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Should I Stop Running If My Knees Hurt?

The knee is the most common injury location for runners. The repetitive, high-impact nature of running places significant stress on the knee joint, which can cause injuries or pain.
One question that physiotherapists are often asked is: Should I stop running if my knees hurt? The answer is that it depends on your unique condition and circumstances. For some patients, having a rest may be the best recovery plan. For others, reducing the frequency or intensity of their running is more important.
In this article, we explore the various knee conditions that are common amongst runners. We also offer three tips for managing knee pain to keep you on your feet! 

Common Running Conditions of the Knee

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome occurs when the cartilage under the knee becomes damaged due to injury or overuse. It typically takes months to recover from the syndrome and restrengthen the knee to resume running.
ACL and PCL Injuries
ACL and PCL injuries may stop you from running for some time, but you can commence running without pain or discomfort with proper treatment and rehabilitation. Recovering from PCL and ACL injuries involves strengthening and stretching to support your knee and provide stability when running.
Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterised by the weakening of bone tissue. New bone creation doesn’t replace old bone removal fast enough, leaving the bones weak and brittle. This places people with osteoporosis at a higher risk of fractures and broken bones. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 will experience osteoporosis in their lifetime. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, this doesn’t mean that you must give up running; however, you may have to adjust your running schedule.

3 Tips for Managing Knee Pain

  1. Technique
    Your running technique and biomechanics can influence your body’s performance and condition. Your footwear has a significant influence on the way you run; the wrong shoes could lead to an injury, and the proper footwear can support your entire body. Your physio could identify problems with your biomechanics or footwear, helping you manage and reduce knee pain.
  2. Frequency and Intensity
    Long-distance and regular runners experience higher levels of knee pain. Some patients may find it helpful to reduce the frequency or intensity of their runs to allow the knees rest and recovery time. You can achieve the health benefits of running in as little as 50 minutes per week.
  3. Strengthening and Physio
    A stretching and strengthening program from a physiotherapist can help you to manage knee pain and reduce pain. At NDPE, we create tailored programs designed around your unique goals and knee condition.

Book your Physio Appointment

Runners can benefit from physiotherapy treatment and ongoing care. Book your appointment at Northern Districts Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic with one of our friendly and experienced practitioners today.

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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95 Ryedale Road
West Ryde NSW 2114

Ph 02 9874 8410
Fax 02 9874 6192

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