Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reducing Knee Pain

One of the main reasons I dread running is the knee pain I sometimes suffer from.  When I first started running is was really bad.  There were times where I wanted to cry because it hurt so badly.  The pain seems to come from just behind the knee cap.

There have been a few things since I started running that have helped greatly:

Run More Often.
I know this is counter intuitive but it helped. I think the mileage helped me to build my running muscles and learn to run better.  I was never a runner.  I hated running my whole life (see my first post).  Running was a punishment for all the other sports I played.  I love the quote “My sports your sports punishment”.  Running more often not only helped my knees but also got me to enjoy running more.

Super Feet Insoles
Super Feet Insoles (Link).  

These have worked wonders but they are not cheap.  Never in my life did I think I would ever pay $30-$40 for insoles but now I definitely think they are worth it.

Me back in my college days
 Single Leg Exercises.
Even though I have weenie looking legs they have always been very strong.  At one point I was leg pressing over 1100 lbs (with perfect form) and only weighed 190 lbs.  I was doing calf raises on the machine with 5 plates (225 lbs).  I also danced five nights a week for almost 10 years.  Never during all this did my knees ever hurt.  It was only till I started running that the pain started to occur.
What I changed at the gym was I started doing only single leg exercises.  Lunges, single leg squats, single leg on all the machines, etc.  This made a huge difference.  Of course I had to dramatically lower the weight and look like a weenie but it did help out a lot.

Active Wraps
 Active Wraps (Link)
These things are great.  If needed, I would strap them onto my knees after a race to reduce the swelling. 
"Advanced Medicine For Pain"

I started to carry Advil on all my runs just in case.  I know it is not suppose to be good for you but I did it anyway and it helped with the swelling.
Brooks Glycerin 8
Got Some New Kicks
I switch shoes to ones that gave me more sport.  I was in Nike Pegasus and loved them but when I switched to Brooks Glycerin 8 shoes it helped out a lot.  Many people I have talked to love these shoes.

Prescription Omega 3 (Lovaza)
My doc prescribed me Lovaza Omega 3.  These are just hyper purified fish oils. 

Daily glucosamine has helped out tremendously.  It should be taken daily and you will not see a difference for several weeks

I want to hear about your knee pain and how you overcame it.  Please leave me your comments.


  1. I used to have some lower leg issues, including some twinges in the knee, and have had zero issues since I started running with compression sleeves or socks. After reading a couple of studies, I am definitely not using ibuprofen for running-related soreness/swelling anymore.

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing! :) However, I already tried all your tips...except for the active wraps! I'm googling as we speak to find me some!

  3. I love this post.

    HOLY CRAP college boy . . .that's all I can say. HOLY CRAP!

    I have major knee issues. I add to the list 99.9% of my workouts on a treadmill to reduce impact. {not loved by everyone - but it works for me].

  4. My knees are good (knock on wood)...and yeah...I second E...HOLY CRAP!

  5. I started having knee problems just this past year. It hurt each and EVERY time I ran.

    But I started to ice post-run, and that helped a little.

    The biggest helper was training with a HR monitor. I started to do my training runs at a much slower pace, which was easier on my knees. Now, when I do need to go fast, it's no problem!

  6. Funny story about that "college" pic. I had not seen my mother in months so I sent it to her because she knows I have been training for a few months now. Her friend and her stared at if to 30 minutes trying to figure out if it was real. Her friend finally asked if I was on roids. My mother said I must be because I was only about 180lbs last time she saw me. I had her fooled. You've got to love Photoshop. :-) Let me know if you need any Photoshop "college" pics for your blogs. :-)


  7. My fiance has had bad knees for years, and he discovered that the Vibram FiveFingers really helped. Ever since he started running in those, his knees haven't hurt.

  8. I forgot to add these to the list. I just updated the post

    Prescription Omega 3 (Lovaza)
    My doc prescribed me Lovaza Omega 3. These are just hyper purified fish oils.

    Daily glucosamine has helped out tremendously. It should be taken daily and you will not see a difference for several weeks

  9. @Jes - I want to try out those Five Fingers. Bonnie loves hers. She has the Smurf blue colored pair.


  10. Ah knee pain, the bane of a runner's existance. Kinesio tape helped keep my knee pain manageable until I could strengthen the weak muscles that caused it.
    Many squats, lifts and monstor walks later...I'm doing much better.
    Hope you are able to keep yours in check!