by Matt Weik
You’re heading out for a run and doing pretty well. You’ve even been making it to the gym! But then, all of a sudden, you feel pain in your knee. What could be causing this? If you’re experiencing knee pain, it might mean there’s an underlying issue to which you should pay attention and figure out.
Knee pain is a common complaint among those who exercise intensely. People with poor knee joint stability and flexibility tend to get their knees locked up and are at higher risk for injuries.
For example, suppose your calf muscles are tight. In that case, your knees will lock, making them unstable and more prone to injuries such as ACL tears, MCL injuries, patellar tendonitis, or tendonitis in general.
In this article, we will look at some of the leading causes of knee pain, as well as some helpful tips you can implement to help alleviate and prevent knee pain.
Disclaimer: If you have pain or issues with your knees, get them checked by a professional. The information found in this article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition.
What Causes Knee Pain While Working Out?
- One of the most common reasons for knee pain while working out is that you are overusing your knees. For instance, if you run or jog on a regular basis, you might have knee pain. This can happen because you are running too often or running for too long of a time period.
- It can also happen because you are using improper running techniques and mechanics, such as not warming up properly or wearing the wrong shoes.
- You can also experience knee pain when working out if you use incorrect techniques on machines or if you do not use proper form while doing exercises like squats.
- It is important to keep in mind that your knees can hurt while working out, even if they do not hurt during other activities. This is because your knees are under different stress levels when you are working out than when you are doing other activities.
- For instance, if you work a desk job and sit all day, your knees will not be under nearly as much stress as when you run on a treadmill for an hour. This can cause pain to occur even though your knees usually feel fine.
Here Are Some Tips for Preventing and Relieving Knee Pain While Working Out
You might feel knee pain while running, jumping, or doing other high-impact exercises.
The pain can stem from several causes.
But there’s good news — you don’t have to give up your favorite activities if you’re prone to knee pain.
Here are some tips for preventing and relieving knee pain while working out:
1. Don’t Ignore It
Pain is a sign that something is not right. If you feel knee pain during an activity, stop and rest until the pain subsides. Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine if recommended by your doctor to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Begin every workout with five to ten minutes of light aerobic activity, such as walking or biking slowly on a stationary bike. Warm muscles are less likely to be injured than cold ones. According to studies, warm-ups helped many soccer players to prevent knee injuries while playing.
3. Use Proper Technique and Form
Learn how to do the exercise correctly, especially if you’re new to it or have had past injuries in that area. For example, keep your back straight when lifting weights and use your legs instead of your back to lift heavy objects. Avoid twisting or moving side-to-side while holding a weight in front of you.
4. Choose Low-Impact Activities
If you already have knee pain, it’s best to start with low-impact activities like swimming, yoga, or cycling. You should also avoid high-impact exercises that put a lot of stress on your joints, like running, boxing, or jumping rope. Work within your limits and if you feel any pain, stop immediately.
5. Try to Maintain Your Weight
The more you weigh, the more stress you place on your knees, especially when you perform impact exercises such as running or jumping. Losing weight can reduce joint pain in your knees and help prevent knee injury.
6. Strengthen Your Muscles
Strengthening the muscles that support your knee can help protect it from injury and reduce pain from arthritis. Strong quadriceps (the muscles in the front of your leg) and hamstrings (muscles in the back of the leg) help stabilize the knee joint and take pressure off the knee joint.
7. Wear Appropriate Footwear
Worn-out shoes don’t provide enough cushioning or arch support to protect your knees while exercising. Avoid wearing shoes with excessive wear on the soles or uppers, as they can be the root cause of your knee pain. You’ll want to choose a new pair of shoes that feels comfortable when you try them on, and be sure to replace your shoes every 350 to 500 miles of running or every six months (whichever comes first).
8. Wrap an Elastic Bandage or Knee Sleeve Around Your Knee
This may help keep down swelling and provide additional support to your knee as it heals. You can purchase an elastic bandage or knee sleeve at most pharmacies or sporting goods stores, and you should follow the directions on the packaging to wrap it around your knee properly.