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Does Running Cause Knee Pain?

It's a question that has plagued runners for years: does running cause knee pain? The answer, unfortunately, is a bit complicated. While running itself is not necessarily the root cause of knee pain, it can certainly contribute to it. This won’t stop you from running so let’s see how we can help.

Running can cause knee pain is by increasing the amount of wear and tear on the joint. Running is considered a high impact exercise, so every time your foot hits the ground, there is a small amount of impact that is transferred to the knee. This repetitive impact takes its toll and over time, this can lead to the development of arthritis or other degenerative conditions. If you have existing knee pain, running may make it worse. If you already have arthritis, for example, running can aggravate the condition and cause even more pain because of the impact your knees take.

But if running is not the root cause of knee pain, then what is? Well, it could be your feet.

The human body is a finely tuned machine. If one little thing goes wrong, it can throw your whole body out of whack. Because the foot is the body’s base, problems with the feet can create a chain reaction that leads to issues with the knee, back, hips and even the jaw. Think of your body like a house — if the foundation cracks and shifts, you could end up with a leaky roof or cracked walls. The body is very similar.

One of the most common causes of knee pain is flat feet. Our legs are made to walk in a very specific way, but when the feet flatten and arches fall, it throws everything out of balance. The knees rotate inwards and place abnormal pressure on the knees, which can really hurt. Your foundation becomes compromised; it’s kind of like walking on quick sand.

If your feet are causing your knee pain, we can prescribe a custom foot orthotic that will properly support the foot and relieve the added pressure on the knee. Orthotics can accomplish several important goals when addressing knee pain, such as cushioning and reducing the force placed on the knee, changing the alignment of the foot, ankle, and knee, and changing the distribution of force through the foot, ankle, and knee.

Orthotics are billable to insurance, depending on your specific policy. If your insurance does not cover orthotics, we have alternatives in our office. All of the long-term benefits of reduced pain, slowing the progression of foot conditions and keeping your foot in proper alignment are well worth the cost. We do understand that cost can be an issue for many people and therefore offer flexible payment plans to help alleviate any financial burden.

Knee pain can make it difficult for you to run and, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to slow down because of pain. Well, laser therapy can reduce your pain and get you back to doing what you love faster. Our FDA-Cleared Class IV MLS Laser uses concentrated light energy to stimulate the body’s own healing process to minimize pain, inflammation and promote healing. The laser was designed to treat conditions without excessive thermal effect (a.k.a heat), since it is painful. The MLS laser is a cold laser, which uses specific wavelengths and a patented delivery system to speed up the process of relieving inflammation, pain and repairing damaged tissue.

Most patients feel a 75% reduction in pain after just six laser treatments performed in two weeks. And the best news: there is no downtime with this treatment.

If you’re experiencing knee pain when running, it’s important to understand that this isn’t always a sign that you need to stop running altogether. In many cases, the root cause of the problem can be treated and your knee pain will go away the sooner you seek treatment. We hope this article has given you some insight into what might be causing your knee pain and how you can treat it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 985-264-1141 or schedule an appointment online. We would love to help get you back on track to enjoying your runs without the added stress of knee pain!