Whether you run recreationally or professionally, you’ve probably asked yourself at one point, “why do my knees hurt after running?” After all, knee injuries are more common than you might realize.
Running puts a lot of pressure on your bones and joints every day. You might not even notice it until you suddenly feel the pain.
For this reason, athletes are more likely to injure their knees than any other body part. And it’s easy to be part of that statistic.
So, let’s explore the possible causes behind your knee pain and how to avoid it for good.
Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running? Here are 6 Possible Reasons Why
Known as the most popular pain for runners, a runner’s knee is when you overuse your knee muscles and joints. It can also result from physical injury or if you’ve been sitting and bending your knees for too long.
When left untreated, a runner’s knee can further ruin your bone cartilage, which can lead to early stages of arthritis.
Here are the signs to look out for if you have a runner’s knee:
- Numbing pain around and behind your kneecap, especially the area where it meets with your lower thigh bone
- Swelling, grinding, and popping sensations in your knee
- Limited mobility when walking or sitting
IT Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is a common overuse injury caused by repetitive movements. If you’re the type to exercise regularly but don’t pay attention to proper training and gear, you might be at high risk.
The IT band syndrome occurs when the long connective tissue from your hip to knee gets sore and tight. This makes it difficult for you to move and rotate your lower body.
The biggest giveaway that you have this syndrome is when you feel burning pain outside your knee. It might fade away after warm-up, but you’ll notice the pain getting worse as you work out.
Other symptoms of the IT band syndrome include:
- Tenderness and swelling
- Clicking, popping, or snapping sensation outside of your knee
- Pain running up and down your leg
- Redness and bruising
Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper’s Knee
Despite its name, the jumper’s knee can also happen to runners and joggers alike.
Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis, happens when you frequently jump or run on hard surfaces. As a result, the repeated force of your legs hitting the ground can wear down the connecting tendons in your knee joint.
If you ignore it, a jumper’s knee can lead to more tears, pain, and complications such as arthritis.
Symptoms of patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee are:
- Numbing pain below the kneecap, especially when you bend the knee
- The pain increases when you jump, run, or walk
- Swollen joints
- Stiffness and tenderness behind and below your kneecap
Imagine: you’ve been running for almost an hour when out of nowhere, you took a sudden left turn. Your knees ache in protest, and it feels like you’ve torn something in your muscles. That’s probably a meniscus tear.
A meniscus tear is when you forcefully twist your knee out of its limits. It’s a common injury with runners, cyclists, or those who play contact sports, like football and rugby.
While it might seem like a normal strain, ignoring a meniscus tear can lead to persistent knee pain and loss of range of motion. You might also be at high risk of developing osteoarthritis and other disorders.
You’d know if you have a meniscus tear with these symptoms:
- Intense pain when you twist or rotate your knee
- Popping or snapping sensation
- Locking sensation, inability to move or straighten your knee
- Stiffness and swelling
Our knee joints are surrounded by tiny fluid-filled sacs called bursa, which cushion your joints against pressure. They also help your flexible limbs move.
However, repetitive movements such as running and kneeling might inflame the bursa, leading to knee bursitis. And if you ignore it, it can lead to more inflammation, chronic pain, and permanent loss of mobility in your knee.
So before it happens, here’s what to look out for if you’re at risk of knee bursitis:
- Warmth and tenderness in one area
- Redness, bruising, and swelling
- Increased pain when walking, kneeling, or putting pressure on your knee
- Limited range of motion
When you ignore the wear and tear on your knees, it can lead to severe pain syndrome like osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage around your joints wears out, causing your bones to grind against each other. This makes for long-term pain and stiffness, even when you’re doing everyday tasks.
You can check if you’re experiencing osteoarthritis with these symptoms:
- Tenderness and swelling in your knee joints
- Flaring pain when you move or bend your knees
- Stiffness, especially when you haven’t moved in a while
- Bone spurs, or when your joints look a bit larger than normal
- Cracking or creaking sensation
- Limited range of motion and flexibility
How To Prevent a Runner’s Knee?
Massage the Knee Regularly
Running can be so enjoyable, but it also takes a lot out of your body. And that’s why, you deserve complete rest afterward. An excellent way of doing so is to get a deep tissue massage.
A deep tissue massage targets the tight knots in your muscles, and it’s perfect for any runners out there. According to a 2014 study, deep tissue massage works like a painkilling drug to reduce muscle pain.
To make it even better, you can incorporate massage and heat therapy at home by using the HeatPulse Knee Massager by Team HYDRAGUN . It’s a knee massager that delivers soothing heat and steady vibrative pulses to relieve knee pain.
Try the HeatPulse Knee Massager now, and see how it can treat your body aches.
Take Rest Days Seriously
We all get it. You might be dead set on achieving your fitness goals, and you don’t want to stop the hustle. But still, rest days matter, and you shouldn’t ignore them.
When you take an off day, you’re giving your body enough time to heal. However, if you think that rest is only about sleeping in, then think again. Active recovery days are also a thing, and everyone’s doing it.
For instance, Olympic athletes like Chloe Kim rest up by cycling. She does this to actively recover her knees, which she injured a few years ago. If you’re not up to lazing around, doing low-impact workouts should be a part of your recovery.
How to Protect Your Knee When Running?
Massage Your Knees Before and After the Run
Massage isn’t only a luxury. It should be an important part of your warm-up and cooldown routine.
According to a 2013 study, including massage in your warm-up can diminish muscle soreness during the exercise. The same goes for your cooldown after the workout when your body’s drained and sore.
However, we know that paying a massage therapist after every workout isn’t practical. The best alternative is to get yourself a knee massager. It works as your at-home, a heated knee massager that is easy and safe to use. Try it now to get the massage experience you deserve.
Strengthen Your Legs with Easy Exercises
Another surefire way of protecting your knees is to strengthen them. When you build up your endurance and strength, you’re less at risk for injuries and accidents.
Here are some easy knee exercises you can do anywhere:
Cut Down Your Runner’s Knee Recovery Time with a Heated Knee Massager
Every time you take a step, your knees receive and deal with a lot of force. While this seems normal, you don’t want to overdo it and risk yourself of an injury.
After all, recovering from a knee injury isn’t easy. A runner’s knee, for instance, will require you to rest up for 4 to 12 weeks, depending on how severe it is.
Fortunately, you can cut down your recovery time with the HeatPulse Knee Massager. It’s designed to deliver a pleasant and easy recovery experience.
Try the HeatPulse Knee Massager today so you can bounce back on the track quicker than before.