Why Knee Pain Gets Worse When You Exercise And How To Ease It…

Got this question sent to me yesterday by a “confused” patient suffering with knee pain..

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“Hey Leslie, I’ve been suffering with a pain in my right knee now for a few weeks. What I can’t put my finger on is what I did to make it start in the first place, and even more confusing is that it’s most painful when walking down the stairs, and only comes on 10 minutes into a run.

Sometimes it aches, sometimes it feels tender and dull, but I don’t understand why I could run fine before and now I can’t without having to stop after 10 minutes. Can you help?”

–       Michelle, 47, Putney

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There’s a good chance that the same thing is happening to Michelle as it does to most people this time of year…

This time of year when it’s so cold outside, we see more people than ever in my Physio Rooms suffering with painful knees, the reason why? Because it’s around this time of year that people decide to become more active and take things up like running and walking for longer distances.

And even if they’re used to running, people tend to step it up and run a little longer than usual to get ready for the spring and summer, sometimes adding in extra running days going from twice a week, to four times a week.

What’s likely going on with Michelle is something called ‘runner’s knee’ – it’s got it’s nickname for an obvious and very unfortunate reason because it’s common among runners, and even those who are brand new to running.

If we run often, after a while the stress of running can cause irritation around the knee area. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden, or irritating and dull. Sometimes it disappears when you’re running, only to return again afterwards.

The pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee, especially when walking or running downhill, or even something as simple as walking down a flight of stairs!

So why is Michelle feeling pain in her knees?

Think of it like this – each time you run and bend your knee, your knee cap rubs against your thigh muscle, and just like if you were to rub your hand against your arm, eventually your arm would go red and become sore after a while… Well the same happens with your knees!

If you’re not used to running, OR, if you haven’t slowly built up how long you run for and how many times a week you choose to as well, then this is going to be a shock to your knees.

Another thing, if the muscles around your knees are weak and tight, they’re not going to be able to support you through a run…

…And without strong muscles to support your knee joints, (or just really tired and weak ones), you’re much more likely to suffer from aches and pains.

So the solution to Michelle’s problem? 

It’s likely to be a simple case of strengthening the knee muscles (and hip and lower back ones too), to make them stronger and support Michelle when she runs – not MORE exercising.

See, a lot of people think that exercising more is good for them, and it is to an extent, but only if you’re doing the right type of exercises to benefit everything else you’re doing.

Doing the right type of exercises and stretches to strengthen the right muscles will mean your knees will be strong enough to walk and run for longer, with less pain at the end of the day. An individual assessment by a Physiotherapist would be useful to diagnose exactly what the problem is, followed by the correct targeted series of exercises.

You’ve got to build a strong foundation first before doing more and to prevent any aches and pains suddenly creeping up on you which could put you out for a few weeks…

If you’d like more info on this, and some easy, actionable tips you can use now to start easing your knee. We have a free knee pain guide that we can send you. Connect with us on 020 87474 029(Chiswick) , 020 87887 804(Putney) or email us on info@bodiesunderconstruction.com and tell us what’s going on with your knee. A member of the team can take your details and we can email or post you a copy.

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FREE REPORT: “HERE’S HOW YOU CAN GET IN ON ALL THE FREE ADVICE CURRENTLY BEING GIVEN AWAY BY OUR BEST PHYSIOS TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KNOW HOW TO BRING A FAST END TO THEIR “DAILY, ANNOYING AND NAGGING” KNEE PAIN…BEFORE IT GETS ANY WORSE”!

…Meaning A Better Night’s Sleep, More Energy, Less Worry, And Above All…MORE Freedom To Do Things With LESS PAIN And Less Tension!… And That Would Be Nice, Right?


About the Author: Leslie Abrahams


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Every week, for over 20 years, 100’s of people aged have consulted Leslie Abrahams looking for answers to concerning questions about, and for, a fast end to their health worries and physical pains and stiffness. He has previously worked and travelled with high-level athletes in the field of cycling and volleyball. Leslie also has a special interest in Spinal Treatments and Rehabilitation, lower limb injuries, and has experience dealing with patients post injury or surgery.

Leslie is a Master Trainer for the world renowned Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute(APPI Pilates). He is regular key note speaker at conferences and travels internationally to present on modified exercise for rehabilitation. Leslie is the founder of Bodies Under Construction Clinics situated in Chiswick and Putney, London. South West London’s Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People of all ages, but especially those in their 30’s. 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond, who want to keep healthy and active.

Leslie Abrahams

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