Back Of The Knee Sore After Running


Running is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that benefits physical and mental well-being. However, for some, it can lead to back knee pain, dampening the joy of the activity. This discomfort, often manifesting as knee pain after running, can be a common setback. Identifying and addressing the causes of back knee pain and knee pain after running is crucial for maintaining the sport’s enjoyment and benefits. With the right strategies, runners can minimize discomfort and continue their passion for running.

Why do the back of my knees hurt after running

Pain behind the knee can be attributed to various factors, and understanding these causes is crucial for effective management.

Overuse and Strain:

One common reason for experiencing pain in the back of the knee after running is overuse. The repetitive stress running places on the knee joint, combined with pushing oneself too hard or suddenly intensifying running activities, can lead to strain and back knee pain.

Improper Running Form:

Running with improper forms, such as overstriding or landing heavily on your heels, can contribute to ache behind knee. This puts excess pressure on the knee joint and the muscles behind the knee, leading to discomfort.

Muscle Imbalances:

Imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the knee can result in pain. Weak hamstrings or tight calf muscles can affect the mechanics of the knee joint, leading to strain on the back knee pain.

Inadequate Warm-up:

Skipping a proper warm-up before running can leave your muscles tight and unprepared for the impact of running. Cold muscles are more prone to injuries and can contribute to an ache behind the knee.

How to prevent knee pain when running

Preventing knee pain involves a combination of proper training techniques, adequate preparation, and mindful self-care. This proactive approach helps minimize the risk of experiencing pain on the inner side of the knee.

Gradual Progression:

Avoid sudden increases in your running intensity or mileage. Gradually progress your running routine to allow your muscles and joints to adapt to the stress.

Proper Running Form:

Focus on maintaining good running form to prevent pain behind knee. Pay attention to your stride length, foot placement, and avoid overstriding. Land with a midfoot strike to reduce the impact on the knees.

Strength Training:

Incorporate strength training exercises, especially targeting the muscles around the knee, such as quadriceps and hamstrings. This helps improve overall stability and reduces the risk of back knee pain.

Flexibility Exercises:

Include regular stretching exercises to maintain flexibility in the muscles and tendons around the knee. Pay attention to the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles.

Warm-up Routine:

Always start your running session with a proper warm-up. Dynamic stretches, light jogging, or brisk walking can increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare them for the upcoming activity. This can help reduce the risk of back knee pain during or after your run.

Is pain behind the knee serious

While occasional pain behind the knee after running may stem from temporary issues like overuse or muscle tightness, persistent or severe pain behind the knee necessitates attention. Ignoring ongoing pain behind the knee could escalate to more serious conditions or injuries.

Meniscus Tears:

Meniscus tears, often resulting from sudden twisting or turning motions, are common knee injuries that can cause pain. This discomfort can extend beyond the knee, manifesting as back knee pain and affecting mobility. Seeking medical intervention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Baker’s Cyst:

A Baker’s cyst, or popliteal cyst, can form a fluid-filled swelling behind the knee, causing discomfort and tightness, particularly following running. In certain instances, the cyst may rupture, resulting in heightened ache behind knee along with increased swelling.

Hamstring Injuries:

Strains or tears in the hamstring muscles can lead to discomfort, including aches behind knee. These injuries may necessitate rest, physical therapy, or medical evaluation, depending on their severity.

Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome (PAES):

PAES is a rare condition where the popliteal artery is compressed by surrounding muscles, causing pain behind the knee. This condition often requires medical attention and may necessitate surgery in severe cases.

How do you stretch the area behind your knee?

Incorporating targeted stretches into your routine can help alleviate tension and discomfort in the muscles behind the knee and address pain on the inner side of the knee.

Hamstring Stretch:

Sit on the floor with one leg extended straight and the other leg bent so that the sole rests against the inner thigh of the extended leg. Reach forward toward your toes, keeping your back straight. This stretch can help alleviate pain behind knee. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch legs.

Calf Stretch:

Stand facing a wall with your hands placed against it. Step one foot back and press the heel into the floor while keeping the back leg straight. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs. This stretch targets the muscles in the calf, reducing tension behind the knee, and alleviating aches behind knee.

Quadriceps Stretch:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend one knee and bring your heel toward your buttocks. Hold the ankle with your hand to stretch the front of the thigh. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch legs.

Seated Knee Flexor Stretch:

Sit on the edge of a chair with one foot flat on the floor and the other leg extended straight with the heel on the ground. Gently lean forward, reaching towards the toes of the extended leg. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and switch legs to alleviate back knee pain.


Pain behind the knee after running, as well as pain on the inner side of the knee and back knee pain, is a common issue, often stemming from factors like overuse, improper form, or muscle imbalances. Taking proactive measures to prevent knee pain, such as gradual progression, strength training, and flexibility exercises, can significantly reduce the risk. However, persistent or severe pain should not be ignored, as it may indicate underlying conditions that require professional attention. Incorporating targeted stretches into your routine can help alleviate discomfort and promote overall knee health, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of running without unnecessary pain.