Runners knee is a pain around the knee. It’s one of the most common running injuries suffered by recreation runners.
It is a unique pain because you don’t feel the pain when you are walking or stationary but you feel the pain any time you try to run. The first time i suffered a runners knee was when I was running up a hill, my left knee burst into sudden sharp pain, there was no warning sign, the knee just exploded! I stopped and started walking without any pain. After finishing the hill I decided to start running because I wasn’t feeling pain on the knee but as soon as I ran a few yards the pain came back. Walking was not a problem but running was a hell of a pain.
The pain recurred any time I was going up and down stairs. Any activity that required extra effort on my legs triggered pain on the knee.
Runner’s Knee Common on left knee
Runner’s knee mostly affects the left knee. Most runners report it as pain on the left knee while running. My guess as to why the left knee and not the right knee is affected has to do with the fact that majority of humans are right handed. We use the right leg to kick stuff around and that effort makes it stronger. On the other hand, the left leg is never used seriously, leaving it a weak partner. Have you heard of the statement “USE IT OR LOSE IT!”? It makes sense to me.
Causes of Runner’s Knee
- Weak kneecaps, if you are a beginner runner your kneecaps are not used to the high impact nature of road running and you might soon suffer a runners knee.
- Over training, Training without giving your body time to recover will lead to fatigue and injury of the knee muscles.
- Hard surface, tarmac is hard, and if you are just getting started in road running your knees will feel the negative effect of running on tarmac.
- Wrong running shoes. Many runners are doing road running with running shoes meant for indoor sprints. A good road running shoe has a big sole to absorb the impact.
Treatment and Recovery for Runner’s Knee
- Icing the knee, Icing is the first line of treatment for any running injury. Most experts recommend applying ice five times a day for 15 minutes. But be careful you don’t get frost bite, read my post on How to properly ice a running injury
- After icing you can know start applying heat.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet, a diet rich in essential minerals will go a long way to helping you recover quickly. Read, Benefits of eating an egg in recovery process.
- Stop running for a while and give your kneecaps time to recover.
- As you take a rest from running, keep the knee active by doing knee exercise.
- If the pain doesn’t go away or keeps recurring see your doctor.
Runner’s Knee Exercise
Managing runners knee
Don’t over train, Space your work outs to give your muscles enough time to recover. A beginner runner should run at least once per week. A beginner runner should also increase his/her distance gradually. Start with 1 mile, then 2 mile………….
If you are recovering from a runners knee, start by running on soft surfaces like grass or indoor track. Once you feel comfortable you can then get back running on hard tarmac
Its now two years since I suffered my last runners knee. As I have continued running over the years, my knees, ankles and the rest of my body have gotten stronger.
One benefit of training is that it makes your body parts stronger and a strong body suffers less injuries.