The pain might be caused by overuse (i.e. pushing beyond your limits) or alignment issues (i.e. poor form) which make the knee area experience much more strain. That extra strain could then lead to pain, stiffness, swelling or injury.
Aside from overuse and misalignment, running too much and too soon (giving your knees too much too handle at a premature time) can also hurt your knees. This practice can strain the muscles and ligaments and might even get damaged because they can’t handle the workload. Although running strengthens bones and muscles, this physical activity (if done the wrong way) can also actually hurt your bones and muscles and might even get you inactive because of injury.
Why does running hurt my knees?
To be clear, the activity of running itself doesn’t directly cause pain or injury because our bodies are designed to run and move around in the first place. What causes pain or injury is how we do it (poor form that puts extra strain to the knees) and that may have changed because of our physical makeup and relatively sedentary lifestyle. For instance, people carrying extra weight are also putting extra strain on their knees, which is why it’s advisable to make the running and training gradual (e.g. don’t run 10 kilometres at your first day of trying to lose weight). That extra weight may also affect our form of running thereby putting an extra workload to our knees.
Also, running might just be one of the contributing factors to the knee pain. For instance, the pain might only finally manifest after running but the wear and tear on the cartilage could be caused by squatting, climbing the stairs, sitting for too long or other activities. There could be a lot of other factors that affect the condition of our knees (e.g. age, genetic factors, osteoarthritis, lifestyle).
To know the real culprit, it’s important to undergo a thorough assessment. For example, here at Wellers Hill Physiotherapy and Wooloongabba Physiotherapy we can do an extensive biomechanical assessment and analysis. We’ll take the time to figure out exactly what’s causing the pain. Then, we’ll design a personalised treatment according to your specific conditions and requirements.
Our qualified team can also do assessment on your footwear, training load, flexibility and muscle strength (core control, foot arch control & hip-knee control). Once we’ve identified the factors that cause knee pain, the treatment we design may include massage, joint mobilisation, training guidance, exercise-based rehabilitation and other science-based approaches. Contact us today and our team will figure out exactly what is hurting your knees.