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Knee pain when running- causes and fixes

Knee pain when running is very common for fighters. In this post you can learn the most common cause of this and how to start fixing this issue.

Fighters do commonly have some issues around the knee due to mobility restrictions, road running and muscle tightness. This can be managed and pain eased by doing a few things. but let's start with the common causes.


Causes of knee pain


These are the three most common causes of knee pain I see

  • Lack of ankle mobility

  • Lack of hip mobility

  • Tight Quads

Lack of mobility through the hips and ankles is a big problem. When looking at the joints and their purpose, there are big differences. For example, the hip is a ball and socket joint, meaning it is designed to move and rotate freely. The knee however is not. If you are limited in hip movement, the knee will be forced to create movement it isn't supposed to, causing pain.


Similarly with ankle Plantar Flexion and Dorsi Flexion. If limited this can cause issues. This is particularly a concern when Squatting or running (something fighters do regularly).


Sometimes fighters can get knee pain at the start if camps due to increased training loads. Tight Quads are a really common issues with these athletes. Essentially, tightness in the Quads can result in a pulling on the knee.


The other issue with this is it causes the athlete to never fully lock out the knee (full extension). This over time can lead to pain in the Patella (front of knee).

how to fix


Developing ankle and hip mobility will help for sure. With Patella pain in particular we want to do a few things.


  1. Lengthen Quads

  2. Begin getting full extension

  3. Strengthen Quads and Hammys

Check this video out for exercises to help with patella pain.



Round up


Knee pain is common for fighters. There are a few things we can do to help. The importance of training loads and monitoring how much road running etc is being done is also key. The area of pain is very rarely the issues itself so developing areas up and down the chain will likely result in positive results.


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