Advice for Runners Suffering with Annoying, Daily Knee Pain

This article is for the runner who is suffering with annoying, daily knee pain.

You know the type of ‘burning sensation’ and ‘sharp pain’ that comes on gradually on the outside of your knee?

And can even make you feel so nauseated, that you feel your only option is to stop running, reach into medicine cabinet for the box of painkillers, and worry about how long the Doctor is going to tell you to rest this time…

Well the thing is, dosing up on painkillers isn’t good for your stomach, and the long periods of rest that you’ve been told you ‘should do’, are unlikely to do you much good either.

Just last week I had a new patient, (Catherine, 45, Columbia Heights DC), call into the clinic… Catherine has been running for years, and even though she experienced dull aches in her knee every now and then, she never thought much of it and kept running through the pain.

…Until recently her knee pain started getting worse.

Each time Catherine went for a run she’d get as far as to the end of her driveway, and end up having to call it a day, scared to do anything.

So Catherine did what everyone does – she went to the doctor.

…And as you may be familiar with, if you’ve ever visited the doctor with knee pain before, Catherine was told stop running and to take painkillers to block out the pain.

But the thing is, Catherine loves keeping active! And the thought of doing nothing for weeks was driving her crazy…

…which is why she decided to give me a call to see if I could get her running back on the pavements sooner – without having to take ANY painkillers too!

If you’re experiencing any dull ache, or burning sensations in your knees while out on your runs – you don’t have to mask the pain by popping pills and taking long periods of rest.

Of course rest is vital to easing your knee pain… but there’s a few things that you can do to keep active and your joints mobile during your recovery.

I can help you diagnose, if indeed the pain is coming from your knee. At times, knee pain can be induced because of excessive stress on your lower back which could be weak, and pain coming from a nerve root in the back can refer pain to the knee. Your back could be stressed because of tightness along your hip or knee or thigh. There could be various reasons, for that sharp knee pain, and against popular belief all outer knee pain, is NOT an ITB tightness or inflammation. If you shudder at the thought of a no-exercise prescription, I’d highly recommend mixing core strength exercises into your routine, which I can show you easily how to do.

Why do I recommend this? Well, a strong core helps to maintain your posture as well as keeping the knees in-line – reducing the risk of injuries that can stop you from doing the activities you enjoy the most.

Gentle walking is also fine, and swimming is great too.

Committed to Restoring your Health!

Trupti Mehta, PT, MS, OCS

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