that this might get worse and what if this slows them down or worse, they cannot run again!
They go to the doctor, and you are told you have some arthritis in the knee. Here is a pill or let’s do an injection. You might be told that you should stop running. Running is not good for your knees.
Now you tell a runner they have to stop running, you may get some looks and they might just be done with you.
You have to realize that running is an outlet for them. They mentally work better after running. Too much pent-up energy. It is how they relieve the stresses of the day. You also have to realize that runner’s social scene is running with other runners.
So, you tell runners that can not run, and you just took how they deal with stress and their social outlet away. How do I know? Because I am a runner and I see runners all the time!
I get asked all the time, how can I avoid knee pain after running. What can I do?
Here are some Tips on how to Avoid Knee Pain after Running.
Improve your mobility will help to avoid knee pain after running
What does that mean?
Your body needs to be able to move fully in the joints above and below the knee as well as in the knee. So how does your ankle move, how does your hip move? How does your knee move?
Take your joint through the full range of motion and give the joint some overpressure at the end range. You will get a lot of information with over pressure in the joint. You will feel either pain or the joint just does not move when you add a little over pressure.
How do you do that? For the ankle, go to a step and place your foot on the step with your heel off the step and press down on your knee and lean forward. You are trying to get your shin to touch your toes..
Now I know that will never happen, but that is the motion you want. You may notice one side does not move as well as the other side… That is a problem.
Or in the hip you can kneel and move the hip forward like you are doing a hip flexor stretch. But try to get the front of the hip to touch the floor. Now I know that will not happen, but that is the motion. How does one side feel compare to the other side.
Try these two mobilizations for your hip and ankle and see if you notice any differences between your tow side.
If you can just check your ankle, knee and hip joints to make sure they are staying flexible in hip extension, knee extension, and ankle dorsi flexion (typically) this will help you in avoiding knee pain while running.
Improve your hip strength will help to avoid knee pain after running
When you have weakness in your hips, you tend to find other muscles to help out such as your hip flexor, IT band and lateral quad to get the stability from your hip weakness causing knee pain after you run.
If you are using the wrong muscles, you will overuse other muscles and the muscles I mentioned above all attach down at the knee and can cause knee pain after you run.
So what muscles are typically weak for runners?
We see patterns all the time. Because the hip potentially is not moving as well, this creates issues with weakness in the hip extensors. If you are weak in this area then you tend to recruit your quad and IT band for the stability.
We also find weakness in the deep hip rotators. When this area is weak, it literally creates movement in the knee (you will see the knee move inward when you do a single leg squat) that is not great for the knee.
Think about it. If you can not control your body with a single leg squat and you have abnormal knee movements, then when you run you are creating issues in the knee from the repeated prolong nature of a run which will create knee pain after running.
Either way we have several options for your to continue your learning on how to relieve knee pain after running…
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist to discover more on what you might be doing wrong, why your are not getting better, the source of your knee pain, and to get all your questions answered, then you want to arrange a FREE Discovery Visit.
Do not delay in arranging your FREE Discovery Visit as we have limited spots each week for these appointments.
Check out our mPower Physical Therapy YouTube Channel with more great education and information. Make sure you subscribe, so you can be up to date with all our new videos that come out! We have a great video on why Runners get high hamstring pain.. Check this video out here.
If you just want more information and expert advice on knee pain so you can get knee pain relief without painkillers and keep you running, download our FREE Knee Pain Report.
We also have lots of other blogs filled with top tips, and simple advice for Knee Pain.