What To Do For Hurt Knees After Running

What To Do For Hurt Knees After Running


Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but sometimes it can lead to injuries, especially knee pain. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, it’s important to take proper care of your knees to avoid any long-term damage. In this article, we will explore various strategies and remedies to help you recover and prevent knee pain after running.

1. Rest and Ice

One of the first steps you should take when experiencing knee pain after running is to rest and apply ice to the affected area. Resting allows your knee to heal, while icing helps reduce inflammation and swelling. To implement this remedy, simply take a break from running and apply an ice pack to your knee for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

2. Compression

Using a compression bandage or sleeve can provide support to your knee and reduce swelling. It helps to stabilize the joint and minimizes movement, allowing the knee to heal faster. Make sure not to wrap the bandage too tightly, as it can restrict blood flow. You can wear the compression bandage throughout the day or only during physical activities.

3. Elevation

Elevating your legs can also help reduce knee pain and swelling. Prop up your legs with a pillow or cushion, keeping them slightly elevated above the heart. This position promotes better blood circulation and reduces fluid buildup in the knee joint.

4. Proper Footwear

Wearing the right footwear is essential for preventing knee pain when running. Invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate cushioning and support. The shoes should fit properly and have enough room for your toes. Consider visiting a specialized running store to get the perfect fit and advice on the right shoes for your running style.

5. Strengthening Exercises

Weak muscles around the knees can increase the risk of injury and knee pain. Strengthening exercises, particularly focused on the quadriceps and hamstrings, can help stabilize the knee joint and prevent strain. Some effective exercises include squats, lunges, leg presses, and leg curls. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts over time.

6. Stretching

Stretching before and after running can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of knee pain. Incorporate exercises that target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat them several times. Avoid bouncing or jerking during the stretches, as it can cause injuries.

7. Cross-Training

If knee pain persists or worsens after running, consider incorporating cross-training activities into your routine. Activities like swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine provide a low-impact workout that reduces stress on the knees while maintaining cardiovascular fitness. These exercises can help you stay active while giving your knees a break from running.

8. Proper Running Technique

Running with improper form can put unnecessary strain on your knees, leading to pain and injuries. Focus on maintaining good posture, lean slightly forward, and aim to land mid-foot rather than on your heels. Shorten your stride and increase your cadence to reduce impact. Consider scheduling a session with a running coach to help you improve your running technique.

9. Weight Management

Being overweight can put additional stress on your knees when running, leading to pain and discomfort. If you are overweight, consider incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise routine to achieve a healthy weight. Losing even a few pounds can significantly decrease the pressure on your knee joints, reducing the risk of injury.

10. Gradual Progression

Avoid pushing yourself too hard or increasing your running distance too quickly. Gradual progression allows your muscles, tendons, and joints to adapt to the increased workload. Follow a structured training plan that gradually increases your running volume and intensity while allowing for adequate rest and recovery days.


1. How long should I rest if I have knee pain after running?

It is essential to listen to your body and rest until the pain subsides. This can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. If the pain persists or worsens, it is best to consult a medical professional.

2. Can I still run with knee pain?

Running with knee pain is generally not recommended as it can exacerbate the injury and lead to further damage. It is important to allow your knees to heal fully before resuming running activities.

3. When should I see a doctor for knee pain?

If the knee pain persists for an extended period, is severe, or is accompanied by swelling, redness, or instability, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A doctor or physical therapist can diagnose the underlying cause of the pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

4. Can using knee braces help with knee pain?

Knee braces can provide additional support and stability to the knee joint, which may help alleviate pain and prevent further injury. However, it is best to consult with a medical professional to determine if a knee brace is appropriate for your specific condition.

5. Is running on a treadmill better for the knees?

Running on a treadmill can be gentler on the knees compared to running on hard pavement. Treadmills provide a cushioned surface that absorbs some of the impact, reducing stress on the joints. However, it is still important to practice proper running form and avoid overloading the knees.

6. Can I apply heat to my knees for pain relief?

While applying heat to the knees may provide temporary pain relief, it is generally not recommended for acute injuries or inflammation. Heat can increase blood flow and may exacerbate swelling. Ice is typically a more effective treatment option for knee pain.

7. Are there any dietary supplements that can help with knee pain?

Some dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, have been marketed for joint health and may provide relief for some people with knee pain. However, the effectiveness of these supplements is still under debate, and it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements.

8. Can physical therapy help with knee pain?

Physical therapy can be beneficial for treating knee pain and preventing future injuries. A physical therapist can assess your condition, provide targeted exercises and stretches, and guide you through a rehabilitation program tailored to your specific needs.

9. Can knee pain be prevented altogether?

While it may not be possible to prevent knee pain entirely, taking proactive measures like proper warm-up, strength training, and gradual progression can significantly reduce the risk of knee injuries while running. Listening to your body, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding overtraining are also important factors in preventing knee pain.

10. When is it safe to start running again after knee pain?

Once your knee pain has subsided, it is essential to start slowly and gradually increase your running activities. Begin with shorter distances and lower intensity workouts and listen to your body’s response. If there is no pain or discomfort, you can gradually increase your running volume over time.


Knee pain after running can be a frustrating setback, but with the right strategies and remedies, you can recover and prevent future incidents. Remember to rest, ice, and compress the affected area, and elevate your legs to reduce swelling. Strengthening exercises, stretching, and cross-training activities can help prevent knee pain. Practice proper running technique, maintain a healthy weight, and progress gradually to minimize the risk of knee injuries. If the pain persists or worsens, consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Take care of your knees, and happy running!

Rate article
( No ratings yet )