Why You’re Having Knee Pain After Running

Why You’re Having Knee Pain After Running hover background

Dec 15

You love running but sometimes running does not love you back. It can cause you exhaustion, soreness, and knee pain after running. But you push on anyways and become one of the 30-50% of runners that experience an injury every year. If you are experiencing any knee pain after running it is better to stop and educate yourself on why this is happening.

Why does it happen?

It is very difficult to pinpoint why you are having knee pain after running on just one thing. But there may be a combination of factors causing this discomfort that may include the following:

  • Running Errors.  You may be making this mistakes when running:
    • You aren’t consistent while running or you may suddenly increase your intensity or time. When you start out, you may be enthusiastic but do not do too much too soon.
    • You may also be running on an uneven surface with one foot is higher than the other. This significantly increases your chances of developing knee pain.
    • Running may be the only form of exercise you partake in.  This can cause overuse of the same muscles and developing knee pain after running is inevitable.
  • Mechanics.  Everyone’s body is made differently and knee pain is often linked to problems with how the different body parts function when we run. The most important thing to consider is your foot position. You put 550% of your normal body weight on your feet when you run and if your foot biomechanics are not ideal, then you may feel knee pain. Ideally when you run, you first put pressure on your heel and then transfer it up your foot. But if you have a flat foot, higher than normal arches, or your feet roll outward/inward, you may be more likely to find yourself in pain post-run.


  • Runner’s Knee. This is the most common form of knee pain from running—it’s pain from the movement of the kneecap resulting from friction on the back of the knee. You will feel a pain in the front of the joint, mostly under and around the kneecap. Symptoms do not come on immediately; it is gradual and not triggered by a specific incident. It is a product of overuse.
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). This is felt on the outer side of the knee and can radiate up the thigh. The muscles that stabilize your leg become irritated and cause inflammation, which leads to pain. ITBS pain commonly affects long distance runners. You are more likely to develop this is you have flat feet, muscles weakness or tightness, or are someone who increases training suddenly.


  • Warm up and Cool Down. Always stretch before and after running. If you are planning on doing any long distance running, try speed walking before to get your legs moving fast so you aren’t over exerting when you start running. As a cool down,  you want stretch according to the intensity of your workout. This will diminish knee pain after running tremendously.
  • Rest. Your body can’t handle all the pressure of running every day. You need to take time to recover or else your performance levels will start to decrease. Adequate rest will cause knee pain after running to go down over time.

If you are experiencing knee pain after running, contact Above & Beyond to schedule an appointment and get evaluated by one of our highly trained Physical Therapists.




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