Why do my knees hurt when I run?

+52 votes
asked Apr 17, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Je'Vaughna (1,040 points)
I am trying to get fit and decided to start running. I have been running for about a month. I have LOVED it! I have never felt so good. I run every day and usually a mile or more every day. I know my muscles have been working in ways they never have because of the awesome feeling of sore muscles. I can handle muscle pain; it lets me know I am doing something worth doing. Lately though my knees have been really painful. This pain is not the usual muscle pain I am used to. Every day this pain gets worse. What could be causing this?

2 Answers

+23 votes
answered Apr 22, 2015 by shianca (710 points)

Unfortunately, you may have jumped into running too quickly. To put your body through something this rigorous without building up to your mile a day, you could have inadvertently harmed your knees.

Runners are actually very prone to knee pain. This is especially true for unseasoned runners. Any type of exercise should be built up, including running. If you have not been trained properly, or you have begun running too much, too far, too quickly…pain is likely. The following situations can cause knee pain for runners.

  • Jumping too quickly into running. I know you said you have never felt so good but when you feel that way it may be hard to pace yourself so that your body actually has a chance to get used to what you are putting it through.
  • If you started running one way and abruptly changed your technique (for example: interval jogging to sprinting to long distance running), knees can suffer.
  • Changing your intensity can cause knees to suffer; such as suddenly running further than you’re used to, running farther than you’re used to, or running faster and harder than you’re used to. You must pace yourself!
  • If you are running on a surface that is not level your knees are more likely to develop pain. Level surfaces are best for runners, especially for beginners.
  • You must stretch and strengthen the muscles you intend to use in any exercise. This includes running. If you are not stretching and strengthening your legs, they will not be capable of handling running very long without becoming very painful and possibly stiff.

Physical issues can also be of concern when it comes to running. Arch position as well as weak and/or tight muscles can lead to the development of knee pain.

If your arches are not positioned in a way that keeps bone structure straight, or that allows balance of weight, knee pain (and other joint pain, i.e. hips…) can develop. Make sure your arches are supported if you have a foot position that is not considered normal (for example: flat feet, or high arches). Weight distribution is very necessary when putting your body through the stress of running or any other high impact exercise. Serious and painful damage can ensue if you do not balance your weight and keep your bone structure straight.

If your muscles are weak or tight, knee pain from running is likely. Give rest to your leg muscles and then strengthen them before continuing your running routine. If you do not, you are likely to continue dealing with knee pain.

For more information: http://webmd.com/pain-managemet/knee-pain/runners-knee?page=2#1

+4 votes
answered Apr 20, 2015 by joel (1,300 points)
Why do my knees hurt when I run? This is because you are not ready to be running a mile a day. Your body needs to work up to this long distance run. You may feel good but it’s not worth the “feel good” if you end up in serious pain and have to quit running completely. You need to start slow, meaning you need to stop running every day and run less distance. Build up to your mile a day. Also you need to build up your resistance. You cannot expect your body to be happy with you if you suddenly start putting it through extreme stress like you are with running a mile a day. Even runners do not run their usual run every single day (unless they are training and are ready to do so).
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