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How to Treat Sore Knees From Running

by
author image James Roland
James Roland started writing professionally in 1987. A former reporter and editor with the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune," he currently oversees such publications as the "Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor" and UCLA's "Healthy Years." Roland earned his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.
How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
How to Treat Sore Knees From Running Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Running provides a great aerobic workout that boosts energy and metabolism. Unfortunately, it can leave your knees feeling sore. Runners suffer two common painful knee conditions. One is called patellofemoral pain syndrome. This occurs when the patella, or knee cap, isn't tracking properly along the groove in your femur, the bone in your thigh. The other common knee condition is called iliotibial band syndrome. The iliotibial band starts at your hip and runs across your knee -- when this becomes irritated from too much flexing, a painful knee condition results. Luckily, you can treat and possibly cure both sore knee conditions.

When Knees are Sore

Step 1

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Rest your knee. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Rest your knee. Elevate it on pillows to help relieve swelling.

Step 2

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Ice your knee for 20 minutes at a time to help relieve swelling. Photo Credit Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Ice your knee for 20 minutes at a time to help relieve swelling. Use cold packs and place them in a towel or cloth to keep them from hurting your skin.

Step 3

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Take anti-inflammatory drugs. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve swelling.

Step 4

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Continue this course of rest. Photo Credit John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Continue this course of rest and icing until your pain and swelling subside.

Step 5

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Call your doctor. Photo Credit Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

Call your doctor to set up an appointment to find out what's causing your knees to be sore.

Initial Treatment

Step 1

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Visit your doctor. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Visit your doctor. Consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees.

Step 2

Undergo image tests. Your specialist will likely have you get x-rays and an MRI.

Step 3

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Ask your doctor for a diagnosis and a course of action. Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Ask your doctor for a diagnosis and a course of action. Make sure you are clear on the steps that will follow to cure your sore knees.

Therapy for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Step 1

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Begin exercising with a physical therapist. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Begin exercising with a physical therapist once the pain and swelling in your knees go down.

Step 2

Stretch your iliotibial band with the supervision of the therapist.

Step 3

Strengthen the muscle that supports your iliotibial band, the gluteus medias. Do this only under the therapist's supervision to ensure you don't further damage your sore knee.

Step 4

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Continue physical therapy for three to six weeks. Photo Credit Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

Continue physical therapy for three to six weeks. Go back to your running routine if your knee is strong enough.

Step 5

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Consider surgery. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Consider surgery to snip the iliotibial band where it crosses the knee if your rehabilitation therapy is ineffective.

Therapy for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Step 1

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Start sessions with physical therapist when the pain and swelling in your knee subside. Photo Credit Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Start sessions with physical therapist when the pain and swelling in your knee subside.

Step 2

Strengthen the muscles that support the knee cap called the quadriceps. These stabilize the knee cap and keep it from slipping. Exercise the quads only with a physical therapist's supervision to keep from further damaging your knee.

Step 3

Stretch the quadriceps with the help of the physical therapist. Keep the muscles long and flexible to keep them strong.

Step 4

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Return to your running routine when your knee is strong enough. Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Continue therapy for three to six weeks. Return to your running routine when your knee is strong enough.

Step 5

How to Treat Sore Knees From Running
Consider surgery. Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Consider surgery to smooth the undersurface of the knee cap if your physical therapy is unsuccessful.

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