Why Do My Knees Swell After Running?
Also referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome, runner’s knee is a common occurrence among sport enthusiasts and people that are active and on their feet a great deal of the time. Runners often notice pain and their knees swell after running and sometimes the pain associated with this ailment can be tremendous. Learning more about what causes runner’s knee and about what you can do about it is important, especially if you love to run.
Do Your Knees Swell After Running?
Causes Of Runner’s Knee
When the knees swell after running it’s mainly due to the constant bending of the knees. A problem in the mechanical motion, whether it be from walking, running, jumping, riding a bicycle or climbing. You may experience moderate to severe pain around the area of the knee cap caused from inflammation and swelling. You should know runner’s knee is not a disease or condition on its own, but is caused by other problems and describes more than one type of disorder related to the knee joint. Some of the common causes of knee pain and swelling are:
- Overusing your knees, especially doing so for long periods of time, can cause nerve irritation in the kneecap that causes painful sensations.
- Stretched and torn tendons connecting the kneecap to muscle tissue can become irritated and inflamed, leading to painful swelling.
- If you suffer with flat feet, you may also frequent troubles with your knees as well. Flat feet, also called fallen arches, means your knee joints are taking the impact and pressure of every step you take more so than normal, causing greater wear and tear on the tendons and muscles connected to the kneecap.
- Traumatic injury to the knee can also cause long term problems with swelling caused by recurring inflammation.
- If the bones are misaligned in your knee, most commonly the kneecap, you could experience swelling and pain. The knee cap often moves out of correct alignment due to too much weight bearing, especially in people that are overweight.
- When the thigh and calf muscles are weak, your knees usually take the brunt of the pressure and weight from walking.
If you experience swelling in your knees, you might also have other symptoms as well. Some of the symptoms associated with swelling in the knee include:
- Sharp pain when you bend your knee, even while sitting still.
- Painful sensations stemming from the area at the top of your kneecap, where it meets the end of the thigh bone.
- Worsening pain when you descend stairs or slopes going downward.
- Sensations of your knee cap grinding.
- Popping sounds coming from the knee joint when you walk or bend.
Checking Out Your Treatment Options
Your health care provider may order diagnostic tests like MRI and X-ray imaging for learning more about the reasons you may be experiencing pain and swelling in your knees.
However, immediate, pain relieving treatment may include pain medications, hot and cold compression packs and rest with your feet propped up.
Your physician may also recommend placing arch support orthotics in your shoes as well. Wrapping the affected knee with compression bandaging material can help to relieve some of the pain.
However, if your knee is swollen, bandaging it could make it worse. Only use compression bandages if your knee is hurting without visible swelling.
Surgical Intervention May Be Necessary
In some cases, misalignment of the knee cap can be a reason for surgery. Surgery can allow a surgeon to properly realign the knee cap. In the event your knee is swelling and painful due to a condition called chondromalacia, when the knee cap has frayed cartilage, surgeons can perform an arthroscopic procure to trim away and clean up the frayed cartilage.
Bone Care And Nutrition
For many athletes, a bad knee can cause worse things than just pain, especially when it comes to professional athletes that earn their living from their favoured sport. Learning how to best care for your knees and the bones in them is important for avoiding knee swelling after running and other activities.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet and getting enough rest can help a lot to avoid common issues connected to when your knees swell after running and help to promote overall, greater good health as well. Always discuss with your health care provider about the best way to avoid painful knee problems.
We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed on this site are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, the site may earn a small commission.