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Why do I get pain in my knee when I run?

Knee pain is a very common problem in the general population whilst runners are very often affected with knee pain, with this being called runners knee. Pain can be caused through injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and to other joint structures. The onset of pain isn’t the same for everyone, however, the pain is either acute or chronic in nature.

What is runners knee?

Runners knee is often associated with a dull pain at the front of the knee. More often than not, this leads to the knee being painful to touch. Whilst, there is often the sensation of rubbing, grinding or clicking linked to this problem. After a prolonged period of sitting there can be pain felt in the front of the knee, with a feeling of knee instability noticed during runners knee.

Why do I suffer from runners knee?

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Tight Achilles tendons
  • Poor foot support
  • Poor running biomechanics
  • Excessive training or overuse
  • Tight quadriceps

Muscle tightness can lead to this problem due to the alteration of where the knee-cap sits within the joint. To reduce the risk of developing runners knee you should aim to perform stretches and strengthening exercises, an example for this is further down the page.

I get my pain on the inside of the knee, why?

Medial knee pain can be caused by many things. This could be caused through a medial collateral ligament injury (the main ligament on the inside of the knee). This is usually injured through a traumatic episode by which a large force is applied to the outside of the knee of the standing leg. Other than this, medial knee pain can be caused through an inflammation of a bursa, bruise from a traumatic impact or muscle weakness. The best thing to do is to seek professional advice. Ideally, you should book an appointment with a physiotherapist or a graduate sports therapist, to get to terms with what is causing your pain.

What are the main causes of knee pain?

The main causes will vary person to person. Different activities and personal movement biomechanics will predispose people to different injuries more so than other people.

  • Age – as you get older you are more at risk of arthritis related knee pain
  • Gender – Women can be more at risk of knee pain due to the angle at which their femur is, this is due to the difference in angle of the femur between males and females
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle tightness
  • Overuse
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Alteration in postural alignment
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Why do I have hip pain now I have started running?

There are many reasons as to why you may be suffering with hip pain. Whether an acute or chronic injury this can often be severely painful. Lying on the side may illicit symptoms or a long period of inactivity can lead to pain. The many different causes of hip pain can be accurately diagnosed by a professional, and whilst you can try to help to yourself; best practice would be to get a professional to accurately diagnose your problem. Then a treatment action plan will truly benefit you in the long run.

What causes general hip pain?

General hip pain can come in all sizes and shapes. The type of hip problem that you are suffering with is dependent on a variety of factors. Your age is a key factor in the development of hip pain. The older you get the more at risk of arthritis you are, whilst, other structures become less able to react to potential forces placed on them. Tendon injuries and joint capsule injuries become more common and frequent with poor management following the initial injury.

  • Tendinopathies
  • Bursitis – Inflamed bursa
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle Strain

What can cause hip pain during a run?

Ultimately, you should seek professional assessment and advice to fully determine the root cause of your pain. This can then bring about the best corrective exercises to get you back running pain free again.

Hip pain from running can present in many ways but two of the most common injuries that affect runners are muscle strains through a sharp increase in the acute workload/overuse of a muscle or hip impingement. Hip impingement is commonly referred to as femeroacetabular impingement (FAI), and is caused through the interaction of the femoral head on the acetabulum.

What are the most common hip injuries in a sports person?

  • Acute adductor strains
  • Adductor tendinopathy
  • Osteitis pubis
  • Sportsman hernia
  • FAI

These are the 5 most common pathologies that can illicit hip pain. Some of these will cause groin pain too, but the professional will be able to determine the root cause through accurate assessment. Hip injuries are most common in sports that involve high speed change of direction movements and kicking, such as; football and hockey. The best thing to do when you suspect and injury is to rest it, elevate and ice it. Check out a previous post of the immediate management following an acute injury here.

Exercises to prevent hip pain

My hip pain also gives me knee pain; what can I do to help this?

The muscle that sits on the mid-portion of your quadriceps is called the rectus femoris muscle. This sits across two joints, so if and when it gets tight it is going to affect the hip and also the knee. In several cases the pain sits at the front of the knee or just below the patella. This is simple to diagnose and fix, often, a deep tissue massage will get rid of your pain quickly. The video above shows exercises that are perfect to get rid of hip pain, with these certainly able to help get rid of this type of hip pain.

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What is the pain in the sole of my foot?

The plantar fascia is situated in the sole of the foot and is a leading cause in sole pain in the majority of people. This fascia plays a vital role in normal foot biomechanics, supporting the arch in the foot and acts as a shock absorber.

What can cause my sole pain?

  • Poor footwear
  • Excessive pronation of the foot
  • Loss of ankle dorsiflexion
  • Weight-bearing activities such as running
  • An increase in body mass
  • Tightness in the muscles in the lower portion of the leg e.g. calf

What is plantar fasciitis?

This is an overuse injury that is caused by micro-tears in the fascia but can also be caused by a traumatic episode. It is often referred to as inflammation of the plantar fascia, however, there is a significant absence of inflammatory cells. You will often feel a stabbing pain near the heel when you wake up in the morning. This pain should decrease when you get up and moving, but, could come back again after a period of standing or getting up after being sat down. This is easy to diagnose through questioning from the therapist, book in now to get the ball rolling on your recovery from plantar fasciitis.

Why am I affected by plantar fasciitis?

This is the most common cause of foot pain whilst it typically affects around 10% of runners. The pain can last for 6 months or more, with women more affected than males. Plantar fasciitis also affects around 10% of the general population with 90% of all cases being resolved with conservative treatment. Your age will also be a risk factor for developing this pathology, if you are between the age of 40-60 you are at a heightened risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis.

How I can relieve my pain immediately?

The first things you should do is to ice and rest the affected area. The rest will give the fascia time to heel whilst the ice will act as pain relief. A useful tip is to freeze a small water bottle, from here work it from the heel towards the toes. This will have a pain relief effect will also helping to relax the affected area. Following this, you should always stretch you calves, these will have an impact on the amount of movement you have through your ankle. More importantly, the calf plays a key role in the amount of ankle dorsiflexion that is available. We have already outlined that a reduced range of ankle dorsiflexion is a risk factor for plantar fasciitis.

Is it possible to prevent plantar fasciitis?

Yes and no. By putting in place stretching routines and actively managing your loading through the tissues you can help to reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. However, you can’t prevent all traumatic episodes from occurring and you may subsequently suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you do suffer from plantar fasciitis then the best thing you can do is manage your pain as best you can whilst getting the tissues mobilised.