Knee pain after jogging: these exercises help

Knieschmerzen nach dem Joggen: Diese Übungen helfen Knieschmerzen nach dem Joggen: Diese Übungen helfen

The typical picture is as follows: you have no issues with your knees normally, then they suddenly start to hurt while you’re out jogging, especially downhill. Roman Koch and Christian Larsen explain the causes and show us which exercises help.

Knee pain after jogging

Suddenly there's a burning sensation in your knee while you’re running downhill, or a misstep ends the running season. According to Roman Koch, physiotherapist and running expert, the reason for this is often "functional leg axis instability". What does this mean? “Nothing's broken, but the function isn't correct. The legs – especially the knees – can't be sufficiently stabilised by the muscles." This is how it's described by the physiotherapist who has been studying jogging for many years. In other words, the cause is not a serious injury, but insufficient strength and over-mobile joints, both of which often lead to pain in the knees and feet.

Knees in the crossfire

Why are knees affected so often? This is how Roman Koch explains it: "The knee is, so to speak, in the crossfire between the foot and hip joint." Due to incorrect weight distribution on the feet or a lack of strength in the hip muscles, the knee is repeatedly twisted inwards or outwards – which subjects the ligaments and tendons to constant stress.

Runner's knee problem

The typical "runner's knee" arises when the knee is constantly turned inwards, for example, causing pain to the runner's outer knee. How does this happen?

The iliotibial band, which extends from the hip down the side of the thigh, is subject to improper load distribution by the internal rotation of the knee; this causes tension in the iliotibia band.
Roman Koch, physiotherapist and running expert

This leads to irritation at the origin of this iliotibial band or further down on the outside of the knee.

What helps relieve the pain?

In the case of a runner's knee, fascia rolling or massages can provide short-term relief: they ease the pain in the hip and knee. However, to remedy the problem, there is – as with other knee issues – no other option but to address the cause: only those runners who recognise and correct knee malpositions and improper load distribution can avoid pain in the long term. Dr Christian Larsen, head physician at Spiraldynamik Med Center Switzerland, explains how to recognise whether your leg axis is correctly aligned and the right way to train it.

Interested in more?

In their book Medical Running running experts Christian Larsen, Sandra Zürcher and Joachim Altmann provide tips on how to run without pain.

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