Wondering why your joints hurt after running? Check for these 5 mistakes

Apr 25, 2024

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, many people are lacing up their running shoes and hitting the pavement. Running is a great form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health and boost mood, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the most common complaints from runners is joint pain, specifically in the knees, hips, and ankles. If you are wondering why your joints hurt after running, there may be a few mistakes that you’re making without even realising it. 

In this article, we will discuss the five common mistakes that can lead to joint pain after running and how to prevent them.

Skipping Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercises

One of the biggest mistakes that runners make is skipping warm-up and cool-down exercises. Warming up before a run helps to increase blood flow to the muscles and prepares them for the physical demands of running. It also helps to loosen up tight joints and ligaments. Similarly, cooling down after a run allows for a gradual decrease in heart rate and helps to prevent stiffness and soreness in the muscles. So, make sure to spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up before your run by doing some light jogging or dynamic stretches such as leg swings and high knees. After your run, take another 5-10 minutes to cool down with some static stretches like hamstring stretches and quad stretches.

Not Wearing Proper Running Shoes

Another common mistake that can lead to joint pain after running is not wearing proper running shoes. A good pair of running shoes should provide support and cushioning for your feet and joints, helping to absorb shock and reduce impact. If you are using old or worn-out shoes, they may no longer provide the necessary support, which can lead to joint pain.

Increasing Mileage Too Quickly

It’s tempting to want to push yourself and increase your mileage or pace when you are feeling good and making progress in your running journey. However, increasing mileage too quickly is a common mistake that can lead to joint pain. Your body needs time to adapt to the stress of running, and if you suddenly increase your mileage or intensity, it can put excessive strain on your joints.

Neglecting Strength Training

Many runners focus solely on their running workouts and neglect strength training, but this can be a big mistake when it comes to preventing joint pain. Strength training helps to build strong muscles that support and stabilize the joints, reducing the impact of running on them. Neglecting this aspect of training can lead to imbalances and weaknesses in the muscles, which can cause joint pain.

Running on Uneven or Hard Surfaces

Finally, running on uneven or hard surfaces can also contribute to joint pain. Uneven surfaces, such as trails or sidewalks with cracks, can create imbalances and put strain on your joints. Similarly, running on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt can cause excessive impact and lead to joint pain.

In conclusion, by incorporating a proper warm-up and cool-down, wearing appropriate running shoes, increasing mileage gradually, incorporating strength training, and choosing the right running surface, you can reduce the risk of joint pain and continue enjoying the benefits of running.