Knee pain is more common than you think and can appear in different situations. One of them is when you do physical exercise or play sports. Obviously, feeling pain worries people because it is usually the expression that something is not right in the body. However, it does not always have to be this way because other factors may be behind the discomfort. In addition, in the case of knee pain when exercising, the causes are very specific. Some of them have an easy solution. If you have these discomforts, surely you have wondered at some point why do my knees hurt when I exercise? From Handsome & Men, we are going to explain the reasons why you feel this pain when exercising and the activities and sports that most impact this area.
Main causes of knee pain when exercising
When doing a physical activity, normally, the knees are one of the parts of the body most affected because they are key in the movement that is performed in each sport such as cycling, running, swimming or soccer, among many others. In this way, the knees are the ones that receive most of the impact that occurs with each movement, being even greater depending on the intensity with which the physical exercise is performed.
However, all sports or physical exercise impacts the knee. You just have to think about such simple and basic daily activities as walking or climbing the stairs from work or home.
In general, the main causes of knee pain when exercising can be grouped into:
- Mechanical overload: it is the one that many athletes or people who exercise with great intensity have. But, in general, it is also caused by a blow, sudden movement or a wrong step, which causes a twist, sprain or break. In addition, it is triggered by the wear and tear of the different parts of the knee.
- Overtraining: the pain occurs because you exercise with intensity and also very frequently because you want to achieve the goal of losing weight or being in shape in a short time or because the person has to prepare to pass physical examinations of oppositions to , for example, joining the police or fire departments, among others.
- Injuries: Any knee injury is painful. The possibilities can be several and not all are equally serious, which causes continued discomfort, but does not prevent walking or other movements. This often makes people think that there is no injury and they do not go to the doctor, causing more and more pain to be felt and they choose to go to the specialist.
- Bone problems: on many occasions, knee pain is due to problems in the back, especially in the lumbar area and the hip, which make the person tread badly, which causes pain in this area of the body. Sometimes, it can also be due to a malformation or problem in the foot or to some specific diseases.
Other causes of why knees hurt when exercising
As we have commented previously, injuries and ailments can be of a different nature, presenting in turn different levels of severity. And there are some that are mild and generate only discomfort, while others are more important and require even undergoing surgery to solve the problem.
Thus, these are other possible causes of knee pain when doing sports, although:
- Iliotibial band syndrome: it is caused by an overload and by the overuse of soft tissue, which goes from the hip to the knee.
- Runner’s knee: this condition is recognized because the pain felt is intense and is located in the area behind the knee and next to the patella.
- Tendinitis: when there is tendinitis in the knee , the pain is caused by the inflammation of the tendons in this area, although it can also appear due to their degeneration. In both cases, the knee can be affected.
- Ligaments: Any damage to the ligaments causes pain in the knee. This occurs in the case of the cruciate ligaments, as well as the lateral or tibial ligaments.
- Arthritis: inflammation of the joint also causes pain in the knees. In general, what causes more problems is the so-called osteoarthritis, which is characterized by damage to the tissue that covers the ends of the bones in the joint. When it appears, these bones begin to rub against each other, it being that friction that causes the pain.
- Meniscus tear: it is a common injury to the knee. Sometimes, a meniscus tear occurs in the same act, although in others pain is felt in the area until it breaks. This injury is important because it is common to have to undergo surgery.
Exercises and sports for which it is more common to have knee pain
Some ailments that we have discussed appear due to wear and tear or are associated with age, although they are not exclusive to older people. Knee pain can also be affected by sports or physical activity. The reason is none other than that there are practices with which the impact on this area of the body is greater than on another.
In this way, it is convenient to know what sports they are because, if you have discomfort in the knees, it may be necessary to change physical activity to practice one with less impact or to monitor the movements that are made so that the pain does not appear. And it is that, sometimes, there are people who do not practice sports or physical exercise well or do not use the appropriate materials, such as the sports shoes themselves, which is very common in the specific case of running.
The problem may also be that the person does not warm up enough before starting to exercise or does not stretch enough afterward. Failure to perform both actions is a source of pain and musculoskeletal problems, which can affect the knee.
But, assuming that everything is done well, it is convenient to know the sports that have the greatest impact on the knees. In general, they are those in which there is a change of pace in the activity, lifting weight, jumping … Among them are:
Whether you practice any of them or any other physical activity, it is always recommended that you consult your doctor to rule out serious illnesses or injuries, in addition to indicating the guidelines you can follow to avoid this pain. From Handsome & Men, we hope we have helped you to know more about the possible causes and that you no longer have to ask yourself why do my knees hurt when I exercise?