Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Knee Pain

Almost 42% of all overuse injuries are known to affect the knee joint. In that, knee pain running is one of the most common condition that runners suffer. But, it also affects other athletes who indulge in activities that require bending of knees like jumping, walking, and biking. It occurs when mistracking kneecaps irritate the femoral groove. That’s where the knee rests on the thighbone. This tends to cause pain around the kneecap. It’s also commonly referred to as runner’s knee or Patello Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).


knee pain running

What causes Knee Pain?

Although, knee pain after running is not really a condition in itself, it’s a term used broadly for various specific syndromes with multiple causes. Let’s take a look at the various causes.

  • Using Excessively: When you end up bending your knees for some reason or the other, it tends to aggravate the nerves present in the kneecap. Another cause is when your tendons are overstretched. Tendons are tissues that connect the muscles to the bones.
  • Direct Trauma: One of the more obvious reasons that can cause knee pain is when it’s hurt directly. Like maybe when you had a fall or something hit it very hard.
  • Misalignment: You probably may be aware of the fact that when any of the bones in your body are not in their correct position or misaligned, physical stress is not evenly distributed. This causes certain parts of your body to bear more weight than the other. This is one of the main reasons of joint pain. In some other cases, the kneecap may be out of position.
  • Feet Issues: People who have flat feet are more prone to knee pain. It can also be termed as overpronation or fallen arches. In this case, the impact of steps cause the arches of the feet to collapse, resulting in overstretched tendons and muscles.
  • Another cause of knee pain is weak thigh muscles.

Best known symptoms of knee pain running


runners knee pain

How is Knee Pain Diagnosed?

To diagnose what exactly is the cause of your knee pain, your physician should ideally complete a thorough physical examination. Upon completion, she/he may suggest the following to determine the exact reason of your knee pain.


What are the Treatment Options for Knee Pain?

The best part is that it doesn’t matter what has caused the severe knee pain. More often than not, minor to moderate knee pains usually heal on their own. Yet, to expedite the healing process, you can try any or all of the following depending on what gives you instant relief and great results to soothe your aching knee.

  • Rest: Resting your knee as much as you can by avoiding putting any pressure or weight on your knee will enable faster healing.
  • Using Ice: Using an ice pack in the affected area can lessen the swelling and pain. Place the ice pack for 20 minutes to half an hour, every three to four hours. For faster relief, continue doing this for at least two to three days or until you notice that the pain and the swelling is no longer there.
  • Compressing your Knee: For additional support, using sleeves, elastic bandage or straps will also help.
  • Elevating you Knee: When you’re lying down or sitting, try and elevate your knee as much as possible. Place a pillow or anything else that you’re comfortable with and keep it elevated. This may give you instant relief.
  • Anti-inflammatory Painkillers: Preferably take these depending on what your physician has advised. Painkillers like Motrin, Advil or Aleve help in reducing swelling and pain, but, they also come with their share of side-effects. They need to be taken occasionally or when your physician has specifically prescribed them.
  • Strengthening and Stretching Exercises: These should be done only and only if your physician has asked you to do them. Ideally, a physiotherapist will show you these exercises. They are not meant for all since one wrong stretch can end up affecting some other part of your body.
  • Arch Support for Shoes: This is very helpful for those who have flat feet. These orthotics can be bought from a local store or can be custom-made.
  • Surgery: It is meant only for people with severe knee pain. Typically, a surgeon will either surgically remove the affected cartilage or then set the position of the kneecap in such a way so that the pressure is distributed evenly.

Although, you may start seeing instant results by treating knee pain running, it is important to remember not to rush into any physical activity that will cause your knee to strain. Ideally, you need to ensure that your knee is completely healed.



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