Knee pain is a constant complaint among runners. When excessive stress is put on the kneecaps, a dull pain or ache may develop. This pain is often called runner’s knee, given it frequently afflicts runners and athletes. Fortunately, there are easy ways that you can relieve the pain at home so that the aches of running don’t become burdensome to your life.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Knee pain can occur from any type of physical activity that actively involves the legs. Running on a treadmill can increase your chances of developing knee-related pain or injuries because it impedes the runner’s ability to implement proper form. The continuous bending of the knee that occurs while running is the greatest contributor to knee pain. Over time, it results in irritation of the nerves and tendons and causes the tendons to over-extend, which can result in soreness.
The repeated physical stress put on the knees can also contribute to knee pain. Running on softer surfaces, like lawns or tracks, can mitigate this. Additionally, people with misaligned joints or flat feet are at greater risk of experiencing pain or injury. Having flat feet results in excessive straining of the muscles and tendons in the legs. Misaligned joints will result in uneven distribution of weight while running, which can damage the joints over time.
Different Types of Knee Pain
Depending on the nature of the injury, pain can occur in one or more places throughout the knee. Determining which part of the knee is affected can help you to better focus your treatment efforts on the area in question. There are four main regions of the knee that can be injured.
- Outer knee: Pain experienced in the outside knee or sides of the knee is most commonly associated with runner’s knee and is the most frequently occurring knee pain among athletes.
- Back of knee: Pain in the back of the knee is referred to as posterior knee pain, and it is a product of the swelling of the interior tendon. It is typically caused by overusing a sore knee or by reinjuring a recently healed knee injury.
- Medial knee: Medial knee pain refers to pain existing in the inner knee. While some knee pain is instantaneous, medial knee pain usually develops slowly over time.