I wanted to show you a few relief exercises that you can do after running that will help alleviate knee pain.
Relief from Knee Pain After Running
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1. Foam Rolling Out the Quads
Start in a plank position. Place a 1-foot foam roller just above the knee. Go into walking plank position rolling through the quads from above the knee to below the hips.
Foam Rolling Out the Quads
Start with one set of 5 reps. 1 repetition is up the quads and down the quads. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop at the end position. The intensity should be moderate. You should feel like you are getting a deep massage in the quads area.
The purpose of this exercise is to loosen up the muscles, so there is less pull on the knee to help overcome knee pain after running.
2. Foam Rolling Out the IT Band
For this exercise, you can use a 1-foot or 3-foot foam roller.
Place the foam roller on the ground and lie down on your side. Roll from above the knee to below the hip, then roll back to the outer part of the thigh or the iliotibial (IT) band area.
Start with one set of 5 reps. Going from the outer part of the thigh and going back is 1 repetition. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop at the end position. The intensity should be moderately uncomfortable. Self-massage the outer part of the quad, specifically the IT band. It shouldn’t be in screaming pain — it should only be a little bit uncomfortable to do.
The purpose of this exercise is to loosen up the IT band area, so there is less pull on the knee to help overcome knee pain.
3. Trigger Point Massage With a Ball
For this exercise, you can use a $1 dog ball that you can buy from a pet store. It’s quite firm and hard and you will use it to self-massage through not on the kneecap or bony part of the knee but the mini muscle part above the kneecap.
Start in a straight arm plank position. Place the ball above the quadriceps area, and then roll it through the lower part of the quadriceps targeting the trigger points and any tension within the muscle.
If it’s awkward for you to get on the straight arm plank position, you can manually push the ball into the muscles of your quadriceps with your hands.
Trigger Point Massage With a Ball
Trigger Point Massage with a Ball Manually
Start with one set of 5 reps. Going across the quad and going back is 1 repetition. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop. The intensity shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It should feel like you are having a self-massage. This exercise is more intense because instead of using a broad surface like the foam roller, we use the pointed surface of the ball. It digs into the smaller points of the tightness and stiffness of the quadriceps, so there is less pull on the kneecap and helps to overcome knee pain.
4. The Calf Stretch
For this exercise, you can use a weight plate or the wall.
Begin in an upright standing position. Lean one foot forward to the weight plate to intensify the calf stretch and help with ankle mobility.
The Calf Stretch
Start with one set of 2 reps alternating back and forth on each leg and hold each stretch for 10 seconds. The intensity is you are looking for a light stretch. You are not trying to rip out the part of the muscle.
The purpose of this exercise is twofold. First is to loosen up the ankle to improve its mobility and, by doing this exercise, you put less stress on the knee. Second is to loosen up the kneecap. By statically stretching it, it would get less pull on the back part of the knee and help to overcome knee pain after running.
5. Child’s Pose
Start in a four-point kneeling position. Bring the hips back, and then put your arms out front and drop your shoulders.
Start with one set of 2 reps. Perform this exercise with 10 seconds hold at the end position. The intensity is a light stretch. The purpose of this exercise is to loosen up the hips, so there is less stress on the knees and to loosen up the mid-back and shoulder areas.
If you have knee pain after running, give these five exercises a go. They will provide you with relief.
If you are looking for a fast, simple, safe and effective program to eliminate your stubborn knee pain and patellofemoral pain syndrome, then check out the Patellofemoral Syndrome Solution program, here!
Rick Kaselj, MS