why do my knees hurt when I run?
Knee pain when running is a common issue for runners. Strengthening knees for running can help reduce knee pain now and prevent it in the future.
what is runners knee?
Runners knee is not a single a condition but is what we often call the variety of issues that cause pain in the knee of a runner. Often the pain is felt in or around the knee cap. However, although we feel the pain in our knee it is usually not the knee that’s the problem!
It can be the hips, calves, or core weaknesses that result in you feeling knee pain. This is why strength and conditioning exercises are so important in your running journey.
who experiences pain in the knee when running?
Knee pain is usually experienced by beginner runners or people upping the distance or frequency of runs.
Also women runners can be more susceptible to knee problems due to the angle of the thigh bone in relation to the wider female pelvis.
does running damage your knees?
Isn’t this the million dollar question! why do my knees hurt when I run – am I damaging them? It’s what a lot of non runners say to runners, BUT if you are a recreational runner of a healthy weight, who trains sensibly and allows recovery, and doesn’t have genetic disposition to osteoarthritis – doesn’t need to worry about their knees!
I’m overweight – will running harm my knees?
Running does create a greater impact on the knee than walking. Our knees are designed to carry us and take the impact of our movement – but there does come a point where excess weight will put too much strain on a joint and cause damage. However, doing exercise is excellent for your health and also weight management – if that is what you are looking for.
Our advice is go steady on the distance if you are overweight. Just build up very steadily.
Tips for strengthening knees for running
You can do this by building up your distance gradually, and allowing rest and recovery time between runs to enable your joints and muscles to properly repair.
Developing strength in the butt will also help to prevent knee pain as it creates a more stable alignment for the kneecap.
Regular strengthening of the iliotibial band will also help.
Try exercises such as squats and glute bridges – both easy knee strengthening exercises at home.
Don’t give up running through knee pain, as with regular strength exercises you can overcome it and stop having to ask that question of why do my knees hurt when I run!