Knee pain after running

March 29, 2018

Hello Guru,

I started running again about a month ago after a few months off, and I’m training for a half marathon in May. I’ve been running 3 times a week, between 5 and 10k. Generally I’ve been feeling good but about 10 days ago after a 10k run my knee started feeling quite sore and weak. I haven’t had knee trouble before.

I took a week’s rest and the pain died down. Upon running again the pain wasn’t too bad, but it came on after, and presents as a fairly dull pain behind the knee (in the crook) and at the top of the calf, as well as a more pronounced pain where the MCL meets the tibia. The knee clicks quite a bit (I’m 38, so this isn’t unusual, but it clicks more than usual) and feels less steady than before. The pain diminishes over time between runs.

Is this a very typical case? I’m keen not to miss much training as I really need it! Equally, to miss the race over-training would be even worse. I’m based in London, and quite prepared to come in for diagnosis, but any advice you can give in the meantime would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


March 29, 2018

Hi Chris

I’ll do my best to keep you away!

First up – I’m assuming you’ve got no swelling or your knee hasn’t locked or given way.

Secondly, clicking isn’t an issue on its  own. Whilst the noise may sounds disconcerting it’s no indicator as to what’s occurring in your joint. If the clicking is painful then it may be a different set of circumstances. You can also have a painful knee that clicks, but the clicking hasn’t really anything to do with the pain – I’m putting you here!

You may have an issue with your MCL  – have a food poke around on the edge of your joint. Is it more tender than the other side? You may have an issue with a little fat pad called a bursa – for you, your pes anserinus bursa may be irritable (need to control your knee straightening when running) – do you stand with “locked back” knees?

Or, and most probably with the distance and type of race you’re training for, it’s an issue with the way your knee cap moves across the front of your thigh. It can refer pain to the back of your knee and feel something on the inside due to overstretched tissue.

The up/down, on/off nature also suggests that when you run you loose control of how your knee cap tracks – hence the more you run the more you feel. The less you run, the more control you have the less you feel.

Keep running BUT you need to gain better control of your glutes.

Have a look here and have a go for the next week or so.

The Guru

Guru Responded

Have more questions?

If you're struggling with Knees, Running issues then we'd love to help. We offer appointments within 24 hours whether face to face at one of our London Physio Clinics, virtually or if you’d prefer we can arrange a home visit.

Request An Appointment

We aim to get back to you within an hour

How should we contact you?