Couch to 5K

Knee Pain - Carry on or Quit???

In a word - GUTTED!!! OK, so basically my knees are knackered. It feels like when you have a filling on a tooth and then you accidentally bite on something wrapped in foil and the foil touches the filling - OOUCCHHH!! I have had ops on both my knees over the years but I try not to let that stop me from doing anything, ie., wearing ridiculously high heels and dancing all night after a few drinkies!! My left knee constantly feels like it is going to give way at the moment, even when just walking around the house, and has done for about a week now even though when I run I try to land my foot as softly as possible so as not to make the impact on my knee any harsher than it need be. I ran last Wednesday and haven't done anything since as I'm trying to let it recover but I don't want to leave it so long that I lose what I have already achieved and need to start all over again. I was due to start W3 on Monday. So, do I continue, hope it holds out and push on through hoping that the exercise will increase the muscle or do I find another form of exercise for the time being?

9 Replies


If it wasn't because your knee is knackered, I'd recommend you RUN rather than WALK, but that's probably a bad idea. In fact, any kind of running with your knees as you describe them is potentially a very bad idea. Do not "tough it out". Do not rely on what strangers on the internet says. Go see a doctor, and get a professional opinion (and this advice is the exception to the do-not-trust-strangers-on-the-internet rule).


Definitely go and see a doctor. I'm married to someone with bad knees and he is a very keen runner so don't despair. When he had his first knee op, the physio asked him what he wanted to do and he said 'run' so she said, 'right that's what we'll get you back to'. He runs about 15 miles every Saturday, so that goes to show that you can run with dodgy knees, BUT he has had 3 knee operations, does lots of exercises to keep his knees strong (rowing machine, weights and swims 3 times a week) AND he knows the difference between aching knees and an injured knee so stops running and goes straight to the doctor when needed. Sounds like yours needs expert opinion and help from what you describe. Better to go and get it checked than carry on running and find out you have made things 10 times worse.


I run with dodgy knees (hyper extending floating patella bits floating about) so it's not impossible BUT DO go see your doctor and get them checked out. I have had lots of physio and I know when to rest mine and when to push and how to tape them up to keep them going.


Oh no! Big time disaster, I'm so sorry for you Lorraine. My advice is get your GP to refer you to a specialist. Don't carry on, as that pain is more than just muscle aches, isn't it?


Also, don't quit. You are not a quitter. When you see the specialist, tell her that you want to run, and take along details of the 'strengthening' exercises on NHS site. Ask her if it is OK that you do those whilst your knee gets sorted out. Start running again only on the advice of the surgeon.

I badly mangled my knee in a skiing accident many years ago, and I badly mangled my shoulder in a snowboarding accident on New Year's eve 2012. You will get back to running, but it is very important that your body gets the chance to recover properly. If you are given physiotherapy exercises, do them 3 time a day no matter how long that takes.

Keep posting regular updates on your recovery. All your supporters here will have the Jammy Dodgers ready for your return to running.

1 like

Sorry to hear that you are suffering - I would agree with the other comments-go see your GP. I had to take a month out at week 4 because I carried on running with a painful knee (I have OA). The good news is I haven't had the problem since and I have been running for over a year now, I know it's hard having to stop when you are enjoying running so much, but there are other forms of exersize as has been suggested, that are low impact, but can keep your fitness levels up,and with the proper rest and treatment, you'll soon be back ! Look forward to reading about your progress x


Spoke to the doc a while ago who basically said there was nothing more then could do for me in terms of surgery until I'm 60!!!! I asked "what am I meant to do until then?" His reply was "Painkillers!!" What!!! Every day for the next 18 years!!!! Physio seems to be a big hit and miss with me, had it for a year before my op and it didn't have a dramatic effect at all. One physio said my leg was out of alignment which was why I tend to trip over fresh air (!!! - I always thought I was just clumsy!), another physio said my knee cap was situated in the wrong place, another physio said the messages going from my brain to my knee aren't getting there and so the muscle which should be working isn't working at all, and the list goes on and on!! Tried running on grass as the landing must be softer than tarmac but the ground was so uneven there would be more chance of me stumbling and breaking my neck than if I just ran on a cycle path. I just wanted to get a bit fitter as I feel its important to look after ourselves when we're not in our teens any more, but my theory doesn't seem to be working! Feeling a tad fed up in all honesty. Never mind, tomorrow is another day, thank you all for your suggestions x


It took me many years of trying physio until I found one that actually helped and they taught me how to tape my knee caps into place. Maybe try a sports physio. I know it's disheartening I was in my 20s when I was told I was too young for knee surgery. And although my knees will never be brilliant they are certainly holding up much better now. There are also lots of different types of knee support including various different taping methods you can try.


Are you icing them ? I was told by a physio that I had to give up Zumba and my knees had too much wear and tear damage. I then stopped exercise and put on weight. I got back into running and I was aware of my left knee. I can't say that is was sore but I was aware it was weaker so I went to a sports physio that had been recommended by a GP. He was great told me I was fine to run and was doing the right thing. Keep exercising, ice the knee when irritated and take a few extra days off when needed. Good luck


Hi, Sorry to hear about your woes. Your doctor don't seem very sympathetic....

You are entitled to ask for a second opinion, preferably from a sports doctor.

The other alternative, have you tried to run gently in a swimming pool? It would be much kinder to your knee whilst still developing your muscles.

Hope you find a remedy soon.


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