Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Where does knee pain come from?"

ZocdocAnswersWhere does knee pain come from?


Hello. I'm an active guy, age 28, and these past few months have seen me go from running regularly to resting every few steps. My problem is knee pain. Not sure what I did, but it's in both of them and it's really bad. Ice isn't working. What should I do?


I am really sorry to hear that your plans for running have been interfered with by knee pain. There are two primary types of knee pain that runners experience. The first is iliotibial band syndrome. This is pain generally above and on the outside edge of the knee, sometimes radiating up the thigh. This is an overuse injury, and it is treated by a good period of rest, followed by stretching exercises and strengthening of the opposing muscle groups in the leg. Sometimes, over pronation is a problem, and so being fitting with the right pair of athletic shoes can help. A personal trainer can help you identify the right exercises. The second is patello-femoral pain syndrome. This is pain generally right over the middle of the knee, in addition to being worse with running it also often occurs when climbing stairs or when sitting for a long time. It is caused by inflammation of the cartilage of the knee cap and poor gliding of the knee cap. In addition to rest, strengthening the quadriceps muscles through various exercises (again, talk to your personal trainer) can help. I suggest seeing your primary care doctor as well, and taking it easy until the pain subsides.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.