ZocdocAnswersWho should I see about knee pain from running?

Question

Who should I see about knee pain from running?

I am an active, male college student. I don't have any medical conditions and have never been hospitalized. I am 29 and have had knee pain on the outside of my knees while running. This started when I was 17. I am able to work up to 3 or five miles gradually, but not more. I stretch every day, even when not running. I always warm up and take it easy when starting out. I run on soft and hard surfaces, although it does not seem to make a difference. I have tried many different shoes and running with minimalist footwear, which seems to help but not fix the problem.

Answer

Knee pain associated with running is a common problem, and there are a few specific types of knee injury that can be treated. Your primary care doctor or a sports medicine doctor should be able to help you with this. Unfortunately, it is important to remember that running is not for everyone. It is a high impact form of exercise and, despite taking precautions, you may find that it remains uncomfortable and that you need to switch to a different form of aerobic exercise, such as swimming or elliptical. Patello-femoral pain syndrome (runner's knee) is caused by the patellla (kneecap) tracking poorly over the femur (large leg bone). This causes pain over the top of the knee primarily. In addition to decreasing the amount of running you do, there are specific stretches and quadriceps strengthening exercises that can help, which you can find online or from a personal trainer. Iliotibial band syndrome is the other major cause of knee pain with running, usually pain that is more located on the outer edge of the knee cap. This is an overuse injury to the iliotibial band, and it can be improved with stretches and strengthening of the opposing muscle groups.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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