Learn How to Run Away from Knee Pain!

Going for a run is a common fitness hobby and a fantastic way to keep in shape. Whether you run as part of an exercise routine or train more seriously for competition, running challenges the performance of the body to achieve fitness goals.

Whilst beneficial for fitness, the act of running places the body under considerable strain. Each time your foot lands on the ground, a force equivalent to 2.5x your body weight is transferred through your foot and up the leg. Given that the average person will make contact with the ground 80-100 times per side for each minute of running, we need to ensure the body is able to absorb this amount of impact to avoid injury. The knee joint tends to bear the brunt of the impact, and is therefore susceptible to injury and pain when forces aren’t properly absorbed runners. The most common of these injuries is known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, or “runner’s knee”. Check out this link for more information on patellofemoral pain syndrome


The key to avoiding this type of condition is maintaining good strength in the muscles around the knee. The quadriceps are the large group of muscles located between the hip and knee, and they help to take forces out of the knee joint and to reduce impact upon foot strike. Good stability through the hip and pelvis is also important to reduce impact, so the gluteal muscles should be kept strong. Other important factors to consider include wearing appropriate footwear to improve the function of the foot, and following a good training protocol to avoid increasing demand on the body too quickly.

A common misconception is that running will help to build muscle strength. While it is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, running will not create muscular growth. So it is important to keep up strength work in conjunction with your running either through gym work or Clinical Pilates. Try out some of these exercises at home specifically designed for runners


If you suffer from ongoing knee pain while running, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists for a full body assessment to identify the key cause of your pain and improve your performance!


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Chris Bunting