I got an email sent to me a few days ago from a client who was “confused” about knee pain…
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“Hey Nick, I’ve been suffering with a pain in my right knee now for a few weeks.
What I can’t put my finger on is what I did to make it start in the first place, and even more is that it’s most painful when walking down the stairs and only comes on 10 minutes into a run.
Sometimes it aches, others it’s tender and dull, but I don’t understand why I could run fine before and now I can’t without having to stop after 10 minutes.
Can you help?”
– Michelle, 45, Revesby
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There’s a good chance that the same thing is happening to Michelle as it does it most people who run for longer distances…
What’s likely going on is something called ‘runner’s knee’.
It’s got it’s nickname for an obvious and vert unfortunate reason – because it’s common among runners and even those who are brand new to running.
If we run a lot, after a while the stress of running can cause irritation around the knee area.
The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden, or irritating and dull.
Sometimes it disappears when you’re running, only to return again afterwards.
The pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee, especially when walking or running downhill…
Or even something as simple as walking down a flight of stairs!
So why is Michelle feeling pain in her knees?
Think of it like this;
Each time you run and bend your knee, your knee cap rubs against your thigh muscle, and just like if you were to rub your hand against your arm, eventually your arm would go red and become sore after a while…
Well the same happens with your knees!
If you’re not used to running, or, if you haven’t slowly built up how long you run for and how many times a week you choose to as well, then this is going to be a shock to your knees.
Another thing, if the muscles around your knees are weak and tight, they’re not going to be able to support you through a run…
…And without strong muscles to support your knee joints, you’re much more likely to suffer from aches and pains.
The solution to Michelle’s problem?
It’s likely to be a simple case of strengthening the knee muscles (and hip and lower back ones too).
This will make them stronger and support Michelle when she runs.
A lot of people think that exercising more is good for them…
It is to a certain extent, but only if you’re doing the right type of exercises to benefit everything else you’re doing.
Doing the right type of exercises and stretches to strengthen the right muscles will mean your knees will be strong enough to walk and run for longer, with less pain.
You’ve got to build a strong foundation first before doing more and to prevent any aches and pain suddenly creeping up on your which could put you out for a few weeks…