To treat knee pain after running, you may need to pass an anti-inflammatory ointment such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen, apply cold patches or, if necessary, replace running drills for a walk until the pain subsides.
Generally, knee pain is a symptom that may appear due to the iliotibial band attrition syndrome, known as SABI, which is frequent when an individual runs every day and the pain appears on the lateral part of the knee.
However, post-run pain may also arise due to problems such as the wearing of the joint or tendinitis, and when the pain does not go away at the end of a week or increases progressively it is advised you stop running and seek an orthopedist or physiotherapist to identify the cause of the knee pain, and it may be necessary to perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or CT scans.
Therefore, some strategies that can help relieve post-race pain include:
1. Use of a self massage roller
The foam roller for self massage, is great for fighting pain in the knees, calves, quadriceps and back. You just need to put the roll on the floor and let it slide over the sore area for 5 to 10 minutes. Ideally the foam roller, should be large about 30 cm long and firm so as to support the weight of your body, because you will have to keep your body weight on top of the roller.
2. Put ice on your knee
If pain develops after a run, a cold patch or ice may be applied to the knee, especially when it is swollen and red, because it helps to decrease pain and inflammation.
In these cases, it is vital that you let the ice stay on the knee for about 15 minutes, applying at least 2 times a day, and one of the applications should be soon after running. It is also important to put a thin cloth under the ice to prevent skin burn. You can use a bag of frozen vegetables, ice cubes from the refrigerator or specific bags of cold water that can be bought at the pharmacy.
In addition, after applying the ice, a small knee massage can be done by moving the round knee bone from side to side for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Wear running shoes
It is important to wear running shoes whenever you exercise because they accommodate the foot better and decrease the likelihood of injury. Outside of training, comfortable shoes with rubber soles and a maximum heel height of 2,5 cm should be worn to support the feet. If possible you should choose to run on dirt roads because there is less impact to the knees.
4. Use an elastic band on the knee
Generally, putting an elastic band on the knee throughout the day helps to immobilize it and lessens the pain, as it promotes a feeling of tightness and comfort. Also, running with the knee bandaged can lessen the pain.
5. Do light stretches twice a day
When pain arises in the knee during a run or shortly after finishing it should be stretched gently by folding the leg back and holding with one hand or sitting on a chair with both feet on the floor and slowly stretching the leg with the affected knee, about 10 times, repeating for 3 sets.
6. Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs as indicated by your doctor.
Knee pain after running, may decrease after taking a painkiller such as Paracetamol, or applying an anti-inflammatory ointment such as Cataflan every 8 hours. However, you should only use them if recommended by your doctor or orthopedist.
In some cases, such as a ligament injury, it may be necessary to have knee surgery, to place a prosthesis, for example.
7. Eat anti-inflammatory foods daily
Some of the foods that can help you recover from the pain after a run include garlic, tuna, ginger, turmeric, salmon, chia seeds, sage oil drops or rosemary because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
When knee pain is strong after a run, avoid doing unnecessary exertions, such as jumping, pedaling, or walking briskly so as not to increase pain and aggravate the problem.
To help relieve post-race pain, you can lie down on a sofa or bed and rest your feet by placing a cushion under your knees, because resting for at least 20 minutes helps to decrease swelling and inflammation.
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