Running is a great form of physical fitness that can be incredibly good for you. It gets the blood circulating while building muscle and burning fat. However, running can take a serious toll on your knees. In fact, the impact on the knees over time can be pretty severe. It can even result in something called “runner’s knee”, a condition where individuals experience swelling and knee pain from running. Indeed, running and knee pain go hand-in-hand, which is why it is crucial to find a solution. Luckily, there are many.
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Here is how to relieve knee pain from running…
- Stay off of the knee until the pain and swelling has subsided. Sometimes runners will experience pain for a few days before it fades away. During those few days, however, you don’t want to run or do any activity that will cause more damage to your knee. In fact, it is during these recovery times that your knee is particularly vulnerable, so make sure to rest and keep weight off of it.
- One of the best ways to prevent knee pain after running is to immediately place ice packs on your knee. This will cool it down and lower the inflammation. You can think of your knees like pistons in the engine of your legs – after a good run, you want to cool them down so that they don’t burn out.
- If runner’s knee affects your ability to get out and run, you still want to keep your strength up. While resting or recovering from knee pain, be sure to exercise your upper body. Lift weights, do pull-ups – anything that will keep you moving. There is no better way to interrupt a workout regimen than by letting your upper body lose muscle mass.
- When in bed, you may want to place a few pillows under your knees to provide elevation, which is important for the sake of reducing swelling. However, it is important that you don’t bend your knees. If you experience extreme knee pain from running, elevating your legs is a critical part of the recovery process.
- Make sure to slowly move your legs here and there. The last thing you want is for your knees to fuse as they heal, which can be really painful. Move your legs slightly – light stretches help – just to get them moving and the blood inside them circulating.
- Find out what’s causing your runner’s knee. Of course, running is promoting your knee pain, but what is really causing it? There’s a good chance that you aren’t running in the most efficient manner. Many people run incorrectly despite thinking otherwise. Find out what your flaws are and adjust them. The most common problem is putting too much impact on the knees; all this requires is a simple adjustment in running style. Once you find the problem and fix it, your knee pain should subside or at least become much less severe.
- Stretch before you run. Another way to cause runner’s knee is to not properly stretch prior to running. Due to tight muscles and tendons, skipping this step could easily cause pain and damage to the knees. Thus, you should always prepare your legs by properly stretching.
- Take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling in your knees. Some people experience runner’s knee even if they aren’t runners. In fact, people who work jobs that require standing for long hours can experience runner’s knee. One of the most painful parts of this condition is the inflammation. Since the knee area is so compact, any swelling can cause the nerves to pinch, which can be quite painful.
- Run with the right type of shoes. When you run, it is vital to wear the right type of shoes because you could unknowingly be causing unnecessary impact on your knees. You should be wearing specialized running shoes that cannot only absorb the impact, but also allow your feet to hit the ground with a smoother stride.
- See a doctor if the pain gets particularly worse, especially if it gets to the point of becoming unbearable. You may ultimately need surgery or some other procedure to alleviate the pain. Knee pain after running is a normal occurrence, but not if it is persistent, chronic, or severe.
Lastly, there are many ways to learn how to relieve knee pain after running, but it is a matter of first implementing the necessary changes. If you use the wrong shoes or have the wrong stride, you want to do your best to break those habits. Our knees may be strong when we’re young, but it certainly won’t be that way forever. Work to preserve them now so you can stay healthy and happy.