Should I run with a knee pain or should I avoid running?

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You’re lacing up your running shoes, excited to get started on your training run. But then you feel it: a familiar zap of pain in your knee. You’ve been dealing with this knee pain for a while now, but you’ve been pushing through it, hoping it would go away on its own. But today, the pain is worse than ever.

You hesitate for a moment. Should you run, or should you rest? You fear that running could make the pain worse, but you also don’t want to lose your momentum. You’re training to reach your fitness goals, and you don’t want to fall behind.

Whether or not to continue running with knee pain is a decision that depends on several individual factors.

Here are some considerations:

1. Pre-existing Conditions:

If you have pre-existing knee issues, such as arthritis, a history of knee injuries, or structural problems like flat feet or high arches, running may exacerbate the problem. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional. They can diagnose the underlying cause and provide guidance tailored to your condition.

2. Severity of Pain:

The intensity and duration of your knee pain also matter. If the pain is mild and occasional, it might be possible to continue running with proper form and support.

However, if it’s severe or persistent, rest and alternative exercises may be necessary.

3. Rehabilitation and Strengthening

Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knees and improve joint stability can sometimes alleviate knee pain and make running more manageable.

4. Proper Footwear and Technique

Ensure you have the right running shoes and adopt proper running form to reduce the impact on your knees.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to prioritise your long-term joint health. If running exacerbates your knee pain or poses a risk to your joint health, it may be wise to explore alternative, lower-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, or brisk walking, at least until your knee issues are resolved or better managed. Always follow the guidance of a healthcare professional for the best course of action.