CSA Physio Blog

Why are my knees hurting when I run?

Posted on: March 1st, 2019 by Kevin Arkko

Why are my knees hurting when I run?

Knee pain, running

Do you get pain at the front of your knee when you run? Well you’re not alone but the cause of your knee pain might not be what you think. If you’ve ever experienced knee pain when running, your first thought has probably been “What’s wrong with my knees?” but often times the problem area is the hip.

Poor control of the muscles around the hip due to deficits in strength, flexibility or coordination can often result in pain at the front of the knee when running. Doing endless sets of leg extensions and leg curls in an attempt to get rid of your knee pain is will likely be a fruitless and frustrating endeavour in this case. Instead of focusing on the site of the pain itself we need to look further up the leg to identify the underlying cause.

So if we know that the problem is at the hip what can we do about it?  That depends on exactly what structures are tight or weak. The gluteus medius in particular has been implicated in knee pain and delayed activation of this muscle when running is a common finding in those who have knee pain when running.  By identifying deficits in structures around the hip, corrective exercises can be used to get you back to running how it should be: pain free.  (That’s sort of what I do each day!)


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