Physical activities like running is a popular way towards weight loss. This form of exercise allows the body to lose calories rapidly. It provides an inexpensive way to maintain overall health. Although this fitness exercise improves heart functioning and strengthens the bones, the knees are subjected to undue strain while running, which can lead to pain.
Knee Pain After Running
Although many people do not experience any pain while doing this activity, the knee discomfort triggers as soon as one stops running. This is a common problem that can affect one or both the legs. The knee is one of the most complicated joints as this is the body part where four bones meet. This joint bears the weight of the entire body, therefore, too much exertion in the form of running can cause knee problems. This is because running is basically a weight-bearing activity for joints which can lead to knee pain.
Some may experience minor knee pain, while for others, a sharp shooting pain is often a common complaint after running. Persistent knee pain post a running workout session is an indication that the person has injured one of the ligaments of the knee-joint. Other causes are given below:
The knee joints are quite capable to bear the weight of the body while running. However, extra kilos puts undue pressure on the joints, increasing the chances of knee pain post a running workout.
Type of Surface
There is a correlation between knee problems and the type of surface any person chooses to run on. It is observed that people who prefer running on concrete (asphalt, cement) roads, eventually experience knee pain after running more often than others. To reap benefits of running, a better option would be to run on grass, dirt roads or dirt tracks.
Using the wrong shoes can also contribute to knee pain. Correct running shoes support the body arch properly, thereby preventing knee pain. Ensure that the soles of the shoes are made up of shock absorbing material. Running can wreak havoc on the knees if proper shoes are not worn. Flat footed people should see to it that the arch of their shoes provide good cushioning. Stepping wrongly while running can also lead to joint pain later on. Consult a sports physician to know how to correctly step to avoid weight imbalance that results in knee pain.
Runners need to understand that including certain nutrients in the diet is a must for healthy joints. Doctors insist a daily intake of 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium to maintain normal functioning of knee joints. Insufficient intake of calcium can also contribute to knee pain after running. Make sure to include milk, dairy products, and dark green vegetables in the diet, as calcium is abundantly found in these food sources. Other foods that promote healthy joints are
- Whole grain breads
- Cod liver oil
A prior injury to the knee makes it ill-equipped to handle activities like running. A knee that has suffered an injury in the past may hurt after running. A knee-joint that has gone through the following knee injuries will definitely experience pain after running.
Dislocated Kneecap: As we all know, the kneecap is a bone that acts as a protective cover for the knee-joint. It prevents premature wear and tear of the knee-joint. However, when the kneecap is displaced from its normal position, due to trauma, (accident or a sports injury) it can cause chronic pain. A change in direction while running can cause a sudden twist, leading to dislocation of the kneecap.
Plica Syndrome: Plica refers to a fold of synovial tissues that are located in the lining of the knee-joint. Plica syndrome develops when plicae (folds of synovial tissue) become irritated, causing knee inflammation. Excessive use or an injury can lead to plica syndrome (swelling and pain of the knee).
Chondromalacia Patella: This condition that is commonly seen in teenagers and athletes, occurs when the cartilage situated under the kneecap gets damaged. Misalignment of the kneecap or excessive use of knee can trigger this condition too.
Many people do not perform warm up exercises before running. This can have an adverse impact on the knee in the long run. Also, one should not concentrate only on running, as this can lead to knee pain and hamstring. One can also include workouts that help in strengthening the thighs. Beginners or those who have not performed this activity for quite some time, try to run long distances immediately, which can also trigger knee discomfort after running. There are people who run everyday but do not take rest during weekends. This practice of running daily and not incorporating any days of rest, too can contribute to knee pain.
Knee Pain After a Treadmill Workout
This problem can occur if some simple warm-ups and stretches are not performed before hitting the treadmill. Warm-ups activates the circulatory system of the body which is essential before any running event. A warm-up exercise such as a light walk can help to prevent knee damage. Stretching increases the circulation of blood to the muscles, thus helping to keep knee injuries and pain at bay after running.
The incidence of knee pain and knee related injuries after running can certainly be prevented by wearing appropriate shoes that maintain stability and support the body. No doubt running provides immense health benefits, but overdoing it can certainly lead to knee problems, such as pain. Following good practices such as a warm-up routine, can help to prevent knee pain after you have completed your cardio workout.