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Can Jogging Or Running Cause Knee Pain? Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Exercises, Precautions

“Running is life with the volume up!” For every runner it is obvious his life is all based on his running. He can never think of a day without his sneakers and the road he has to run. We all find it great watching athletes or runners with their very own acts of life. However, we usually fail understanding their problems and the pain they run through in them. Amongst all the issues a runner or a person with more of physical activities that requires overuse of knee; the Knee pain comes at the top in the list. This knee pain from running is also referred to as Runner’s knee very often.1 The current article will have some focusing points on knee pain caused by running, its symptoms, causes and various treatments available for the same. We will also discuss on some of the safety precautions to avoid knee pain due to running or jogging.

Can Jogging Or Running Cause Knee Pain

Why Is Knee Pain From Running Also Referred As Runner’s Knee?

Though knee pain can occur in athletes who move on with their activities which require excess of bending in knee; it is the most common ailment amongst runners. “A runner knows all the miles he has to cover and the pain he has to hold in his legs!” In activities requiring enough of knee bending, there is usually a severe pain in and around the kneecap. As running involves overuse of knee, runners usually suffers from a series of ill conditions in their knee resulting in knee pain and is thus called as Runner’s knee. There are many causes leading to knee pain or the Runner’s knee which we will be discussing in the following section of our article.

Symptoms of Knee Pain from Jogging or Running

  • Swelling in or behind the kneecap.
  • Pain and soreness around the kneecap.
  • Pain and soreness outside the kneecap.
  • A kind of popping sensation in the knee.
  • Difficulty bending knee; especially pain during walking, jogging or moving legs.
  • Worse sufferings while running down hills.
  • Sometimes burning sensation in the knee joint.

Causes of Knee Pain From Jogging or Running

We Have Listed Some Of The Common Causes Leading To Knee Pain From Jogging Or Running Or The Runner’s Knee:

  • Overuse Of Knee or Excessive Knee Bending: During running, jogging or any physical activity requiring knee bending; there occurs a knee pain. It also causes stretch in the tendons which causes the pain.
  • Weak Thigh Muscles: If you are having weak thigh muscles, or if you are new to running or physical act requiring more use of leg; you can get strikes of knee pain.
  • Direct Trauma To The Knee: In case there is a severe accident or harsh fall that has injured your knee, you may suffer from knee pain.
  • Knee Pain Due To Fallen Arch At Foot: In case you are suffering from flat feet or fallen arch in the foot; you may suffer from knee pain. In case there is a condition which collapses your foot arch, you may feel the stretch in tendons leading to knee pain.
  • Misalignment In Kneecap Or Any Other Related Part Or Joint: There can be severe knee pain due to any sort of misalignment in the kneecap or any other related joint which might cause the knee take over stress and lead to knee pain.

How Can Jogging or Running Cause Knee Pain?

How Can Jogging or Running Cause Knee Pain?

Jogging or running; anyone undergoing such activities uses their knee a lot. Such activities require an excessive bending of knee for as long as the act continues. When this kind of knee bending occurs in a constant manner very often continuously for long, there occurs severe damage to the kneecap, as well as the tendons, ligaments related to the joint and the feet too. This in turn leads to the Runner’s knee symptoms or the knee pain due to jogging or running.

Jogger or Runners do meet with knee pain when there is a microscopic tear in tendon or the muscles in and around the knee joint due to excessive stress on the joint while running on a continuous basis since long. There is also over pronation of feet when one runs long on daily basis. This results in flat feet and in turn causes knee pain too. However, knowing proper running technique from a professional running coach, doing regular stretches before and after running and proper rest can help you come out of the pain in a better way.

Apart from the common run or walk or jog which usually people do, usually the professional runners do sometimes practice running over hard surfaces like the mountains and hills. Moreover runners also go about their activities on the streets or the rough roads, when there is no scope for running in smooth surface. Running on hard surface means over use of knee or extra pressure on your knee. This result in more severe pain in the knee joint leading to runner’s knee. In case you cannot avoid running on hard surface, prefer asphalt than concrete which is better for your knees better life.

Treatments and Necessary Precautions To Prevent Knee Pain From Jogging or Running

“There are a lot of miles you have to run, make every mile worthwhile!” If you are into running, jogging or any of such related activity; make sure you are taking safety precautions for self to avoid knee pain or runner’s knee and follow the necessary treatments for reducing your sufferings in knee pain caused by jogging or running. Look below for some of the crucial ways to treat the knee pain due to jogging or running and safety precaution for preventing the pain from getting worse in your knee.

  • Go for some good resting time and avoid taking much pressure or putting weight on your knee.
  • Use ice packs over your knee joint and give a cool treatment for reducing the knee pain. Cool treatment is also effective in reducing the swelling. Make sure you are doing this 3-4 times a day for at least three days.
  • You can relax your knees by elevating them over a soft cushion on pillow while sitting or lying down.
  • Make a note to consult with doctor and take permission for doing stretches so as to strengthen your knees. 
  • You can use elastic bands or stockings or the prescribed knee caps for providing additional support to your knees.
  • Avoid using heels which may cause severe knee pain.
  • Exercise properly to strengthen thigh muscles.
  • Prevent yourself from flat foot and make use of arch support in your shoes.
  • Discard worn out shoes and go for perfect fitting shoes.(Click Here To Know How Shoes Can Cause Knee Pain)
  • Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce pain and swelling of knees. Advil or Aleve are some of the known painkillers which can be used in knee pain, but only with your doctor’s prescription. Keep a note to avoid overuse of such painkillers because they have some noted side effects.

Exercises To Prevent Knee Pain From Jogging or Running

“You are unstoppable! Nothing must stop you from running.” Here below are some of the exercises you can follow in your routine, if you are one of those aspiring runners who live on roads, who survive by running in life!

  • Single-Leg Hops: Stand on single foot and keep yourself tall and soft & straight knees, hop backwards and forwards.2 Then switch to the sides. Repeat this for at least 3 times, with 10 reps each time; for twice a week in your routine.
  • Squats: Do follow squats to prevent self from excessive pain in knee while running. You need to sit back like you sit on chair and then press into your heels and stand. 
  • Lunge Steps: You can try Lunge steps for keeping yourself safe from severe pain in runner’s knee symptom. Take large forward step and lower your hips until the forefront thigh remains parallel to the ground and the knee directly over the ankle. Then push off the front foot to stand back up. Repeat the same with the other leg in a proper manner.

Final Note To End!

“Running never takes more than it gives back!” Being a true runner, one must have experienced and understood how strong and happy life is when he is with his running. It is true, you get enough of benefits from running or jogging when followed in a proper manner with proper routine and carrying necessary precautions. It is better to keep your act positive instead of avoiding or neglecting the crucial things while performing your act of running and in turn leading to something negative. So, be sure you are aware of the safety concerns and treatments for reducing or avoiding knee pain or any of the critical issue in self while running.

Now, keep that strong heart, keep that head up and start your run!


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 11, 2022

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