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Knee Pain After Running: What to Know

Knee Pain After Running: What to Know

June 18, 2022

Running is a great way to improve heart health, manage stress and spend time outdoors. Despite its plethora of health benefits, however, runners are at risk of injury and pain. Running is a high-intensity activity that places immense stress on the knees, meaning athletes need to be aware of the symptoms of knee pain. If you believe you’re dealing with Runner’s knee, there are a few things to consider before you return to your exercise routine. Integrated Health Solutions delivers effective treatments to eliminate pain so you can get back on track. We’ll help you explore various solutions and learn how to manage your knee pain so you can continue doing what you love. 

What Causes Knee Pain After Running?

Runner’s knee broadly refers to patellofemoral pain syndrome, or knee pain brought on by a number of health conditions. After a run, you may notice stiffness or soreness in your knee, which may worsen upon moving. Symptoms are caused by several conditions affecting the knee, which range in severity:

  • Overuse. Anytime you overuse a muscle, it takes time to repair and build new tissues. Running requires constant movement of the knee, and over time, this can lead to irritation in the kneecap. High-stress exercises like running can trigger inflammation in the tissues surrounding the knee, especially if you run daily. Building an exercise regimen that includes rest days can help mitigate the risk. 
  • Chondromalacia Patella. In some cases, regular running can cause the cartilage in the kneecap to deteriorate and soften. Without these tissues, the kneecap and thigh bone can come into contact and rub together, leading to the deterioration of the patella and significant pain. 
  • Weak Thigh Muscles. Runners need strong hamstrings and quadriceps. While some may try to use running as a way to build up these muscles, it’s not safe nor realistic to go from sedentary to track star. Individuals with weaker leg muscles are at an increased risk of cartilage deterioration and muscle pain. 

What Are the Symptoms?

It’s easy to mistake Runner’s knee with other issues, such as arthritis. While pain itself can be attributed to many different health conditions, Runner’s knee generally is associated with several distinct symptoms, which occur specifically within and around the kneecap. A few other signs to watch out for include: 

  • Pain that increases upon standing, walking or bending, especially when walking downhill
  • Clicking or grinding noise of the kneecap when bending or straightening the knee
  • Tenderness when pressed  

How Is Runner’s Knee Treated?

While knee pain sometimes improves upon rest, seeing a pain specialist is beneficial since there may be underlying factors complicating your condition. Our chiropractors can examine the issue and help you find natural treatments to manage your symptoms. Understandably, you’re likely hoping to get back out and run as soon as possible, but rest is necessary to let your knee heal. Investing in treatment now means you’ll be able to recover faster and have fewer injuries in the future, so visit our chiropractors to learn more.

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