If you’ve increased activity as the temperatures have ticked upwards, you may be experiencing a little bit of discomfort.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced athlete, weekend warrior, or someone who has just started exercise: pain can affect everybody.
Knee pain can be particularly common this time of year, as people may have started spending more time on their feet or begun a walking or jogging routine. A common condition known as a runner’s knee can take hold rather quickly and become quite painful.
It’s caused by overuse, bone misalignment at the knee joint, and foot problems like flat arches or overpronation (feet roll down and inwards during steps). Runner’s knee can also be the result of weak or imbalanced muscles in the thigh.
In most cases, you’ll be able to treat runner’s knee at home. It may require some rest and time away from jogging, but only likely for a relatively short period. It can also be treated with ice, knee wraps, leg elevation, orthotics, or exercise.
More exercise might be the best way to go for runner’s knee.
Movements that focus on lower-body strength, like squats or lunges, as well as stretching to ensure muscles are loose, can help support the joint so pain is less likely. But ease into these exercises, implement them one at a time, at low volumes, over a series of days to avoid putting too much stress on the joint too quickly.
If electing to use strength training and stretching for your knee pain, remember to listen to your body. Don’t work through joint pain and only go as far as your body allows. As it strengthens over time you’ll be able to do more, but sometimes rest is best.
There are also methods to prevent runner’s knee. Regular exercise is one. Another is making sure you’re wearing shoes that have adequate sole and ankle support. Bodyweight is another risk factor, so try to reach a healthy weight before running or jogging.
Knee pain can exist for several reasons, but runner’s knee could be more common in the summer. Take a bit of a break, rest up and prepare for a restart by getting more supportive shoes or addressing any issues that may be putting you at risk.