Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Should I see a doctor? Knee pain....


Quote  |  Reply

Hello everyone,

I just started the Couch to 5k program and I am just beginning Week 2. I am 24 years old, 5'5", and about 160 lbs. I was completely inactive before beginning this new routine. I usually run every other day, but if the spirit moves me I'll go 2 days in a row.

I noticed after my first few runs that my knees began to ache when going up and down the stairs to my apartment. It does not hurt when I walk and at that point was still not bothersome when running. The pain is in both knees and seems to be the worst higher up and on the side (towards the inside of my leg rather than the outside).

I was pain free today (even walking up and down the stairs) after taking 2 days off to let me knees recuperate. However, when I went for my run (I don't know why I say run, its really still more of a jog at this point - I'm easing into this training program) this evening, the pain came back. Both knees again, same pain, same location... Only this time it was throbbing during my jog which did not happen before. And needless to say going up the stairs to my apt. was painful again tonight.

On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain is probably only a 4 or a 5. But its worrisome for me because I'm completely new to this so I have no idea what is normal and not normal. Is this something that is common and will go away on its own? Do I need to see a doctor? 

This is probably relevant as well - For the past few years now, every time I bend down (er, squat down, I guess.... Imagine the way you'd squat down to get a pan out of the bottom shelf of your cupboard)... Both of my knees will pop. It's never been painful (it actually feels good??) or bothersome or worrisome for me. But now I'm beginning to wonder if the two things are related.  

Thank you for reading my long post. Any insight would be appreciated. 

33 Replies (last)

I have had knee problems since I learned to walk.  They have been cracking and popping for as long as I can remember.  I have had knee pain and seen a doctor, and REAL knee pain that required surgery (I tore every ligament).  I think if you go see a doctor, he is going to say... Take it easy for a while.  He won't order tests unless he thinks it is necessary and that might be a while.  I think you would be tossing your money away.  I am not a doctor though so... I think you should listen to your body.  I know you want to do the couch to 5k but take it easy.  If your knees hurt, take a week or so off and just walk.  I don't think there is a real injury here, more likely you are using the muscles and ligaments in ways that you haven't in years and it takes time to ease into it.  I would take some time off from running, maybe do some low impact exercise for a while and see where you are.. If you are still in pain THEN go see a doctor. 

My knees hurt when I run, so I tried to figure it out, and apparently its because I personally have weak hips.  I don't think that's everyone's problem with knee pain, but my feet have a tendancy to roll inwards when I walk/run.  If this soundsn like you, try to do some hip strengthening exercises.

What kind of shoes are you wearing?

#4  
Quote  |  Reply

I started from couch to running up to 10 mile per day and at the begining also had the same knee problems. I found they were caused by several factors. 1) pushing to hard to increase mileage soon than i should have. If you haven't been running/jogging keep the mileage down on each run and slowly increase over several weeks. 2) increase speed to soon. 3) not wearing the right type of sneaker.  Due to the continued pounding on the knees I was advised to use air cusioned sneakers to reduce the inpact.  These have help temendously. Most running stores will help you find the right pair for your style of running. They actually watch you run and see how your feet land to tell if you might need sneakers that help ensure your foot lands properly to also help reduce the impact on the knees. 4) make sure you replace the sneakers before they get to old. I run every day was advised to replace my shoes every 300 miles or six months. 5) Keep your running shoes just for running don't wear them all the time as that will also reduce their life and the cusioning for your runs.

 

*second* Shoes are critically important.  Go to a running specialty store and have them watch you run/walk and fit you for proper shoes.

Also, proper stretching, especially the IT band, has all but eliminated knee pain for me (I did the couch to 5K last year and run about 10 mile/week currently). 

The Runners World website is excellent for injury prevention:

http://www.runnersworld.com/runnersbody/tool. html

Here is their video link:

http://www.runnersworld.com/video/1,8052,s6-1-0-5,00.html

Click "Injury Prevention" (left sidebar) then tab to "Knees" (right tabs)

There is tons of useful information on there. 

Good luck!  Running pain sucks.

Also, you can call yourself a runner.  You are participating in the sport by running, ergo, you are a runner.

 

Original Post by tyrdrop:

My knees hurt when I run, so I tried to figure it out, and apparently its because I personally have weak hips.  I don't think that's everyone's problem with knee pain, but my feet have a tendancy to roll inwards when I walk/run.  If this soundsn like you, try to do some hip strengthening exercises.

I have this hip-weakness problem, even though I have high arches and don't pronate my ankles much. I realized it after seeing pictures of myself running. My knee goes to the inside some, rather than straight forward, because my hip abductors are weak. Running on a treadmill in front of a mirror confirmed my guess, along with doing some jump rope in front of a mirror (knees go in some, rather than straight forward).

My solution was to use the abductor machine at the gym and once in a while run on a treadmill in front of a mirror to make sure I was keeping that leg straight (very difficult but becomes natural with time) and not swinging my foot out to the side behind me.

I *third* the shoes. Get a proper assessment at a running store, it really makes a difference.

Definitely take it more slowly, rest up now. Going forward, it's probably not good to run two days in a row while you are a newbie. Stick to the C25K plan and don't rush it.

I have had dodgy knees since I was a child.. (Patellar Subluxation -dislocation- which occurs when the kneecap is pulled laterally as it tracks while the knee joint is bending) anyway, after two ops and a bunch of physio they are still not right, with a dull ache most days.

But the physio did help some. I do squats and squeezes (ball between knees and squeeze hard) and that makes my knees stronger. Result, no dislocations for three years. Yey!

 

Thank you all SO much for your feedback. Also, I had no idea that shoes were SO important. I have an old pair of very cheap sneakers I've been wearing. I'll have to get me some new shoes! :)

Original Post by kd129:

Thank you all SO much for your feedback. Also, I had no idea that shoes were SO important. I have an old pair of very cheap sneakers I've been wearing. I'll have to get me some new shoes! :)

Go to a store that specializes in running shoes, and be prepared to spend some money to get good ones.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by tyrdrop:

My knees hurt when I run, so I tried to figure it out, and apparently its because I personally have weak hips.  I don't think that's everyone's problem with knee pain, but my feet have a tendancy to roll inwards when I walk/run.  If this soundsn like you, try to do some hip strengthening exercises.

I have this hip-weakness problem, even though I have high arches and don't pronate my ankles much. I realized it after seeing pictures of myself running. My knee goes to the inside some, rather than straight forward, because my hip abductors are weak. Running on a treadmill in front of a mirror confirmed my guess, along with doing some jump rope in front of a mirror (knees go in some, rather than straight forward).

My solution was to use the abductor machine at the gym and once in a while run on a treadmill in front of a mirror to make sure I was keeping that leg straight (very difficult but becomes natural with time) and not swinging my foot out to the side behind me.

My knees turn inward when I run too, even when I'm just standing.  I don't think my problem is weak hips though, as I'm quite strong in the lower body.  Over-pronation definitely seems to be the issue though, despite having some strength.  Has anyone tried insoles?  Unfortunately I don't have the money for decent shoes (being laid off is just grand), so I'm running in a cheap no-name pair.  Do you think insoles might help, or would they be a waste of money?

Original Post by empo85:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by tyrdrop:

My knees hurt when I run, so I tried to figure it out, and apparently its because I personally have weak hips.  I don't think that's everyone's problem with knee pain, but my feet have a tendancy to roll inwards when I walk/run.  If this soundsn like you, try to do some hip strengthening exercises.

I have this hip-weakness problem, even though I have high arches and don't pronate my ankles much. I realized it after seeing pictures of myself running. My knee goes to the inside some, rather than straight forward, because my hip abductors are weak. Running on a treadmill in front of a mirror confirmed my guess, along with doing some jump rope in front of a mirror (knees go in some, rather than straight forward).

My solution was to use the abductor machine at the gym and once in a while run on a treadmill in front of a mirror to make sure I was keeping that leg straight (very difficult but becomes natural with time) and not swinging my foot out to the side behind me.

My knees turn inward when I run too, even when I'm just standing.  I don't think my problem is weak hips though, as I'm quite strong in the lower body.  Over-pronation definitely seems to be the issue though, despite having some strength.  Has anyone tried insoles?  Unfortunately I don't have the money for decent shoes (being laid off is just grand), so I'm running in a cheap no-name pair.  Do you think insoles might help, or would they be a waste of money?

My lower body is "moderately" strong. I can do a one legged squat all the way down (and get back up, lol). But my knee still goes to the inside some when running, if I don't do some specific exercises to combat the problem.

Get in front of a full length mirror. Hop up and down few times, staying on your toes, and see if your knees go to the inside. I think that mostly removes your ankle pronation from the equation.

I do lunges slowly while concentrating on my front knee so that it doesn't go to the inside. I also hop in front of a mirror once in a while keeping my knees apart. And I run on a treadmill in front of a mirror once in a while too. Some other exercises are better than these, but they take a physical therapist to teach you how to do them right.

Original Post by empo85:


  Do you think insoles might help, or would they be a waste of money?

Total waste of money. It's not just the insole that makes a good running shoe.  You need a good foundation.  Check around for good deals. There's no need to pay full price for the newest shoe on the market.   My local running store has a discount rack and I can usually find my size (10) in a stability shoe, in a respected brand (usually New Balance or Saucony, sometimes Northface) for $50-$60, which is close to half off. 

Look into layway.  Do you have any marketable skills that may benefit a small mom-n-pop store?  Ask, they may work with you for discounts. 

If you don't have a local running store, internet search for box store coupons/deals or go try on a hundred pair at a box store, take good notes, and search on-line for the best deal.  If you do your homework, you can find great prices.

Insoles can be an option in an already good shoe that you've gone past the mileage on (but still not the greatest option).  Besides, you'll pay $20-$25 for a decent insole and you can find a great shoe for $50, so why bother?

Congrats on starting running. I don't know if this will help, but it can't hurt. I used to get sore knees, much like what you descibe, and it was at least partly because of weak VMO muscles (tear drop shaped muscles on the inside of your thight just above the knee. A good exercise to strenghten them is to sit on the edge of a chair with you feet about hip distance apart and flat on the floor. brace your right hand against your left knee and then squeeze your left thigh into your hand for 10 sec. Repeat x 10. YOu should be able to feel your VMO when you do this exercise. HOpe this helps!

#14  
Quote  |  Reply

Go and see a physio so that they can show the correct and best exercises you need to strengthen your inner thigh muscles that connect to your knee. The shoes help but after so long of doing very little exercise to then going every second day or so, you are putting a lot of stress on muscles that didn't get used as much. I have proper running shoes and started getting this pain on the inside of my knee. Doing exercises from the physio every day helped immensely. Do not put it off or you may have serious knee injuries in the future. Running is hard enough on those joints in the first place but if you take care of yourself, you should be fine.

Congratulations on starting running! I also began to run with the C25k (Couch to 5k) program and have loved it! It's a great way to ease into running and get yourself moving! :)

I think one thing to highlight is this:

I just started the Couch to 5k program and I am just beginning Week 2. I am 24 years old, 5'5", and about 160 lbs. I was completely inactive before beginning this new routine. I usually run every other day, but if the spirit moves me I'll go 2 days in a row.

C25k, or any program, needs to be gradual. The C25k program is meant to be run 3 days per week with a resting day in between. That is crucial - the rest days matter! They are part of building strength and giving your body time to adjust. If you pile too much running in then you are bound to get hurt. I know it can be fun to run and especially when you've been inactive and just want to get out there, but it is important to take rest days!

On a rest day you can do something else such as swimming, or cycling. Or you can lift weights (which will help with your running!). But do not run. Try to vary your routine, that will also help eliminate burnout.

I am guessing that perhaps your pain is coming from moving too much too fast and not giving yourself enough time to heal.

If you aren't on Runner's World yet, I totally recommend it. As a fairly new runner myself, I find there is lots of good info, even for a basic beginner. Plus, it will give you lots of ideas on what fun races there are (5k and beyond!) and how to train, what to wear, how to beat the heat, how to keep running through the cold, etc.

Also, be sure you are warming up (a nice brisk 5 minute walk, or dynamic warm up), and be sure to be cooling down (a nice 5 minute walk, don't just stop running and sit down!) and stretching after your run. Those will help to prevent injury as well.

Also, if you are going from completely sedentary to running, it might be good to see your doc anyway and ask about your knees, let them know you are starting to run (and doing it gradually) and get their okay. I don't think you need to run to a doc for everything, but if you have a doctor already, and you are worried about other things, it would make sense to just talk to someone.

I hope that helps! Enjoy running and be sure to take it easy, do the rest days (!!) and don't start back up if you are still in pain. Pain is a sign something isn't right, so be sure to head your body's warning.

I did the same thing (just started running/jogging) and ended up with chondromalacia (runner's knee).  It is the wearing or tearing of cartilage beneath the knee cap (patella).  I had similar pain to what you described and the pain worsened with stairs.  Had an MRI and the doctor found torn cartilage.  He suggested I stop running for a while and focus on building up my quadriceps.  He also suggested shots in the joint of Ostinid (which I'm too chicken to do).  It's supposed to help build cartilage.  

You are more prone to developing this condition if you have flat feet, or if your feet turn inward, or have a high-sitting patella, ...(and I have all of them).  Getting good shoes and maybe orthotic inserts may help.  

I, personally, have decided to swim and do eliptical instead.  Running just gave me too many problems.  Don't want to do anymore damage :-0.

Good Luck!

 

 

I am 64 and have not been doing much exercise since an operation ( not related to knees actually a female problem) 5 years ago. I started having problems with my knees hurting when I walk up stairs. Talked to my chiroprator about it and he suggested this exercise. Sitting in a chair and lift your lower leg up to just before a complete extension and then down. 30 x on each leg 3 x a day. Wow! At first I started doing it once a day and then am and pm. I noticed the difference within a week. After two weeks I bought ankle weights ( 1.5 lbs.) I use those 2x a day now and the difference is wonderful. Go slow in the beginning but it has really helped me. Good luck..

Yes go see a doctor, you probably pulled your ACL.  Thats probably what it is.  It is in the same area I was having problems.  If you continue to pull it, it will snap and you will be in a world of pain and not be able to excercise for a very long time.  My advice is just to walk for now.  You are probably going to hard.  Being sedentary and then starting to jog can do that whether you are overweight or not and you really aren't at 160, so I would definitely go see the doctor.  Good luck and congratulations on your progress.

I also started having knee pain when I started Couch to 5k and thought I was doomed.  I tried to still push through but finally just had to back off and force myself to slow down and only go a couple times a week.  The pain started to go away and now is not a bother.  I did go and see the doctor just to make sure that no permanent damage was taking place but he gave me the go ahead that everything was fine.  I assume that the muscles needed time to gradually strengthen.  Good luck and I hope that you can continue on.

Definitely definitely definitely the shoes. If you are wearing old shoes OR cheap shoes, you'll hurt. And you said they are both. I think that if you go to Fleet Feet or somewhere like that and get fitted, you will be VERY happy with the difference it makes. I always had pain when I ran until I did that. I got a nice new pair of new balance that I loved. A year later, my feet and knees started hurting again. Guess what? It was the shoes again! I'd worn 'em out! You will be so excited with the difference, I think!! Let us know how you are doing. I think new shoes will make a world of difference.

33 Replies (last)
Advertisement
Advertisement