Knee pain can have different causes. In athletically active persons, there is often an overload or stress burden behind the complaints. Knee pain is often noticeable during exercise, for example while jogging or climbing stairs. But sometimes they can also be quiet.
Depending on whether the pain is inside, outside, front or back of the knee, a first guess can be made about the cause of the knee pain. In case of persistent problems, however, a doctor should always be consulted - only he can rule out that behind the knee pain is a serious injury such as a meniscus damage.
The knee - a complicated joint
The knee is the largest joint of our body. Since the individual bony joint parts do not mesh exactly, but are sometimes held together only by ligaments and muscles, the knee joint is particularly susceptible to injury. Pain in the knee can have different causes and therefore take different forms: so the pain can be perceived as throbbing, stinging, pulling, burning or oppressive.
Especially in sports, it often comes to knee injuries - it can damage both the ligaments and tendons and the cartilage in the knee. The most common injuries include a cruciate ligament tear, an outer or inner ligament tear, a meniscal damage, and an injury to the kneecap.
Knee pain, however, does not necessarily indicate a serious injury, and sometimes it is just an overload of the knee behind the pain. Especially in the elderly, knee pain is also caused by signs of wear such as osteoarthritis.
Knee pain while jogging
Athletes also struggle with knee pain several times. Causes can be a wrong running technique or a congenital leg deformity (X or O legs).
Muscular dysbalances can also lead to knee pain: If the thigh extensor muscles are severely shortened or underdeveloped compared to the hamstrings, pain in the knee can result. Likewise, dysbalances between the outer and inner thigh muscles can lead to knee pain, as this pushes the kneecap to one side.
Whether knee pain occurs during exercise also depends largely on the stability of the hip and ankle. If, for example, the muscles on the inner side of the foot are too weak, causing the foot to buckle inwards, this also has consequences for the knee joint. The twisting of the lower leg puts the tendons and cartilage surfaces in the knee in a wrong position and the joint begins to hurt over time. In addition, the knee joint is also loaded incorrectly when the muscles in the hip joint is too weak, as the thigh then turns too much inward.
In addition, a wrong running style can cause knee pain: If you sit down too much while jogging and therefore excessively bends the knee joints, exerts an increased pressure on the kneecap. If the knee pain occurs acutely, an inflammation of the cartilage below the patella can be behind it: Such an inflammation arises when the patella rubs - for example, due to a too weak thigh muscles - against the cartilage in the knee.
Knee pain through running: The runner knee
A runner's knee - also known as ilio-tibial-band syndrome - is caused by an overload of the knee joint while walking. Particularly at risk are runners with O-legs.
Regardless of anatomical conditions, too fast training and too many fast training sessions may favor the development of a runner's knee.
The usually sharp pain on the outside of the knee is triggered in the runner's knee by a tendon plate rubbing along the outer knee. Constant contact can cause irritation of the tendon tissue as well as bursitis. While the pain initially only occurs while running, they often become noticeable as you walk.
As a rule, a runner's knee can be treated well with anti-inflammatory ointments and a workout break.
Important: The matching running shoe
If the knee pain occurs repeatedly during or after the jog, you should first take a look at your own running shoes: If these are already heavily worn, it is time to treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes. Many sports stores today offer a treadmill analysis that will help you find the right shoe for your feet.
If the pain persists, you should consult an orthopedist who will examine your feet more closely and analyze your running technique.