Knee help!

I’ve been suffering with knee pain for the last few weeks and the pain would appear after a couple of milesand after a visit to a physio this supposedly was to do with weak glutes and fallen arches in my feet. I’ve since had a gaint analysis and invested in a pair of shoes that support my feet and my arches, I’ve been doing stretches and strength work which the physio suggested and noticed an improvement, enabling me to do 5k without any pain. I’ve even had a sports massage! 

Visited the The physio again this morning and she said that there’s a marked improvement on the way my legs are and suggested I could try a little bit further. Well about 5 miles in, the pain came back and almost as bad as I’ve had it. I’m really struggling to deal with this and am in training for the Brighton half next month and also the London Marathon and j would be majorly gutted to have to miss out on both through lack of training because of this. The annoying thing is, is that the pain stops almost as soon as I stop running! 

Does anyone have any advice at all that will help or anything that will prevent this from happening? I really really don’t want my training to suffer and I don’t want to pull out of the two races as they will be hugely significant for me on a personal basis! 

<span>Any my help would be great! </span>


  • Weak glutes seem to be the cause of pretty much everything, according to physios. And in most cases, they're not wrong, but it might be worth seeking a second opinion or asking your physio to give you a letter of referral to your GP so you can get a scan. In any case, keep up with the glute and hip strengthening work. If running is hurting, try cycling (on a real bike or a spin class, if available) to keep fitness up while you recover. Some injuries are just stubborn - I know that to my cost.
  • I used to suffer from knee pain alot a few years ago and spent loads of money on physios and actually ended up having an MRI scan which found nothing. Eventually I tried changing my running technique which helped straight away and I  haven't had a problem since.  I received some coaching in POSE and Chi running techniques are both similar. 
    Hope this helps! 
  • Thanks guys, what is Pose and chi running??

    This is my first week of training for the VLM and it's been a disaster so far- Do you think this will be a long term problem?
  • Pose method and chi running are techniques that reduce the impact from the ground when running and therefore reduce the impact on the knees. There is loads of information on the internet and you tube. James Dunne has a good you tube channel. I have been coached by Gray Caws (chi running) in Finsbury Park. It does take a while to change your technique but it has been well worth it for me. I also find that a bit of yoga and foam rolling helps also.
  • Maybe it's not your knee - perhaps its your ITB band or glutes and it just feels like its your knee - everything is connected
  • Hi, I just wondered if you could update us on how you are doing with your knee pain and if you managed to run the VLM? Thank you :)
  • Weakness in glutes can certainly effect gait which can lead to knee issues, but tightness in glutes and pelvis and especially in the quadriceps, and TFL (any muscle attached to ITB) will pull on your knees. If pain is at outer edge of knee it would indictae ITB/TFL tightness. If it is more central quads could be the main culprits, but a regular (monthly/ or even better, fortnightly for a few weeks) general lower body and gluteal massage and daily stretching of the same areas will improve things no end.

    Your ankle/foot position and foot stability may be part of the picture, but in my exoerience as runner, cyclist and massage therapist, the hips/pelvis have an awful lot to answer for when it comes to knee pain. It is worth stretching and massaging) hip flexors, gluteals (max, min/medius), piriformis including the iliac crest and sacreal attachment sites  the quadriceps group and sartorius, hamstrings, and adductors (groin) to improve range of motion, joint mobility and reduce fascial and muscular tension and pain. I can also recommend heat (hot water hottle for 10 mins prior to stretches) particularly in larger muscle groups such as quadriceps and gluteals. When you warm up also focus on dynamic stretches/movement and then activation of muscles (esp glutes) reeady for running.

    Dynamic movements for the hip flexors are backward leg swings, for adductors you can do side to side movements with legs apart, gentky stretching the adductirs/groun and also make large circles with bent legs, rotating the hip joint in both directions. Wide ski squats also open the hips whilst activating the glutes ready for running. Sinply squeezing your buttock muscles as you're about to go out of the door for a run also gets them firing up and this activation means your quads are then less probe to kicking in and over-compensating for inactive glutes and becoming overloaded which leads to over-tightness and the quads tendon attachments pulling on the knees. 
  • Sorry for ham-fisted typos. I dont know if I can edit.. 
  • I would also say a single one off massage wont acheive great results when there is underlying dusfunction, massage is really something to be factored into a regular schedule as a maintenance procedure, and if you have specific pain issues then 2-3 massages over a few consecutive weeks or fortnightky 2-3 times would make s big difference.

    You should see results in 2-3 targetted sessions but it takes time to accumujate an injury through gradual dysfunction over many weeks or months, to the point to you start to feel pain and say "I'm injured" and so it takes time to unpick and work on the causes of the dysfunction and reduce or resolve pain, it wont be a quick fix because you don't usually suddenly develop an injiry (it just feels like it) unless you fall over or trip - the cause of most injries is dysfunction which gradually develops over longer time periods and takes time to resolve. Don't despair though! This happens to many people, even to professionals, and you will get through it, it just might not all be resolved within your planned timescale! 
  • So im 94kg and used to suffer a lot with bad knees. I had good shoes and good ground strike. One guy at an event mentioned changing my running cadence to +180. Ever since I changed it my knees have been so much better. Have a look online or youtube for advise on cadence. It helped me a lot.
  • I'd recommend a foam roller (and using it!). I had knee pain that sounds similar to yours - after three different physios, we found that the problem wasnt in my knees, it was in my quads - they were super tight and pulling on my knee (the muscle wraps around it).

    After a few sessions of physio and regular use of the roller, the problem has completely gone.
  • ...definitely having the right shoes helped too - I over pronate, so a wider shoe keeps me in check.
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