Whether you’re just starting running or have been running for years, knee pain can bring you to a sudden stop. It can limit running distance and speed and make things like walking and climbing stairs more painful too.
The most common area we see knee pain in runners is around or under the knee cap. As your mileage increases, your gluteal muscles and quad muscles get overworked and become tight. This compresses your knee cap, causing pain. Here are 2 easy exercises you can do to address these issues and run without pain.
This a great stretch for tight quads. Tight quads can cause compression and pain at the front of the knee when walking or running. Hold for 30 secs and do 3 times. Do this after you run for injury prevention, but once a day if you’re having pain.
This is a great exercise to develop quad strength. Start with 2 sets of 10 reps and hold for 5 seconds at the bottom. Do these 2-3 days a week. Try to work up to 3 sets fo 10. When done correctly, these can help preserve quad flexibility as well, making you less likely to have quad tightness and knee pain.
Side Step Down
The goal of this exercise is to control the position of your hips and your knee. It will also build strength in your glutes and your quads.
Your hips and pelvis should stay parallel to each other. The knee of your foot that is on the step should stay lined up with the middle of that same foot.
Start with 2 sets of 10 and work up to 3 sets. Start with a lower step (4 inches or less) and work up to a higher step as it gets easier. Do this 2 to 3 times a week.
The exercises above are good ways to prevent and stop knee pain when you run. They may cause some muscle soreness but they shouldn’t cause any sharp pain.
If you’ve tried these and you’re still hurting, we’d love to help you! At Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we’re experts at evaluating running pain and will develop a plan to help you overcome them.
Working to keep you living your best life,
The Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Team