Unlock Your Full Potential with Recovapro Lite


November 09, 2022 3 min read

Running is an activity that most of us prefer because it’s a simple and inexpensive form of exercise. It’s a great way to maintain good health with many health and fitness benefits, but it can also predispose us to several injuries. Most running injuries are due to overuse, which constitutes about 80% of all running-related injuries, of which 28% involve the knee.


An overuse injury is damage to soft tissues due to repetitive stress. Common causes include training or technique errors:

  • Training errors. Taking too much physical activity too quickly can place stress on the soft tissues of the knee that aren’t quite adapted yet to the higher demands.
  • Technique errors. Improper form and technique can excessively overload structures and cause an overuse injury.

In running, overuse injuries often occur when an athlete begins to intensify a running routine with inadequate stretching and muscle conditioning. Similarly, a runner may acquire an overuse injury over long training periods.


Some of the common overuse injuries of the knee associated with running include the following:

Patellar Tendinopathy

It’s the most common knee injury in runners, where an athlete experiences pain in front of the knee. A single-leg squat is often used to confirm the condition when it produces pain localized below the knee cap in the patellar tendon area, which is also often found to be tender on palpation.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

PFPS is characterized by knee pain, often behind the patella, that’s worsened with activities that stress the patellofemoral joint, such as squatting, climbing or descending stairs, and running. In addition, an athlete may experience the feeling of knee instability or a grinding sensation known as crepitus.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

ITBS causes pain in the outer side of the knee due to irritation of the iliotibial band as it rubs against the bony prominence or the lateral femoral condyle. Athlete typically complains of pain localized approximately 2 cm above the lateral joint line, which worsens with running and may be associated with a popping sensation.


Most overuse injuries can be prevented with a few simple but extremely important practices:

  • Always make sure of proper form and gear. Observe proper running form and technique (see infographic). Learning about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer can help prevent overuse. Pick a pair of running shoes that fit comfortably well with your feet.
  • Don’t skip on your warm-ups and cool-downs. Your running experience can differ when you allow adequate time to warm up your leg muscles before hitting the road and cool down afterwards. Simple flexibility exercises can loosen up your legs to run more efficiently.

If you want to push forward your running performance, see Running the Extra Mile With Recovapro.

  • Pace yourself. Allowing your muscles to adapt to your new running program gradually prepares them to receive additional load at an appropriate time. Follow the 10-per cent rule: increase your running intensity by no more than 10% per week until you reach your goal. This also applies to increasing pace or mileage and the amount of weight added in strength training programs.
  • Adopt training variation through cross-training. Alternate running with low-impact activities such as walking and swimming. These work for different muscle groups but still train your running muscles at a less intense load.
  • Don’t forget your post-run rest and recovery routine. This lets your body have adequate time for recovery and response. You may follow an active strategic recovery to reap all your training benefits while maximizing your rest and recovery periods.
  • Build strength, flexibility, and core stability. Be sure to include strength training of the major muscle groups in your arms, legs and core at least twice a week.


    If you suspect an overuse injury from running, you may have to take a break from the activity for a while, or you may engage in alternative training that does not stress the involved body part. Your program can also be modified to maintain overall fitness levels while recovering from your injury safely.