Bad Pain Under Knee Hours After Run

by Steve
(Chicago, IL, USA)

Hello, I am an Army enlistee so I have been running outside on the roads for the past few weeks without any pain at all normally.

Yesterday I did a PT test indoors for a 2 mile run and everything went well. No pain at all during the run and no pain right away after the run either.

After the run I sat in my car and drove an hour away to get home and when I got out of the car I couldn't stand on my left leg because there was a sharp pain just under my knee (about 2-3 inches)... today (about 24 hours after the run) my knee is still sore but doesn't have any swelling at all of any kind.

I can bend, straighten the knee without any pain at all but when I stand on it it is still sore. I have noticed the pain isn't as bad but I am worried that I wont be able to head to basic training at the end of this month.

I have also gone to the hot tub and did bending and movements in it without any problems..

What I think I did wrong was run without stretching or warming up at all before the run or after...

Do you have any idea what could be wrong? Hopefully the pain goes away soon as I have never had problems like this at all. But this was the longest run in a row that I have had to do in years! Any information would be really appreciated! Thanks

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your question about your knee pain. Knee injuries are probably the most common of all running injuries.

The pain you describe below your knee seems to indicate, what they call, a runner's knee. Basically, as you run, your kneecap moves up and down. It would normally "glide" up and down without problems.

However, what I think is happening with you, is that it rubs along the joint everytime it moves. Repeat that for a few miles in a row and you get inflammation, i.e. pain.

You may have had this problem for a while, but now that you did a run that was longer than normal, your knee got inflamed enough to cause you troubles.

I would not recommend a hot tub. It is probably best to ice the area to reduce the inflammation.

Prevention comes in two ways:

  • Try to make sure you build up your running program properly. Have a look at this page for more details.

  • Correct the misalignment in your knee. This may very well be caused by your running shoes.

  • Also check out this page about knee pain.

    Hope this helps.

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