What helps against knee pain?

What helps against knee pain

Knee pain can have various causes. In the case of people who are active in sports, the complaints are often caused by excessive or incorrect strain. Knee pain often becomes noticeable during movement, for example, when jogging or climbing stairs. However, sometimes, they can also occur at rest.

Depending on whether the pain is on the inside, outside, front or back of the knee, an initial guess can be made as to the cause of the knee pain. However, if the problems persist, a doctor should always be consulted – only he can rule out that a severe injury such as meniscus damage is behind the knee pain.

The knee – a complicated joint

The knee is the largest joint in our body. Since the individual bony parts of the joint do not mesh exactly but are sometimes only held together by ligaments and muscles, the knee joint is particularly susceptible to injury. Pain in the knee can have different causes and, therefore, take different forms: The pain can be perceived as throbbing, stabbing, pulling, burning or pressing.

Injuries to the knee often occur, especially during sports – this can damage the ligaments and tendons and the cartilage in the knee. The most common injuries include a cruciate ligament tear, an external or internal ligament tear, meniscus damage and an injury to the kneecap.

However, pain in the knee does not always have to indicate a severe injury; in some cases, only overloading of the knee is behind the complaints. Especially in older people, knee pain is also caused by signs of wear and tear, such as arthrosis.


Knee pain while jogging

Athletes have also struggled with knee pain on several occasions. Causes can be incorrect running techniques or congenital leg deformities (knock knees or bowlegs).

 Muscular imbalances can also lead to knee pain: If the thigh extensor muscles are severely shortened or underdeveloped compared to the rear thigh muscles, this can result in knee pain. Imbalances between the outer and inner thigh muscles can also lead to knee pain, pushing the kneecap to one side.

Whether knee pain occurs during sport also depends to a large extent on the stability of the hip and ankle joints. If, for example, the musculature on the inside of the foot is too weak, causing the foot to bend inwards, this also has consequences for the knee joint: twisting the lower leg puts the wrong strain on the tendons and cartilage surfaces in the knee, and the joint begins to hurt over time. In addition, the knee joint is also loaded incorrectly if the musculature in the hip joint is too weak since the thigh turns inward too much.

In addition, an incorrect running style can also cause knee pain: If you sit down too much while jogging and bend your knee joints excessively, you put increased pressure on your kneecap. If the knee pain occurs acutely, it can also be caused by inflammation of the cartilage below the kneecap. Such an inflammation occurs when the kneecap rubs against the cartilage in the knee – for example, due to weak thigh muscles.

Knee pain from running: runner’s knee

A runner’s knee – also known as ilio-tibial band syndrome – is caused by an overload of the knee joint while running. Runners with bowlegs are particularly at risk.

Irrespective of anatomical conditions, building up training too quickly and too many fast training units can also promote the development of a runner’s knee.

The usually stabbing pain on the outside of the knee in runners’ knees is caused by a tendon plate rubbing along the outer knee. Constant contact can irritate the tendon tissue and cause inflammation of the bursa. While the pain initially only occurs when running, over time, it often becomes noticeable when walking as well.

As a rule, a runner’s knee can be treated well with anti-inflammatory ointments and a break from training.


Essential: the right running shoe

If the knee pain occurs repeatedly while or after jogging, you should first look at your running shoes: if they are already severely worn, it is time to treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes. Many sporting goods stores now offer a treadmill analysis service to help you find the right shoe for your feet.

If the pain persists, you should consult an orthopedist who will examine your feet more closely and analyze your running technique.

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