Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running on the Treadmill?

The last thing one wishes for while keeping fit is an injury. That is why some opt-in for the treadmill instead of outdoor running thanks to the treadmill’s bouncy belt. However, this does not mean that one will never have injuries anymore. People have, from time to time, reported knee pains after running on the treadmill. Notably, this means that there is a thing or several things that someone is doing wrong while using the treadmill. In this article, we will look at some of the reasons why your knees hurt after running on the treadmill.

Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running on the Treadmill?

running on treadmills

The Choice of Shoes for Running

Finding the perfect running shoe is an essential preparation tip before hitting a run on that treadmill. Unfortunately, most of us consider not this fact having us chose on any ‘cool’ sneakers for our running workout. Unlike regular sneakers, running shoes are made of cushioned lightweight material. Good running shoes should absorb shock emanating from running on the treadmill hence reducing the impact on the knee joints.

Consider purchasing a shoe designed for running, ensuring that they are a proper fit. A proper fit will help in preventing feet injuries too. With running shoes wearing out quickly, there is a need to replace them often. While they might be expensive, your fitness matters hence proving the need for purchasing a good pair of running shoes.

You Probably Didn’t Practice Preventative Stretching

Perfect balance, flexibility, and excellent blood flow offer a nice platform on which fitness is built. While people find it unnecessary, stretching before your run is an essential warm-up routine. Our muscles are cold and inflexible without some warm-up done hence making us prone to knee injuries while running on the treadmill.

Performing static stretches and motion exercises makes part of a good warm-up. With one side of the body a bit tighter than the other for many people, such as warm-up exercises, help strike balance in your body. Repetitive routines are the major cause of body imbalances, such as the one-sided tightness. Notably, with such imbalances, one can barely distribute the impact evenly during running, resulting in knee injuries.

Weak Leg Muscles

When your knees are hurting, it might indicate that your leg muscles, especially thigh muscles, are weak. Most of the runners focus on improving their time on a given distance while running on the treadmill. Committed to speed and time, they forget training for strength as a pillar towards endurance and great joint health.

Notably, strengthening the leg muscles will help place less stress on the joint, hence reducing knee aches. Consider strength training, focusing on your hips, knees, and core. Some of the exercises for leg muscle strength include squats, weighted leg raises, and toe raises.

Your Running Posture Might be wrong

A good posture remains to be an integral part of your running exercise. During running on a treadmill, consider engaging your abdomen, with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed. Lack of a good posture while running means that your joints will move out of alignment. As a result, your body will have no effective impact absorption when you run on the treadmill. The unhealthy strain in your knees, back, and hips indefinitely leads to pain in the respective places. A good posture is not only essential while running on the treadmill but also when doing outdoor running, walk, and even sitting.

You are Probably Overweight

running on treadmill

For overweight people, running on the treadmill might seek to be a better option, but not entirely. With extra weight for oneself, the shock landing on the treadmill belt is most probably great. Sadly, some shock is reabsorbed back to your body, having it impact harshly on the joints. The knee is the most affected joint when it comes to shock emanating from running is reabsorbed back to the body. Consider doing some exercises to help reduce your weight for less impact on your knees hen running on the treadmill.

Poor Stride Mechanisms

Sports scientists have noted that too long strides while running on the treadmill injures your hamstrings and knees. During the running exercise, one should ensure that they have their legs bent to a right angle. It is also recommended that your feet should also land under you instead of landing in front of you. Notably, this is to ensure you use your body to propel yourself forward. Failure to do so, your forward momentum will indefinitely lead to strain in your joints.

How Do You Deal with the Knee Pain?

You already know the probable causes of your hurting knee after running on the treadmill and can practice preventative measures. However, you might unwillingly have your knees hurt even when you try to practice some preventative measures. Therefore, knowing how to care for your knee pain is essential. While some knee pain requires home-based care, serious cases might require one to visit a qualified physician.
When struck by knee pain, you should stop exercising have your knee recover first. Taking some pain killers for mild pain.

might come in handy in getting rid of the pain. You might need to consider applying some elevating the joint and applying some ice to it. Icing the joints several times a day might help reduce the knee pain-causing inflammation. Joint elevation can still be done when one sleeps by placing a pillow below the knee, hence helping it recover quickly.

In case of any swelling, clicking sound, or persistent pain, consider seeking professional help from a doctor. During this period, taking some rest is essential for the knee to heal faster.


Running on a treadmill is safer than running outdoors due to reduced chances of injuries. However, that doesn’t mean that one can never have knee pains or any other injuries. A painful knee while running on the treadmill, in most cases, is associated with something we might be doing wrong. Consider the tips offered to avoid knee pain in each of the reasons stated above for a great running experience on a treadmill.