How to Run With Knee Pain

A number of different injuries and types of pain can affect the knee of a runner. This is due to the shock absorbed by the knee joint when running--the knee, along with the back, are two locations on the body where injuries are common due to the stress placed on them by running. Even expensive running shoes can fail to prevent the pounding of your feet on a hard surface from traveling up your body and wearing away at your joints. While it is best to wait out this pain and give your knee time to heal, there are also several things you can do to keep running through your knee pain.

Stretch the muscles in your legs thoroughly, taking special care to stretch the tendons and ligaments around your knee joint. Many times, knee pain can result from inflammation or straining of this connective tissue. Good stretches include standing toe reaches, sitting toe reaches, the butterfly stretch, and side bends. Hold these stretches for about 10 seconds each in order to properly stretch your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

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Apply a hot pack to your knee prior to running. This helps heat your knee tissue, making it more elastic. This can reduce the pain in your knee as well as the risk of exacerbating any existing problems.

Place a compression sleeve designed for knees over your knee while running. These sleeves often feature a hole through which the kneecap should be placed--this helps keep the patella in one place while you run. The rest of the sleeve helps hold your knee tissues in place, preventing injury.

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Ice your knees down after running with an ice pack. This should be kept on the knee for 10 or 15 minutes to prevent swelling and inflammation. You may want to place a towel between the ice pack and your skin to prevent giving the skin a cold burn.


Alleviate further stress on your knees by running on soft surfaces, such as rubber tracks, grass and dirt trails.