Top 3 Reasons Runners Get Knee Pain

By Sophia Larkum


Hello runner, experienced, inexperienced, short distance, long distance, jogger, plodder or a mix of the above!


I know you are only here because you are fed up… and want to get to the bottom of what is going on.


So... without further ado, below are the top 3 reasons come in with a running related injury


1. Overuse (training error): this might seem absurd, but a training error is one of the most common reasons for knee pain we see here at Instant Physio. Whether in new runners who have upped their training too much, in a short space of time; or in more experienced runners, who have gone on one too many long runs. So, perhaps this is the first thing to think about, have you upped your training by more than 10% a week recently? Or perhaps haven’t had a proper break for a few months? Remember, tapering weeks are important - even Olympians have time off EVERYTHING once in a while.


2. Overstriding: This is one of the most common causes of thigh strains. It's where a runner is taking too big a step, putting the hamstrings (see above) on a stretch, thus increasing your chances of overstretching said muscle. Its difficult to know if this is what you are doing without doing some running analysis.



3. Cadence: If you are looking at that word and you are scratching your head about what it means then fear not! It means something a lot more straightforward than you think. The number of steps you take per minute is your cadence. According to a huge amount of research, by taking lots of big steps you increase the pressure going into your joints (in particular your knees) significantly. We see it all the time and help people work on this after doing running assessments with them. 180 is considered the nirvana of cadence but we prefer keeping it specific to the individual.


It is very important to remember that when you are experiencing pain that trying to treat yourself comes with risks and we would always recommend seeking medical attention. When we make any changes in the clinic to any our runners schedules or running style we do them very slowly - so go careful!


If any of these sound familiar, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


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