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"My knees hurt so can't run. Running is bad for my knees"

Graham Kavanagh, specialist exercise instructor in low back pain
Graham Kavanagh, specialist exercise instructor

A common complaint is that running is bad for the knees..... "my knees hurt and cant run"..... in a generally fit and healthy adult with no health condition as such, the cause is more likely weak joints.

Here are two very common reasons. ⬇️

The joints are not conditioned. 👈

Beginning a running regime after a long period of inactivity. 👈

So, if this is the case what can be done? The first thing is understanding a little about how bone functions. There are osteoclasts and osteoblasts and these are responsible for clearing out old bone and laying down new bone.

The knee is a good example. Exercise stimulates the above process.

There are many variables that can be changed when building joint strength for running. Volume and intensity as well as environment or running terrain.

Building stamina needs structure. Off road running or trail running is a good choice, as it is generally softer on the knees, but builds incredible joint strength due to instability of surfaces as oppose to flat road running or a treadmill.

Diving into a full on programme from a sedentary lifestyle can also bring problems by way of over doing it and unprepared joints. Very similar to the achilles tendon..... that gets injured so many times due to activities like a weekend game of football after periods of inactivity.

Weak joints or soft bone do tend to cause pain as opposed to hardened bone. Bone is as equally important as muscle and benefits from strengthening. 🔶

None of this is complicated advice but basic advice! Ultimately as with any new activity, the key is to build up gradually with a structured program. warming up and cooling down are also components of cardio training.

22 views2 comments


Great article. Excuses are sometimes reasons not to try. This dispels another one

Graham Kavanagh
Graham Kavanagh
May 25, 2023
Replying to

Absolutely! Thank you for commenting.

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