Couch to 5K
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Any experience using knee supports ?


I've restarted c25K somewhat cautiously, having been stopped by knee pain after w3r2 about a month ago. The pain is now gone (in the meantime I've been diagnosed with moderate osteo-arthritis and misaligned kneecaps). I'm seeing a podiatrist tomorrow about insoles and really must get around to making a physio appointment (I have a referral). While waiting I'm doing the "knee exercises for runners" from the NHS site.

In the meantime, my husband is nagging me to use knee supports. Reading around the internet, opinions seem to be mixed. So I was wondering, does anyone out there use them ? Do you find they help ? (Hubby's been using them for several years and swears they really help.)

thanks for any comments !

3 Replies


I don't use one now, but I have used a Vulkan neoprene support on mant occasions and I have found it to be very good indeed. The only downside is that it can catch the tendons on the back of my leg, but I do have very pronounced ones!

Your knee will get very hot with it on, and it will become sweaty, but I find the heat helps my knee.

Discuss it at your appointment ~ they have far more experience than me.

Good luck, and safe running.


When I first did c25k I always wore knee supports to protect my dodgy knees when running, but conversely I think they stopped my knees from strengthening as they might have, because the supports did the 'steadying' rather than my muscles having to. I now only wear them when my knees are bad, and not usually for running at all. So far, I haven't had any problems with my knees when running. However, if you run too fast ('too fast' being for you, rather than any particular speed) or over very hard or irregular ground then you do raise the risk of hurting your knees. My advice would be to slow it down. I mostly run on pavements and keeping it slow seems to work. You can also try running on softer going, such as a playing field or trail, if you find the impact is causing your knees to hurt. An extra days rest between runs can also give them a bit more time to recover.

My knee supports are stretchy elastane ones which cost me 99p from 'Bodycare'. They provide enough support most of the time but I did find they had a tendency to slip down when I was running. I also have a more 'serious' strap-on support for if one of my knees gets really bad, but it's not very comfortable or flexible, so I rarely use it. If your knee is swollen or very painful then it would probably be wise to take a break from running to speed up the recovery process. One final hint, which Laura gives at some point in the program, is not to be too 'bouncy' when you run. Try to run as smoothly as possible (so someone on the other side of a hedge from you couldn't tell if you're walking or running) as this lessens the impact.

Happy running. :-)


Thanks to both for the tips. I saw a podiatrist yesterday and am getting made to measure insoles. I'm hoping they'll make a difference !


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