Knee Pain While Running: What Are My Treatment Options?

Sep 11, 2023
Knee Pain While Running: What Are My Treatment Options?
You rely on running to keep you healthy — physically and mentally — so when knee pain strikes, you’re understandably frustrated. The good news: There are solutions that will keep you moving.

Whether you get up every morning to run or you run once or twice a week, this time is incredibly important to you, physically and mentally. But recently, you've been struggling with some discomfort in one or both of your knees and your runs have turned from invigorating to downright painful. And you’re frustrated.

We hear you loud and clear here at Revive Spine & Pain Center, and we offer solutions to get you back on track. Our team of musculoskeletal experts has considerable experience helping our athletic patients navigate knee pain in ways that preserve their ability to remain active.

Here, we look at some of the common knee issues we see in runners and the many ways in which we can help.

Running and your knees

From the moment you get out of bed, your knees are working hard — each step you take places pressure on these joints that’s three times your body weight. And this number jumps to five times when you run. 

So, if you weigh 150 pounds, that's 450 pounds of pressure on each knee when you walk and 750 pounds with each running step.

As a result of this increase in pressure, runners are often more vulnerable to knee injuries, such as:

Runner’s knee

Also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, runner’s knee is a condition in which you feel pain toward the front of your knee, typically in the area where your kneecap and your thigh bone meet. 

There are several reasons runners feel this pain, which can be caused by the kneecap not sliding well over the femur, weak hips, weak thigh muscles, tight hamstrings, and other conditions that lead to an imbalance that creates more pressure on your knees.

IT band syndrome

On the outside of each of your legs is a tendon that runs from your pelvis to your knee called your iliotibial band. If you overuse this tendon, it can become inflamed and tight, leading to pain in your knee. This pain can flare when you’re heading downhill or down stairs.

Patellar tendinitis

Also called jumper’s knee, patellar tendinitis isn’t tendinitis at all. It affects a ligament that attaches your kneecap to your upper tibia (shin bone). 

If you damage this connective tissue due to overuse, you can feel pain on the bottom part of your knee near your shin bone, especially when you’re jumping, starting and stopping, or running downhill.

Of course, there are many other drivers of knee pain, but these are some of the more common among runners and athletes.

Getting you back to pain-free running

At our practice, we offer comprehensive sports medicine and rehabilitation services, and we’re no strangers to knee issues. It would be hard to say here what your exact treatment might be until we assess your knees in person, but we offer a wide range of options, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Joint injections
  • Tenex™ procedure for tendon pain
  • Regenerative medicine, including platelet-rich plasma injections and bone marrow aspirate
  • Chiropractic care
  • Orthotics

For runners and athletes, we can tailor a plan that not only relieves your knee pain, but strengthens and rebuilds these joints so that you can get back to your active lifestyle.

If you want to get on the road to healthier, pain-free knees, we invite you to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations in Marlton, Hamilton Township, and East Brunswick, New Jersey.