Running With Knee Pain, An Overview

Running With Knee Pain, An Overview

June 8, 2019

Running With Knee Pain, An Overview

Are you an experienced runner that is starting to get knee pain with longer miles? Are you just starting but cannot gain momentum because your knees ache after running? Do you enjoy running to let some steam off but find that it creates more stress because your knee is nagging you?

The Anatomy Of The Knee

The knee is an amazing joint that is simple yet can become complicated if not respected. The knee is a hinge joint with muscle surrounding it which makes it vulnerable injury and stability issues. Your knee is a joint between your femur (thigh bone) and your tibia (shin bone) with a patella (knee cap). Your fibula that attaches to your tibia and is an attachment point for some muscles that cross your knee.

Your Support Muscles

You have your quadriceps muscle group on the front of your thigh, your hamstring muscle group on the back of your thigh, your calf muscle or gastroc attaches above the knee, the iliotibial band (IT band) which attaches on the outside of your knee, and the pes anserine tendon group that attaches to the inside of your knee. You also have a small muscle in the back of your knee that rotates with your knee.

Causes of Knee Discomfort

Running requires strength and endurance of all of these muscles. Over stress of these muscles and the tendons that attach them to your bones is one reason for injury or discomfort. This being said, it is my job to find out why these muscles are being over stressed.

It could be as simple as weakness in the specific muscle putting stress on their tendons which is an easy fix, requiring specific exercises to strengthen those muscles. It could be running form, which is putting excessive stress on your quad or patella tendon because of how you land or stride. It could also be tension in your thigh muscles or instability of the knee making the patella irritated from rubbing. It could be a limitation in your ankle leading to altered mechanics creating stress on muscles that should not be used for power. You could have limited hip motion leading to excessive back irritation leading to referral pain in the knee. It could be because your hip is weak or you have poor control of it when landing which will put increased stress the inner muscles, the IT Band, and/or the quads.

Addressing Your Knee Pain

In the coming weeks, I will take a deeper dive into each of these potential causes of pain and try to give you insight on how to address them. Make sure you subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out.

If you are in need of an expert eye or would like to chat with someone about why you are having knee pain or how your running mechanics could be limiting you can set up a discovery visit to learn more before committing to an evaluation or speak to a physical therapist with a free 10 min call.

I look forward to keeping you moving and giving you hope for better ability to enjoy running.

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