Knee pain from running is preventable. Yes, you can run again in most cases. You need a recovery plan for a return to jogging. Do stop running if it hurts before real damage is done, then use this plan that addresses the cause as well as your rehabilitation.
Running injuries are most common at two stages…
Both these causes classify as overuse injuries. The beginner jogger and
the experienced runner increasing her mileage are enthusiastic
participants and perhaps, a little impatient.
Part of the reason why we often feel we can do more is we just feel so darned good. Your heart and lungs are supplying the extra output needed quite easily. This is quite encouraging. However, your legs knees, shins and ankles are still adapting or need to adapt to the new threshold.
Patience in training is the answer. It is the best advice I can give. Unfortunately, it is also the advice you most likely disregard as not applying to you.
Running and jogging is a normal natural activity. In days long gone by—it meant survival. It was transportation, play activity and used in hunting. Our ancestors where fit or they just didn’t make it. Read about marathon history here. Today, we run for fun and fitness. Jogging is an enjoyable activity with numerous benefits.
We do reap the rewards from our ancestors’ use of running. Our feet, ankles and legs developed into powerful tools for our use. So don’t ever let anyone tell you running is not normal.
OK, now let’s look at the two causes of knee pain from running more closely.
Your knee is a remarkable joint. It works to allow a bending action of
your leg. What you may not know is that the knee does not work alone. It
requires the adjacent muscles to stabilize the joint.
A significant factor in preventing knee pain is leg strength. Your thigh muscles must be strong enough to hold your knees properly in place with each step. Weak quadriceps allow the knee to move around, rubbing surrounding tissue and cartilage. Eventually causing knee pain and if ignored, possible permanent knee injury.
Your calf muscles also play a key role in preventing knee injuries. These muscles act to absorb the shock or stress of each foot strike. A long stride stretches out the leg causing much of the shock to be centered smack dab right in the knee instead of being disbursed and absorbed by the leg muscles. To find out if you are using the correct running form, see running technique.
If you have knee pain from running now, you should not run. Think of it this way…
Would you like to be able to jog for the rest of your life or would you rather run now and perhaps permanently wreck your knees?
I have had to make this choice too at some point. I will always choose to take the course of action that keeps me jogging for life.
This is hard to do. But, we have a plan...