Originally posted on smartguy.com  |  Last updated 1/1/13

When it comes to discussing pain in the knee that results from running, there are a lot of common misconceptions. For example, non-runners often think that runners and joggers are literally running their knees into the ground with each step that they take. This is simply not true. In most cases, knee pain when running is going to result from one of three conditions: runner's knee, iliotibial band syndrome, or in rare cases, a Baker's cyst. Let's take an in depth look at these types of injuries to the knee.

Knee Pain Running Injuries - Runner's Knee

This type of injury is characterized by pain in and around the kneecap. It is one of the most common sources of knee pain when running for joggers, and it often results when runners begin to significantly increase the length of their running sessions. Over time, the pain often intensifies, and during the day, your knee may feel stiff or sore after you have been sitting or standing for an extended period of time.

Injuries to the knee of this kind occur when your kneecap does not move along its groove in your thighbone correctly. It can cause your cartilage to wear down over time, which hurts. The development of runner's knee is often blamed on weak thigh muscles and a lack of proper foot support.

Runner's knee pain running injuries are common. To treat this condition, you should immediately ice your knees after each run. Icing each knee for about 15 minutes will reduce the swelling, and it can be helpful to take an over the counter anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen. Also, it is going to be very important for you to ensure that you are wearing the right type of running shoes for your feet.

Pain In the Knee - Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is a type of knee pain when running that occurs in short, spontaneous burst. In general, it is not accompanied by swelling or locking of the knee. In general, it usually disappears immediately after you stop running. These kinds of injuries to the knee occur from overuse. The iliotibial band serves to help stabilize your knee, but when it is overused, it can become thin or begin to rub against your leg bones, which cause pain and irritation.

In most cases, you can treat these types of knee pain running injuries by providing yourself with plenty of rest, cutting down the number of miles you run, and frequently icing your knee. It can also be beneficial to invest in some deep friction massages from a physical therapist. However, if the pain persists, even after these treatments, you are encouraged to consult your primary care physician.

Knee Pain When Running - Baker's Cysts

Baker's cysts are one of the least common knee pain running injuries, but they do occur more than you might think. Essentially, a Baker's cyst is characterized by pain and swelling, located behind your knee, at the point where your upper leg bone meets your lower leg bone. This type of cyst is nonmalignant, so it does pose an immediate threat to your health. Unfortunately, there isn't much that a person can do to treat this type of injury. You will need to see an orthopedic surgeon to have it removed.

Of course, pain in the knee can be caused by other sources of injury, but for runners, these are just a few of the most common reasons. With care and precaution, most of the time, you will be able to treat them yourself. However, if you feel that your methods are not working, contact a doctor to avoid permanent injury to your knees.



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