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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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